In praise of Latin American immigrants

April 30, 2010

The United States owes Latin American immigrants a debt of gratitude. And Latin American immigrants owe a debt of gratitude to lawmakers in Arizona. How so?

Thanks largely to immigration from Latin America (both legal and illegal) and the higher birth rates of Latin immigrants, the population of the U.S. has kept growing, a demographic trend that sets it apart from the rest of the industrialized world, where numbers are shrinking. That threatens economic growth and in the case of Russia (U.N. projections see a decline from 143 million now to 112 million by 2050) undermines Moscow’s claim to Great Power status.

A country’s population starts shrinking when fertility falls below the “replacement rate” of 2.1. births over the lifetime of a woman. For white American women, that rate is around 1.8 now. For Latin American immigrants, the rate is 2.8. According to the U.S. census bureau, nearly one in six people living in the U.S. are Hispanics. By 2050, they are projected to make up almost a third of the population.

That translates into the biggest minority group of consumers. Their spending is expected to exceed $1 trillion by next year despite the recession. A point worth noting but rarely mentioned in the often overheated debate about immigration: illegal immigrants in effect subsidize social security payments to Americans over 62.

This is because people working with false papers have their social security taxes withheld from wages but are not entitled to receive benefits. The sums involved are substantial — the Social Security administration has an “earnings suspense file” of payments under names that do not match social security numbers. The file has been growing by around $7 billion a year which goes to pay benefits to legal workers.

And the benefit to immigrants of the Arizona law?

“It may finally wake up the whole country to the consequences of the current approach to illegal immigration in which ever tougher border enforcement is seen as the only solution to the problem,” says Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank. “That approach is gravely flawed.”

So is the argument that the federal government has done so little to secure the U.S.-Mexican border that states need to take things into their own hands? The number of Border Patrol agents along the 2,000-mile frontier has doubled in the past five years, to 20,000. Arrests of border crossers have dropped 60 percent since 2000, evidence that tighter controls are discouraging illegal crossings (as does a shortage of jobs at a time of high U.S. unemployment).

Under the law, the toughest of its kind in the country, state and local police are required to “determine the immigration status” of anyone “where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is illegally present in the United States.” Failure to carry identification documents at all times would be grounds for arrest. Critics say “reasonable suspicion” opens the door to racial profiling.

Despite the acrimonious debate sparked by the Arizona law — which faces legal challenges and might never take effect — there is common ground on the issue between a good number of politicians on both sides of the aisle: the present system is a mess that needs fixing.

The last serious attempt to fix it was in 2006, when the U.S. Senate failed to agree on a bill that would have paved the way to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants — the most widely used estimate is around 11 million, most of them Mexicans — and introduce a guest worker program to meet demand for unskilled and low-skilled workers.

At the time, the late Senator Edward Kennedy, the Democrats’ most vocal champion of immigration reform, asked its opponents what they were planning to do with the millions already in the country. “Send them back …? Develop a kind of Gestapo here to seek out these people that are in the shadows?” Critics of the Arizona bill think that prediction has come true.

Much of the immigration argument has glossed over the fact that for decades both the authorities and employers turned a blind eye to illegal immigration because the country has been deeply dependent on cheap labor — in effect one of America’s ways of competing with the low-paid workers of the Third World.

The link between demographics and economic growth has rarely featured in the discussion but this week former president Bill Clinton took it up and added a frank interpretation of the anti-immigrant anger reflected by a nationwide poll that showed 60 percent of voters nation-wide favoring Arizona-type laws.

The real reason for anti-immigrant sentiment, he said, was the fact that the economic downturn in the last few years disproportionally fell on white males without college degrees, such as factory workers. “But they’ll get more jobs if the economy grows. Their taxes will be lower if we’ve got more taxpayers. The pressures on Social Security … will be less if we have more people contributing to the system.

“So I don’t think there’s any alternative but for us to increase immigration,” he said, adding that bringing in more immigrants must be part of the overall strategy.

So far it is not.


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It’s good to see that there are some people that understand that immigrants do indeed contribute to the well being of the country. Perhaps further discussions will be more fair and well rounded than the typical “they’re stealing our jobs” rant.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

This is one of the most educated and sensible articles I’ve read. The benefits of undocumented immigrants far outweigh the detriments.
It’s sad how the ignorant and uneducated are easy pray of the agitators.
Myths that immigrants don’t pay taxes and only come to the US to receive welfare benefits are rampant, and most people actually believe them.
Without taking compassion into account, immigrants are good for the country’s economy. Let me rephrase that; they are essential.

Posted by Messinger | Report as abusive

I agree, Benny. I’m tired of that rant as well, that and the “they’re stealing our social services” tirade. In New York City, where I live, these immigrants work extremely long hours in restaurants as kitchen staff, as busboys, and in many cases have taxes taken from their paychecks (they often use false ids to get the jobs, and the owners look the other way)and know fully that they will never see a return. It’s the price they pay for working here illegally, doing the work our citizens shy away from doing, and they accept this. I also want to add that in my experience, I have never known any of them to avail themselves of welfare or food stamps or any of these programs some people accuse them of pillaging. Go visit Jackson Heights or Corona and you will see communities of family-oriented, hard workers who save their money in order to actually build a better life here, or to help their families back home. They incur debt in the tens of thousands of dollars and risk their lives to get here via truly terrifying means. This is not the modus operandi of someone who’s looking to cruise along and live off the fat of our land, as many would accuse.

Posted by ahjessica | Report as abusive

This was rather a non article. I read it and reread it and the very most I could get out of it was: Well, 1 in 6 Americans are Latino, and illegals with phony credentials probably pay more into social security than they get out. I assume this means you think illegal immigration is a good thing, but there’s so little actual opinion in this opinion piece, who could tell?

But allow me to interject here: We’re having the wrong debate. The whole “well, they spend money in our economy and do the jobs we don’t want to” argument is bogus. So do drug dealers and circus clowns. So what? From the point of view of a legal immigrant who came to this country through the long, expensive, and torturous process that is our so called “immigration system”, illegal immigrants are like the creeps who cut in front of you in a long line, and then wonder why everybody is screaming at them. My wife came here from China legally, why should these people get a free pass because they share a border? Until someone can answer that question for me, there is no debate at all, illegal is illegal.

Posted by Guymar | Report as abusive

What a bunch of BS.

Once again, the crazy Open-Border lobby tries to confuse the issue between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants.

The Arizona law is not about legal immigrants; it is not about Hispanics; it is about people breaking the law to come here illegally.

There is a legal way to come to the US. The US already allows more legal immigrants per year than any other country.

These people have knowingly and willing broken the law, for no other reason than personal gain. That is criminal! And I’m supposed to celebrate them? The world must have turned upside down!

I was brought up to play by the rules. Were my parents wrong? The new reality seems to be: act selfishly and illegally, and then make demands and act like a victim. Wow, just wow.

The Arizona law specifically prohibits racial profiling. The Arizona law specifically prohibits civil rights violations. Existing Federal law allows local law enforcement. No problem there.

Enforce existing law……and no amnesty!

Posted by ARealRealist | Report as abusive

10:51 am EDTI agree with the other posts. Slave labor is essential to the US economy. Illegal immigrants are vital. Nothing makes me happier than to see people living in abject poverty and working for less than slave labor wages. Especially on construction sights, where legal immigrants and citizens could make a living wage hanging sheet rock or laboring. No, no…it is much more beneficial to pay people $250 per week for 80 hours of work. They are never late to the job when they are living in their van in the parking lot. Yeah illegal immigration!

Posted by seattleguy3098 | Report as abusive

I have lived in northern California and New England, and in both places but especially in California, virtually all outdoor work is done by Latinos, many of whom are probably illegal. Crew bosses in both places have told me they simply cannot find Americans who want to do this kind of heavy outdoor work – tree removal, tree climbing, garden installation and maintenance, window/door installation etc. In this case, Latinos are not taking jobs from Americans. They are performing services Americans don’t want to do and working very hard at it. There is a serious need to address these issues.

Posted by robbi | Report as abusive

I think that this is a nice article, but while the birthing abilities of the immigrant population is helpful to increasing the numbers of US population, it is draining the wallets of both legal immigrants and citizens of the US by making us pay for the hospital care, schooling, feeding, and etc. of these children.

Yes, the people working with false papers are not getting the benefits of their SS payments, and that $7B is a nice number to have lying around, but if you want to be fair about it, they should be getting those payments – they worked for it – and by using that $7B for other legal workers is part of the dysfunction of the system. If the current illegals are granted amnesty in a guest worker or straight-up amnesty program, they should then be deserving of the monies they have earned and paid to SS and that $7B gain of the moment should be paid back to them.

The problem with the “biggest minority group of consumers” and the attractive $1T number is that the majority of illegal immigrants are sending the monies they earn under the table back home. By the way they aren’t paying any taxes to SS on cash-under-the-table.

It’s not a myth that immigrants don’t pay taxes and only come to the US to receive benefits. You forgot the one keyword there to validate your argument, legal vs. illegal. Legal immigrants do pay taxes, they have SS numbers, and etc. — they are entitled to all the benefits of citizenship obtained the legal way. Illegal immigrants do not pay taxes (except some sales taxes to local government) because they do not have SS numbers.

By saying “benefits of undocumented immigrants far outweigh the detriments”, based upon the above opinion article, is that they are a great way to “meet demand for unskilled and low-skilled workers.” Does that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? I would rather see the US’s unemployed citizens take up cooking or lawnmowing or whatnot at minimum wage vs. paying people here illegally below minimum wage because they can’t complain. Are unemployed citizens that lazy?

Think about it. Around 2009 or so, the US population exceeded 300,000,000 (300M). 7% unemployment (conservative number) is 24,000,000 (24M) people. With 11,000,000 (11M) illegals estimated in country that’s 2 unemployed US citizens for every 1 illegal immigrant employed under-the-table. That’s a problem.

Saying that “failure to carry identification documents at all times would be grounds for arrest” is also a falsehood. If you are here legally, you wouldn’t need to carry identification documents all the time. Just like me, a normal citizen, if I forget my wallet and get pulled over for a crime, would get questioned about my identity, possibly taken to jail even, fined, etc. I just wouldn’t be deported to my home country because this wonderful USA is my home country. That’s the difference in the law being discussed. Both legal and illegal can be stopped for crimes or “reasonable suspicions” and forced to present ID. Without ID, both sides face fines, arrest, harassment, etc. But the end result is the deportation of illegals vs. going back home for the legals.

And no, they will not be instantly shipping people across the line. If you’re stopped and after investigation have been determined to be here illegally, there would be a chance to notify your family – possibly because they are also illegal they may be deported with you.

Bill Clinton’s “The real reason for anti-immigrant sentiment, he said, was the fact that the economic downturn in the last few years disproportionally fell on white males without college degrees, such as factory workers” — I’m white and have a college degree and a job and I’m anti ILLEGAL immigrants. I know many black citizens who have been affected by the factory shut-downs too. They are also anti-ILLEGAL-immigrant. I know several mexican citizens who have been affected by the economy. They are also anti-ILLEGAL-immigrant.

Democrats need to stop trying to inflame situations by throwing a racially charged statement in everyone’s face. That only distracts from the “argument” and the incredibly weak platform you argue from. Blame it on the white guy.

Anyway, thanks for letting me soapbox for a moment. :)

Posted by pauluskc | Report as abusive

As a legal immigrant myself I have to agree with Guymar. The people supporting these criminals are blind to the consequences of illegal immigration. Just look how biased this article is.

1) It only mentions how much illegals pay into Social Security. Completely ignores the cost of illegal immigrants on the health care and schooling systems.
2) The quote from Ted Kennedy about forming a Gestapo to send them back. How inflammatory is that, portraying people who support deportation as Jew hating Nazis? The only Fascists I see in the immigration debate are Ted Kennedy and his friends who want to deny citizens the rights they are entitled to. Which means protection from illegal activity.

Posted by MagAodh | Report as abusive

*Nobody is questioning the vast contributions of immigrants. People are becoming increasingly angry at “illegal” immigrants.
*The last time an amnesty was extended to “illegal” immigrants, that was supposed to end the problem. It merely encouraged more illegal immigration.
*It is not a defense to a crime to say one is otherwise a law- abiding citizen. One cannot shoplift, or hack into people’s bank accounts, and then claim as a defense that one pays taxes, and has not committed any other crimes.
*The United States is becoming overpopulated, anyway. Why should our country be forced to digest an unmanageable number of illegal immigrants from countries with traditionally high birthrates, because those people have moved here illegally?

Posted by Lynx | Report as abusive

Boy, what a great piece of tripe. Let’s see we need more immigrants, so let’s limit the number of legal immigrants with college educations from Eastern Europe, but let in all the illegal aliens with 6th grade education so we have cheap labor. Immigrants with college education will ACTUALLY PAY taxes, and social security, use very little social services, and be a net gain to society; while the ones you are advocating for, don’t pay income taxes (and won’t even if they are legal), use all kinds of social services (free medical, dental, housing, schooling (bacause we only teach spanish as a second language – all other immigrants learn English) – the list goes on and on!! From a 2003 study by Harvard (you know that conservative college in Cambridge MA) estimated that every adult illegal alien costs the USA $5000/year – thanks alot. Let’s open our Southern boarders and let them all in to “boost our population!!

Posted by NHWonk | Report as abusive

Unrestricted growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell.

Posted by twodm | Report as abusive

As a legal immigrant, I want everybody to play by the same rules!
getting legal entrance to US is no easier than finding a way to illegaly cross the border. Want more quality immigration? Get border control and ID check even tougher, and create sensible immigration rules to get a legal entry!! And please stop praising criminals.

Posted by Denisok | Report as abusive

I agree. With the economy as it is people are willing to take any job to make ends meet. The real issue I have in all of this is all the extras that are given to illegal immigrants, such as free healthcare, welfare, education, and any other service that we ourselves don’t qualify for. I can’t for the life of me comprehend why it is so hard to understand we as citizens are upset. Many years ago (25) I went through a divorce and as I had hadn’t worked I found it very hard to support my children with hardly any help from my ex-husband. I didn’t want government help but figured if I could get food stamps for 6 months I could save enough to get a lawyer that could help me with child support.
I was refused. I begged them, telling them I only wanted it for 6 months. Nope, I didn’t qualify. I worked 3 jobs, including weekends to support my children. This still upsets as I missed out on so much of their lives. School plays, sports events etc. When I decided to go back to school years later, who paid for it? I did with the extra money I recieved from doing odd jobs here and there. I didn’t qualify for any assistance on that either. And people wonder why we are upset. When my children or myself were ill and went to the doctor I was asked “What insurance do you have?” If I go the doctor today there is a sign that says, “Please provide insurance, payment is due when services are rendered.”
What is so hard to understand when Americans that work hard and want the best for their children are told those services aren’t for them because they don’t qualify and then watch thousands that don’t pay a cent in taxes or if they do they get it all back at the end of the year, qualify for all these

Posted by ggieb4m | Report as abusive

Edward Alden & his Think Tank need to think again…this problem has been ongoing for decades here in NY…the Feds should have installed computer programs to isolate those people with invalid IDs to investigate instead of taking the money…many of these people are probably using someone’s valid ID…a woman had 4people using her SS# illegally, 1 male got a felony conviction while using it & the woman/citizen cannot get a job, has a really bad credit report, etc…Identity theft is a major problem & the FEDS are not doing their jobs to protect their citizens against this horrific & other horrific violent crimes. The “Last Amnesty” in the 90’s was announced as that, the last amnesty. Americans are the only ones required to obey the laws here while the Illegals do whatever they want here without regard of the consequences. The US is a Joke to the rest of the world, so this hurts our country world-wide. And the few that actually pay into the system do NOT support the many who have those ‘off the books’ type jobs & send $$$billions home every week. So I totally disagree with Mr. Alden…No Spin Doctors for me.

Posted by pattimk | Report as abusive

Interesting to note that some posters here fall back to the legal vs illegal argument. There is another side to this as well. Consider that what the banking industry has done to this economy was LEGAL because of the removal of Glass-Stegal. Legal doesn’t always mean right.

If an immigrant is here illegally but is not causing trouble, and is working and contributing to society then leave them alone. They harm no one. But if an illegal immigrant is causing trouble by bringing violence, committing actual crimes etc.. then certainly their illegal status should be taken into account and they should serve time here and be deported afterward.

It’s never a cut and dry issue. GS, AIG, Lehman, and others were acting within the law when they created synthetic junk and other instruments that devastated our economy. They have done FAR WORSE than any illegal immigrant group could have done to this country. Our biggest enemies are our own people.

I used to live in NYC myself, and I know full well that the immigrants that come to our land are for the most part, hard working, conservative, family oriented people that want to provide a better life for their children than they had in their home countries.

People that make angry posts against immigrants are usually the people who find themselves out of work for one reason or other and need someone to blame. How is it that immigrants can make the best of the simple opportunity to live in a free republic, while native born Americans sit in the lap of opportunity and can’t seem to do a damned thing with their lives?

If these angry posters aren’t complaining about the illegal status of an immigrant group, they complain about legals not speaking the language well. There will always be something to complain about. Going to a consumption based tax system would ensure that every person living here pays their fair share of taxes, even the undocumented immigrants that live here. We have options at our disposal to deal with illegal immigration in intelligent and productive ways. We just don’t want to do the work to make it happen. It speaks volumes about the greatness of the United States that people are willing to do what ever it takes to get here.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

Go bleed your heart out on people who have bottomless pockets and empty heads. We owe Latinos a debt of gratidude? The Mexican government owes American taxpayers $billions spent on their citizens.

Posted by Toria | Report as abusive

I forgot to ad, now when I go to the doctor and I’m asked to provide insurance if I don’t have it I’ll get fined a large amount that will go to provide health care for the ones here illegally. GOD, I feel like I’m living in an alternmate universe.

Posted by ggieb4m | Report as abusive

Sure, they’re great consumers, but where do most of them get their jobs? In businesses created and run by whites, who, BTW, pay the lion’s share of taxes in the US.

Extrapolating US demographic trends leads to quite a bleak picture on pretty much every front you can imagine.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

Arizona should amend the law to check everyone’s ID as I am sure that all people here legally would be thrilled to show their IDs. Then there can be no Racist argument, even though I feel this law applies to all Ethnicities & Races equally. I applaude Arizona & Alabama’s candidate for governor who wants English only for driver’s licenses. The states have been burdened by so much debt caused by the FEDs inability or incompetetance to do their jobs. We already have immigration laws that can be enforced & to waste time & effort to slap all those who legally immigrated here in the face with an immediate citizenship bill for liars/cheats/thieves/killers/tax evaders/frauds/abusers/criminals/etc. The News reports on Illegals as immigrants disrespects legal immigrants. How would you feel about a country that doesn’t treat everyone legally in this day & age? Giving Illegals ‘preferred’ benefits is discrimination!

Posted by pattimk | Report as abusive

Are you crazy? No harm done? When I can’t go the doctor without insurance, give my children a good college education, or live in a house rent free and have to watch someone who lives here illegally and doesn’t even pay taxes qualify for all these things. All of you’ll are nuts. We have put up with it and accepted it for so long that you’ll think it is owed to you. You are upset because we finally said enough. As all of you’ll sat back and laughed because we were so studid and were so nice that you took advantage of the system to the point that it has almost broke our economy quit complaining. I’m tired of hearing about your rights. I HAVE RIGHTS TOO, THAT HAVE BEEN TRAMPLED ON FOR YEARS!

Posted by ggieb4m | Report as abusive

I have heard various reports and read various articles (even here on Reuters) that this recession has affected minorities disproportionally than whites. I do not know where all of a sudden Mr. Clinton has found evidence to the contrary.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

And furthermore, I’m going to write out a big check to the state of Arizona for the amount of a weekend hotel stay and I encourage all others who support this law to do the same.
Hopeful in Galveston, Texas

Posted by ggieb4m | Report as abusive

Benny: “If an immigrant is here illegally but is not causing trouble, and is working and contributing to society then leave them alone. They harm no one.”

If it’s late at night and there’s no one around and I drive through the red light because I’ve been waiting for it to change for 3 minutes, I have harmed no one. But I have broken a law and if a police officer happened to cross the hill at that time, he has every logical and legal right to give me a ticket and punish me for breaking that law, even though no one was harmed. Or the big brother camera can take a picture of my car and mail me a fine/ticket. Understood. I broke the law, I accept the penalty. The other side of that is that they could choose not to give me a ticket.

Same situation here. They have broken a law. The law enforcement from the federal level has chosen not to punish it. Arizona has said they are going to punish it. It is their prerogative, I would think. And I support them in that.

One of the problems with the whole “they’re contributing to society even though they are illegal” is that by violating a law and not getting punished for it, you become less respectful of other laws and are statistically more likely to violate other laws. It doesn’t mean you will, you are a great person, work long hours, etc.

And I’m sorry “ahjessica” but you would have to show me the paystubs of the illegal workers from your “experience”. And you would have to show me that none of them ever abuse the food stamp/free health systems because your experience is not broad enough or experienced enough. Look at places where there is actual rampant abuse – like California. How could they have so much budgetary trouble if all the illegals paid their taxes and didn’t abuse the system? Arizona has 400,000+ illegals. You can’t tell me that there aren’t a significant number of them abusing the system. Enough to the point where a state has passed a law to control the problem. You say there is no problem? I believe AZ instead of you, unless you can present some evidence of lack of a problem as they have presented evidence of the reality of the problem.

Posted by pauluskc | Report as abusive

Debusmann the one-sided does it again:
As a legal immigrant myself, I am aware of the continuous contribution of immigration to America on all levels, and that includes the contribution of illegal immigrants to some extent.
However, let’s not forget that all immigrants owe a debt of gratitude to America as much as it owes them.

Posted by yr2009 | Report as abusive

I can see why there was an assassination attempt attempt prompted by his reporting. If you would come here to Arizona, the difference between Hispanic Citizens and illegals would be very apparent the attempt to co-mingle the two is an obvious attempt to confuse the issue. SB1070 is not against a race or immigration. It is about Illegal immigration. GET A CLUE!

Posted by VeeKay | Report as abusive


You know how to see a doctor without insurance? Be too poor to afford a doctor and go to the emergency room where you will get the minimum of care. I’d also like know how to live rent free. Usually you can do that by staying with a family member and helping them with the bills and groceries. It can be a little crowded, but it’s cheap.

If you aren’t doing so well in life, then do something to change it. Getting angry with people who are willing to do what it takes, because the memory of poverty is still fresh in their minds, isn’t going to help you one bit.

As a native English speaker you already have one hell of an advantage over most of the immigrant population. As a citizen it’s even greater. Don’t blame others for your misfortune. If the shoe was on the other foot you’d do what ever it took to get here as well. If you didn’t take advantage of the opportunities you had access to and now find yourself in a tight spot, how on Earth is that the fault of immigrants?

If your rights have been trampled on, then run for office, write your representatives, or do something productive. I’m a US citizen. I’m not rich, but I don’t blame others for that. If I wanted to be a day laborer I could walk down to an agency that offers day labor positions on a first come first served basis. As a citizen I have access to other options but I can always fall back on that one.

Immigrants don’t typically have any more options than that. You could go pick fruit if you wanted to. But something tells me that you might be “too good” for that kind of work.

Your argument is EXACTLY the point I’m making. You’re an American. But being born in the land of opportunity doesn’t guarantee you any kind of success. You actually have to get your hands dirty. You have to do without for a while, and work to build your dreams. If you aren’t willing to do that, then you have no room to talk. If you were actually doing something to improve your life you’d be to busy to be angry with anyone because you’d have too much work on your plate to waste time on anger.

So spare me your righteous indignation. People who come here to work and do no harm to others should be welcomed. If you think your life sucks now, try living in Mexico or some other place and then get back to me.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

How many illegal immigrants paying into Social Security with no prospect of return does it take to offset the damage done by Wall Street?

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

One of the great things about having lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC is how wonderfully diverse it is.
You could walk down 74th St and feel as if you were in India or Pakistan, walk along 37th Ave or under the el on Roosevelt Ave and you would thing you were in Central or South America. If you went the other direction into Woodside it was as if you jumped over to the Emerald Isle of Ireland. Can I say that all of these people were here leagally, no they were probably not, but how nice it was to experience that on a daily basis. How I miss it.

Posted by osito3 | Report as abusive

It is a crying shame that this debate seldom acknowledges the other fact about “illegal” immigration: people DIE trying to cross the desert here in Arizona. All the whiners about how tough they have it when they’re already in the U.S. have not taken the drastic measure of walking dozens of miles through snake and cactus rocky terrain just so they can scratch up a few dollars.

The suffering these immigrants go through to find work is astounding. Most people in these posts really have no idea of the scope of the problem. It’s thousands of ugly deaths in the desert, it’s being raped by the paid “coyotes”, it’s being stolen and kidnapped and held in a packed house without utilities until ransom is paid, it’s being caught and separated from your sister – taken to two different ports hundreds of miles apart at midnight and dumped in a big city and never seeing her again, it’s being humiliated as if you’re forever a lower species.

Yes, there are consequences when you willingly break laws. Yes, life is unfair everywhere. But, this is the U.S. where we are supposed to care about fairness and justice and are laws are supposed to reflect it.

Posted by moodswt | Report as abusive

@moodswt, the degree of difficulty one experiences in order to break the law is not a justification for the law being broken.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

moodswt, it’s people’s FREE WILL to become illegal immigrants, and they do not have anyone to blame for the consequences but themselves! They could choose legal way and follow “fair and just” rules of immigration to US on, like I did. What’s the problem???

Posted by Denisok | Report as abusive

To refer to illegals as “immigrants” cheapens the efforts of those here legally. As others have noted, there is all together too much inconvenience and expense involved in becoming a legal resident of the US, but it’s the law…so follow the law or go back where you came from – the rest of these arguments are all smoke screen and political posturing. I mourn the loss of common sense in this country and it’s “leaders”.

Posted by bjjb | Report as abusive

The more Third World your population becomes, the more your country will resemble the Third World. You can take that to the bank.

Of course, this transformation was the intention of those who crafted and sponsored the 1965 Immigration Act, which dealt with legal immigration. The demographic changes now taking place in the US are not forces of nature or acts of God, but 100% man-made.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

Part of the reason things are broken is because supposedly reasonable people believe that compliance to the rules regardless of circumstance is absolute. That is not the human way.

Circumstances vary. It’s true that we have many more illegals in the country than many may be comfortable with, but that is OUR fault, not theirs. Securing the boarders and implementing common sense measures will go a long way towards improving things. But getting angry at illegals because of our own failure to enforce our own laws is not their fault. It is a testament to the greatness of the United States that people want to come live and work here.

Immigrants from other countries really have no choice but to go through proper channels because their countries are not walking distance to ours. It may not be fair, but it is what it is. Immigration laws must be applied with common sense and humanity towards all who come in search of a better life. Maybe if American corporations weren’t busy raping the Mexican economy, Mexican citizens wouldn’t need to come here for work.

There are many facets to this issue and none of them are as cut and dry as those people with broken dreams want to make it appear to be. Immigrants don’t come here to be parasites. They come here to WORK and EARN what they have. If some Americans aren’t getting ahead in a land that is full of opportunity, then the blame for that lies squarely on their shoulders.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

Immigrants are the Pilgrims and residents are the Indians. Who is injured in human migration? The angry residents are concerned about their comfort as they try to throw “others” out of a lifeboat.

Romanticizing and ennobling our migration and denigrating others’ migration shows the stuff you’re made of.

Posted by NoraCharles | Report as abusive

Let us not forget that it is OUR policies keeping central and south America poor i.e NAFTA. Unless you are of Native American descent, you should probably shut up about “who is here legally or not”

Posted by spring42 | Report as abusive

People please illegal immigration is the way of the US from the very beginning, think pilgrims people. they came here illegally, raped the land and now we want to close the borders? but the nature of the beast will not allow it this is the land of the illegal immigrant and it will forever be that.

Rather than using all this energy to try and stop it how about finding ways to make it work for us? and why is everybody crying about tough jobs in the fields that no one wants to do when US corporations keep funneling the good jobs off to Asia? in this whole debate about immigrant taking our jobs I have not heard one person mention all the outsourcing that has cost us our good jobs. I’ve been outsourced twice and rather than bitch about the Mexicans who are going to pick my oranges or wash my dishes I rather we focus on the jobs we have provided India, Malaysia etc to grow their economy but shrink ours.

And btw I am a legal immigrant of 12 years and think Arizona has the potential to ignite the 4th Reich

Posted by Alexeisef | Report as abusive

what we need to realize is that illegal immigrants aren’t doing jobs that Americans don’t want to do, they’re doing the jobs that American businesses don’t want to pay a decent, livable wage for a legal immigrant or citizen to do. this article is garbage for praising people to break the law. let’s give a nice pat on the back, handshake, and a free ride to not pay taxes to all the thieves, pedophiles, murderers, and rapists while we’re at it to!

Posted by jshelton011 | Report as abusive

Good article which has generated quite a bit of vitriol from people who are afraid of immigration. The comments criticizing the article show ignorance of history and facts and some level of hysteria. Most of the economic damage done to the United States comes from legal residents and citizens. Just consider the fantastic levels of economic devastation caused by Bernie Madoff and other Wall Streeters. Just read the news at Reuters, folks. Illegal immigrants sre exploited by the system, helping to keep the standard of living in the USA high. Why don’t the crybabies trying to “kick the Mexicans out” go and picket WalMart, the biggest importer of cheap-labor goods in America, or Goldman Sachs, or AIG?
By the way, did the Mayflower immigrants have a legal visa? Also, are those anti-immigration crybabies willing to take the tough jobs illegal immigrants do? I doubt it.

Posted by millik | Report as abusive

The real reason for anti-immigrant sentiment, he said, was the fact that the economic downturn in the last few years disproportionally fell on white males without college degrees, such as factory workers. “But they’ll get more jobs if the economy grows. Their taxes will be lower if we’ve got more taxpayers. The pressures on Social Security … will be less if we have more people contributing to the system.

“So I don’t think there’s any alternative but for us to increase immigration,” he said, adding that bringing in more immigrants must be part of the overall strategy.”

Really? That’s the only strategy? Then it never ends, does it? If you have to increase the population to pay for the older generation, guess what you will have to do when the next generation grwos up? Yes, increase it even faster to keep up. Sounds a lot like the deficit answers – just keep spending more and push the real solution into the future where I don’t have to deal with it. What a short-sighted, egotistical clown.

Posted by NewtoMuncie | Report as abusive

I support laws against Illegals. Most of those that want Illegals to have Amnesty including Obama, it is all about any money the Federal Govt. can make off them.

Problem is the Border States and many others also carry the brunt of the Financial Costs of many illegals. As stated, social, medical costs and in border states, it is a fortune to house illegals in our Prisons for crimes.
This is a huge major cost to states. Our states and mainly boreder states are financially suffering for Prison costs, many of whom are illegals commiting Felons.
It is tough to compare these type people to “good people that are hardworking and want to be here.” But the bad outweighs the good financially, besides breaking our laws of course. The subject is about Illegals and cannot be compared to our awful white collar criminals.
Some of these Illegal females get here and are forced into the sex trade all over our country, of which the US has a huge trade. Frankly, I admire much work that the Mexican men seem to not only do, but are good at.

I hope in the near future, that Mexicans can try to get Visas in Mexico to come here legally. Their President is Nuts to blame Arizona for not wanting illegals, when He should be doing something to improve Mexico and “get rid of those drug lords”.

Posted by Journe | Report as abusive

My biggest problem with this law is that it tramples over the civil rights of American citizens in an effort to fix a largely imaginary problem. There is virtually no way a person can deduce the nationality of a person other than racial profiling. In fact, this new law makes it specifically OK for officers to use race as a factor in deciding to question ones citizenship. This law not only condones, but encourages the harassment of US citizens for no other reason than their complexion is comparable to a paper bag.

Most of the issues I see being raised for those supporting the new Arizona law are “It’s illegal!” and “They’re destroying our economy / way of life!” The first argument is childish at best. Any mature person knows there is a massive disconnect between what is legal and what is right. In fact, laws (and legal statuses) are often changed to adopt “progressive” stances on issues such as civil rights, suffrage, child labor, etc. The second argument is also a proven falsehood. As this article mentions, illegal immigration has a net positive effect on the US economy. Furthermore, illegal aliens are incarcerated at a much lower rate than your average citizen, and are LESS likely to commit the violent crimes they are often accused of importing.

While I agree with Clinton that this sudden swell for fixing the illegal immigration “problem” stems from people needing to blame some external force for the tribulations of their own lives, it is in no way limited to uneducated white males. History has proven time and again that ignorance, bigotry, and hatred know no bounds.

Posted by RexMax46 | Report as abusive

The article is a flash in the pan. It reads in part,

“… People working with false papers have their social security taxes withheld from wages but are not entitled to receive benefits.”

Well, that is the price paid for having false papers and a status of ILLEGAL!

A Limited Number of Jobs.

To say immigrants do not take jobs from citizens appears incorrect. “X” number of candidates for “X” number of hourly jobs is the real-time condition.

A great many if not most immigrants from LatAm probably represent unskilled or semi-skilled labor, and when they are trying to secure work in the U.S. they are in fact competing with citizens of the same level.

The Mysterious Underground Cash Transaction.

For every illegal working in a restaurant in NYC or a major metro city, there are probably dozens that work as unskilled and semi-skilled day laborers. I don’t know what the restaurant workers get as an hourly wage, but the day laborers in major cities in the northeast get (demand) $10. per hour for general labor, OFF the books.

Beyond their contribution to the U.S. economy by way of sales tax at the retail level and the unmeasured tangible results of their labor, the overall contribution to society by an illegal day laborer working for cash, is difficult to define. The remaining portion of that $10 per hour is absorbed by rent (probably paid in cash) and remittances back home. The local, state and federal governments don’t benefit from that total employment transaction, as both parties, the employer and employed escape taxation beyond the retail consumption level.

In the meantime, those citizens that are legal and traceable, contribute a greater share of their earnings and productivity as compared to an illegal worker.

A Debt of gratitude?

Mexico and its Central American neighbors should be glad they just happen to be landlocked with the USA. Without access to the USA and Canada, what would all those clumsy governments do with their unemployed and underemployed populations? And more important, what would they do without those remittances? That external source of cash being wired home, weekly, monthly, is gravy for those governments, and has the same impact as foreign direct investment.

The Western Hemisphere has two economic engines the U.S. and Canada. The remaining countries need to carry more weight. It appears as though the governments of the region are satisfied with the current economic migration patterns, and clearly have no intentions on making their economies and societies attractive enough so their citizens will not bolt to the U.S. and Canada.

Posted by rror | Report as abusive

America as we know it, and as we have known it for some time, has been made great because of immigrants–legal and illegal–whether the immigrants came here as free men and women, or whether they came here against their will as slaves. America has been and is made strong by immigration. That said, there is no country in the world that can have, in effect, a very open border as America has had for years. It’s a thorny issue and I have no answers, but my response to the complexity of the issue is not to take a racist stance toward Latinos or others whose skin color differs from my own.

Ever since the election of President Obama, I’ve heard and seen a lot of (almost always white) Americans complain about how the government is awful–it’s too intrusive, it spends too much money, it’s moving in the wrong direction, etc. Well, as the conservatives in the 1960’s and 1970’s told liberals: “America, love it or leave it.” That’s my response to people today who don’t like America: GO. Go elsewhere. Pack your bags. Emigrate. Get out and stay out. There are plenty of people risking their lives to come into this country illegally, because they know what opportunities await them here. The exodus of the home-grown complainers to other countries would no doubt help ease the unemployment problem.

Posted by 1AmericanGuy | Report as abusive

This issue feels a bit like the bank bail-outs, or the auto bail-outs, or the mortgage bail-outs to me. It just seems wrong that most of us who pay our mortgages, and pay our taxes, and act legally and morally are the ones being punished for it.

Legal immigration is a very positive thing. The country grows and prospers because of immigrants. The bureaucratic INS drags their feet far too long and many terrific people get denied for the wrong reasons or just get frustrated by the process and leave.

Most people see government as unfair and inefficient. Because of this, as a society, many people think it’s acceptable to cheat on their taxes, or work under the table, or immigrate illegally. But hey! That’s not fair to the rest of us!

Posted by JohnZNYC | Report as abusive

Illegal status gives the purchaser of labor enormous bargaining advantage. Insisting that legality is all that matters and only apply it to the laborer and not the labor purchaser is discrimination.

Using legality as leverage is the main reason this whole scam works. Enforce and apply criminal law to purchasers of illegal labor and see what happens.

Posted by NoraCharles | Report as abusive

In theory, a guest worker program would not be a bad thing if it required employers to see to it that the workers they brought in are housed, given medical coverage and aren’t used simply as a tool to drive down the wages of unskilled Americans. The problem is that the pro-immigration factions have almost no credibility. No one believes that they have any intention of re-gaining control of our borders and enforcing whatever limits and restrictions such a law would include. Even Ronald Regan, who signed the first amnesty and the mandate that hospitals treat non-paying illegal immigrants, didn’t seem serious about securing our borders. And nothing reeks of insincerity more than someone who responds to a question about “illegal immigration” with a generalization about “immigrants” as if the questioner were attacking all immigrants. Without more intellectual honesty than that, there is no way a guest worker program will gain the support of the American people.

Posted by PCL1 | Report as abusive

Illegals: collage of criminals, inmates, underground economy, sending earnings back to Mexico, using social services to which they are not entitled, unskilled laborers, cannot speak English, unfamiliar with any history of states or US. Nice! Rather, let’s citizenize all applicants from Canada, India, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Eastern Europe and Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.

Posted by rushyoungberg | Report as abusive

A common theme: “They come here to do the jobs that Americans won’t do.”

I’ll suggest that they come here to do the jobs that Americans are paid not to do. We have such a strong network of social benefits that we don’t have to do those jobs that are “beneath us”; so many folks without a job find it easier just to stay home, watch the telly and collect the fruits of their various safety nets. Those who wish for fewer “illegals”, might want to turn their attention to reducing the freebies for the home folk.

Posted by RSw | Report as abusive

I may be a little slow, but I do know the difference between what is legal and what is illegal. Why is this such a hard concept for most people to grasp? Illegal means you are breaking the law and if caught, you will suffer consequences. Being legal means, have a nice day. Why would someone jeopardize their family’s welfare by breaking the law?

STOP breaking the law and everything is A OK.

Google “Operation Wetback” to see how Truman and Eisenhower handled this situation previously.

Posted by FirePilot | Report as abusive

You live in Ivory Tower,

Take a walk to nearest Latinos neighborhoods. They taxes cannot even pay for the schooling of their kids. Their kids will give birth before they graduate. They will never contribute to society.

I know people who actually work at schools in Latinos areas.

You talk economy.
Illegals deny jobs for our poor – the most insecure part of US society. They drive wages lower and don’t ask for social net. Yep. Businesses are happy to hire them. This is XXI century slavery. As slavery back in XIX, illegal workers stagnates industries. Low labor cost don’t provide incentive for business to innovate.

You pointing to Russia, take another lesson from Russian and European history 1890-1920:
Uneducated abused mobs is a weapon of mass destruction.

Posted by sk_usa | Report as abusive

There would be no need for a Guest-worker program if the hosts had to earn their own keep.

Posted by RSw | Report as abusive

Except for staying here illegally, they’re hard-working, law-abiding, family-oriented people. It’s not their fault to come here illegally because they had no other legal means to improve their lives. Think again.
Except for molesting boys the priest is a good citizen, well loved in the community, and contributes a lot to the society. It’s not his fault to have illegal sex because he can’t have it legally under church’s law.
Bernie Madoff was a great member of the society, and contributed a lot to many causes. It’s not his fault that he illegally appropriated other people’s money because he had no means to do so legally, and he badly needed it to support his life style.
See? What’s the difference? Law is not a la carte restaurant where you can pick and choose what you like. Illegal entry is a crime just as illegal sex (aka rape) or illegal appropriation (aka theft) is. Even the argument that it’s victimless crime doesn’t hold water. There’s no job Americans wouldn’t take, there are jobs that pay too little because the bosses know that there are illegal aliens willing to take it. If there were no illegal aliens, the boss would have to raise the pay so that Americans would be willing to take it. As simple as that.

Posted by An0nym0us | Report as abusive

Aboriginals were the first ones living here in North America and everybody else is here illegally. You took our lands and destroyed our environment and instituted your own laws upon us; includng these immigration laws based on Anglo-Saxon, Judeo Christian philosophy. I think whites should move back to Europe, blacks back to Afria and hispanics back to Latin America.

Posted by l_rutherford | Report as abusive

… remember all you white folks that you came to American and stole the land away from the Native Americans….so who are the real illegals????

Posted by froggy101 | Report as abusive

As a parent of a 1st grader, I see the problems the illegal Latino’s cause in the public school system. In my son’s class there are 27 kids — 12 Latinos, 3 Asians, 1 Indian and the remainder “white”. I volunteer in the classroom 2x a month helping the kids with reading, writing, grammar, etc. Guess who comprise 11 of the 12 lowest performers in the class??? 4 of these kids cannot even read or write at a K level, much less a 1st grade level. Parents are no help — these kids do not complete homework nor do the parents have any involvement in the school. The Asian and Indian immigrants do just fine – learn the language, do homework and have parents that participate. Both me and my wife work. We also have another child. Yet my son does homework every night and my wife and I take the time to participate in the school. I have spent a lot of time in Latin America (primarily Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua) as well as Asia and Europe. Latin’s far and away put the LEAST importance on education (the Lord will take care of them). If you want to come to the US to take advantage of the opportunity, LEARN ENGLISH. Reading and writing is fundamental to success at any level. Oh yeah, and with a birth rate almost 2x that of white Americans this problem will only get worse.

Posted by bigcamtom | Report as abusive

I am allin favor of immigration and even of people coming here to work and send money home. But right now the people along the AZ Mexican border cannot live the way they are living. The drug cartels own the trails: you either pay them $2500 or you carry their dope. People say they cannot hike or picnio on large swaths of land for fear of encountering smugglers. These people carry guns and have no compunctions about using them. If you oppose Right to Carry in national parks, you’ll support AZ trying to protect its citizens. People near the border assume that if they leave their houses unoccupied for a few hours, there WILL be break-ins. They have had home invasions, vandalism, burglaries … They cannot- nor should they be expected to- live like this. Psst. Media. The law does not criminalize illegal immigration. That’s what “illegal” means.

Posted by lemonfemale | Report as abusive

Name-calling (“RACIST”) detracts from the issue. This is one of the tactics out of Saul Alinsky’s book “The Radical”. (You can get this book on Amazon.) He is an old time Chicago community organizer from the 1930s on. And Hillary Clinton did her senior year college thesis on Alinsky and his theories. He asked her to join him in Chicago, but she decided to go to law school instead. His tactics continue to be employed by people today, and originated from Alinsky and the liberal left.

People who feel at a disadvantage employ this tactic, hoping to detract from the real issue. Hugo Chavez is one such person.

Name-calling hopes to avoid discussion of the issue, which here appears to be whether to follow the law or not, pure and simple. No one denies illegals are for the most part good, hard working people. But this sidetracks the real issue of obeying the law or not. For those who spent years following immigration procedures in becoming a legal citizen, this must seem like an affront to their hard work in doing so.

What we really need is a discussion on the law and applying it. We don’t need a boycot or a discussion on the merits of immigrants or name-calling.

Posted by JB1111 | Report as abusive

The comments all seem justified, except for the ones that belittle Bernd, he’s just presenting a side that most people have never heard of and there is value in learning about his information since it apparently impacts our society. That said I think the main issue here is that basically if you are not caucasian the probability of being stopped is very high just becuase of what you look like even if you are here legally. You could be second, third, fourth generation immigrant in this country which most people are in the USA, including whites, and you will still be pulled over for looking latino, but not if you are caucasion. If you are caucasion in the USA you have very likely never been racially profiled and pulled over and will likely never know what its like.

As a working professional and a legal immigrant from Asia, but latino looking, I am the grand child and nephew of men who have fought and risk their lives for this country in WWII and Korea, as US citizens, let me tell you what its like. I have been a model citizen all my life and lived the life that my forefathers have worked so hard for me to have. Never took hand-outs and never cheated on my taxes which apparently 70% if the country does. While driving through Cleveland in a new Subaru station wagon I was pulled over for looking like me. The police claimed I didn’t use my blinker, but I actually did because I was warned of the racial profiling in this area I was very vigilant not to disobey anything. It was windy on I90 and 40degress out which made it feel more like 10 below. They offered me to sit in the back of the police car. I stood outside for over an hour while the police turned my car upside down looking for drugs, as some drivers honked their horn driving by and accellerated well above the speed limit. We all know that illegal immigration is illegal, that is not the issue. At issue here is humilation and isolation of an entire race. Although not as many as latinos, but there are also an estimated 75,000 Canadians and Europeans who live in this country illegally. If we would justly enforce the law across all races then we wouldn’t have an issue with this law. Please go ahead with the law, just enforce equal quotas of each race that you stop. Caucasian citizens won’t mind, they obey the law and they never cheat on their taxes especially the ones that do yard businesses, cut hair from home, and home contractors who work hard so they can afford nice homes, giant new trucks that accellerate like they own an oil rig, bass boats, ATV’s, barrels of beer, satellite big screen TV with premium channels, Vegas vacations, but can’t afford health care.

Posted by richmitch | Report as abusive

Let me see if I got this right….
1 – A JOB,


Posted by lastbunot | Report as abusive

To the first person who posted:

In the English language, when one puts an apostrophe and “s” after a noun(“Latin’s”), it signifies possession. In other words, it is appropriate to use an apostrophe in this way: “Mr. Smith complains about Mr. Valdez’s English, but Mr. Smith’s English is not exactly so great either.”

What you mean is to signify plurality. In other words you are referring to a group (more than one) of people, whom I believe are more properly called Latin Americans (unless you are referring to those who speak the language of the ancient Romans perhaps). When one signifies plurality, no apostrophe is necessary, as in this example: “Americans who wish to keep Spanish speakers out of the United States ironically often do not know the English language very well themselves.”

Posted by diamondruff | Report as abusive

@lastbunot – you almost have a firm grasp of it. You are forgetting the following:

1 – come to “north america”
2 – take native’s land
3 – rape them culturally
4 – kill those natives who oppose you
5 – install your own laws that suit you and your race
6 – brand everyone else as illegals
7 – through these laws, ensure your offsprings continue to “own” stolen land and make your laws are enforced
8 – then blame it on your ancestors, its easier to deal with the reality that way

Posted by l_rutherford | Report as abusive

Why illegal Mexicans are so stinky and fat. They do not want to get educated. They look so gross!!!!!!

Posted by spring10 | Report as abusive

Oh, and another thing. Don’t for the love of whoever pretend you’re trying to make a cogent argument when you say “Well, the Indians were here first!” I’m already seeing a couple of people trot that one out here. What you’re trying to say with that, if anything, I’m not sure, unless it’s that there should be no immigration policy and we should just have open borders (including all countries not landlocked with us.) If that is your viewpoint, just say so, otherwise you look ridiculous.

Because not only is it not relevant to the issue at hand (illegal immigration in the modern US), I’m just going to answer you with “Well, the Aztecs were there first!”

Posted by Guymar | Report as abusive


Posted by lastbunot | Report as abusive

l rutherford: Would you feel better if we got an authentic Native American to draft the law? Then would it be valid? Please let us know the rules so we can proceed, I want everything to be neat and by the numbers

Posted by Guymar | Report as abusive

They get mad when they are called by Mexicans. They prefer to call them as Latino or Hispanic. They are racists.

Posted by spring10 | Report as abusive



Posted by lastbunot | Report as abusive


I doubt if you have a native american friends and I do have and they dont have problems with my opinion as well as the history of this land

Posted by lastbunot | Report as abusive


how come to rape them culturally when we still have indian reservation and tribe preservation. In arizona, the Indian tribes are ones of the people that own a lot of large lands which they lease to resorts, casinos, entertaiment and etc and they continue to show their great and rich heritage as well as culture

Posted by lastbunot | Report as abusive


GS, AIG, Lehman, didn’t act according to the law that’s why they were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Next time do your homework, ok buddy?

Posted by lastbunot | Report as abusive

What part of “illegal” does the mainstream media not understand?

Posted by Odumba | Report as abusive

richmitch: You have no proof that you were pulled over for ‘looking like you’. That is a convenient racist remark to demean law enforcement. Your attitude is part of the problem. You are a legal immigrant to this country yet you seem anxious to bash the country and its people. Where is your pride in being an American? If you are so mistreated here, why not return to your country of origin where you can live in alleged peace?

Posted by gobnait | Report as abusive

Messinger: would you kindly explain to me why you refuse to differentiate between ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ immigrants? Furthermore, kindly comment on how any illegal alien can pay taxes without a Social Security number? At least be honest in your comments.

Posted by gobnait | Report as abusive

I think I’ve read over all the comments to date and there seems to be a glaring omission:

There’s a simple solution to stopping the flow of unlawful immigration into the States, and it doesn’t involve sweeping up citizens and legal residence by some sort of profiling: crack down MERCILESSLY on employers who use undocumented workers. (My business certainly doesn’t). Problem solved!

Ah… and please — no disgraceful whining when the price of a head of lettuce hits $5.

Posted by blimfark | Report as abusive

WAKE UP AMERICANS and get your country back. Nothing wrong about being too soft to immigrants but come on, the more you give them work, the more white men becomes homeless. IT’S UNFAIR!!! IT’S NOT RIGHT FOR AN AMERICAN-BORN PEOPLE TO BECOME HOMELESS BECAUSE THEIR JOB GOT TAKEN AWAY BY ILLEGALS! WAKE UP AMERICANS WAKE UP!!!!

Posted by commonsense2010 | Report as abusive

lastbunot: get your facts straight. C. Columbus was not the first european to come to our lands either.

Guymar: you said – I’m just going to answer you with “Well, the Aztecs were there first!” Thank you for acknowledging the truth!

You want rules so you can proceed Guymar? First rule, go back to your european country where you or your ancestors came from and give us natives back our lands you illegal! then after whites, its latins, blacks, asians, etc.

How’s that for starters. how’s that for deportation.

Posted by l_rutherford | Report as abusive

If the below is half true May be Time has come to Change the Name of USA to

Sovereign Secular Democratic Rebublic of American India.
All you need is to have a prime minister and offer them to a Islamic Lationo.

Let me see if I got this right….
1 – A JOB,


Posted by Ramadurai | Report as abusive

I would suggest that all persons in the USA that are not legal citizens be given a green card allowing them to remain for an indefinite time. If they wanted to work to become permenant citizens of this country that would be allowed. Establish a grace period after which those who are here with no green card will be exported immediately. While the green card holders are here they will be required to pay taxes and SSI. Change the law to eleminate anchor babies and only after a green card holder becomes a citizen will their children born here become citizens. Of course this will never happen because congress did not think of it first.

Posted by eddie036 | Report as abusive

Why in the world should the United States “reform” its immigration policy to support the Mexican oligarchy’s *emigration* plan to rid their country of potential revolutionaries?

Perhaps the whining handwringers would do more good by condemning Mexico, demonstrably the richest country in Latin America with its oil exports, for not caring for its own people, encouraging them instead to enter illegally into the United States. Mexico, with the world’s 10th largest economy, imposes taxation of only 12% of GDP, while the US reaps a hefty 28% of GDP.

The US has become a dumping ground for Mexico’s oligarchy. Former president Vincente Fox had the unmitigated gall to complain that the “dignity” of Mexicans living illegally in America required that American citizens provide them with free health care. When Arizona passed a law with severe penalties on employers who hired illegal aliens, a delegation of Mexican politicians went to Phoenix to DEMAND its repeal because their people were returning to Mexico and they “could not afford them.”

If these, the Mexicans most desirous of a better life, had to remain in Mexico, it would without doubt face yet ANOTHER revolution. Because of this, Uncle Sugar and every single American citizen is being played as a fool and shipping its poor across the border is established government policy.

It is high time that the US Government and those who truly care about the plight of poor Mexicans condemn wholeheartedly the actions of the Mexican Government in its repressive control of its people!

Posted by Frogeye | Report as abusive

Does anybody else find it funny that those who are so adamantly against illegal immigrants just wouldn’t state the obvious? Just be honest and say it, the real reason is because the vast majority of them are Mexicans. They look differently, speak a different language, and have a culture that is different from America’s. It’s understandable, you are just trying to preserve the culture that you are accustomed to. I’m not taking sides either, those coming here (legally or illegally) should at least try to adopt the American way of life. I’m not saying forget your native language or culture, but at least learn English and appreciate the American culture. I bet if it was the Canadians that are flocking to the US illegally, there wouldn’t be so much animosity towards it.

Illegal immigrants are stereotyped as uneducated and not knowing how to speak English but at the same time they are blamed for taking away jobs from citizens. I don’t know about you but if you’re an educated, English speaking American and an employer chooses to hire an illegal with no education and can’t speak English over you, then you’re doing something wrong. Don’t blame the unemployment rate on them, blame it on the unemployment system. I know of several people, citizens, collecting unemployment that can easily get a lower paying job but chooses not to because they’re fine with their unemployment checks. I’m not saying this should be done but if you get rid of unemployment benefits all together, watch how quickly the unemployment rate drops.

And after all the so called reasons saying why illegal immigration is so wrong is said, the best one yet is “illegal means it’s against the law, that’s why it’s bad”. Don’t forget that it was once legal here to own another person. It was once illegal to purchase alcohol. It was once illegal for a black person to use a public restroom designated for white persons. Think about that before you start equating the law to what is right or wrong.

Posted by myDsoH | Report as abusive

Some of these opinions just sadden me. Sometimes they anger me, and I become so angry that I forget that these nativist, racist arguments are coming from people. People that God commands me to love. People that see a bad economy and become panicked and scared so they look for someone to blame. It happened in Europe during The Black Death when entire Jewish populations were wiped out. It happened during bad economic times in Germany (i.e. the Holocaust). It happened when the Irish came to town, and I bet some descendants of the Irish that came during that time are arguing for ridiculous bills like this one. I’m sorry that you feel this way. And I’m sorry that you’re making ignorant arguments. I’m not even going to try to argue with people that are so closed-minded. Most of the arguments made against illegal immigration could be refuted with the knowledge I have gained through my basic economics courses in college. And I agree with the person above me. Just because it’s illegal does not mean illegal is wrong when the principles are wrong. It was once illegal to teach a slave english. Are you going to demonize those that broke that law or praise them? I just think that there is something inherently wrong when you have a country that uses 50% of the world’s resources with only 5% of the world’s population. Those that say they’ve worked hard for it have obviously never worked hard for a pittance in a third-world country. The fact of the matter is that corrupt governments and developed nations (like the United States) deplete a lot of these countries that immigrants come from and expect them to be ok with that. Those who argue against immigration (illegal too) are uncompassionate and I hope that one day they change their views. My dad was an illegal immigrant. (He’s a citizen now). But I believe he deserves to be here MORE than many American citizens. He was running away from being conscripted into the US funded war in El Salvador. And I’m glad he decided to come here than torture his own family members with techniques he would have learned from American soldiers at the School of the Americas. Even when the civil war was at it’s peak, the US STILL barred people from obtaining some sort of legal status in the US when they, themselves, FUNDED the war. Most of illegal immigrants have stories like this one and they see an opportunity to ameliorate their situation when they come to this country. Being an immigrant here, especially an illegal immigrant,is extremely hard. You are discriminated against, you are constantly forced to hide, you constantly live in fear. The fact that people are willing to overcome the many obstacles to not only get into the United States, and suffer still while they get inside mean that demand to be here is inelastic. Border Patrol, fences, Gestapo-like Arizonian cops are not going to stop illegal immigration. It’s only going to make people who get across STAY because the cost to get in is so high. People make it sound like illegal immigrants have a joy ride in the US; here to take jobs and live the high life on welfare. Most come to work hard. And the FACT is that illegal immigrants DO pay taxes and are BARRED from government benefits such as welfare. I could argue and argue forever, but all people see are brown faces, a foreign language, and a different culture and they think that if they get rid of them, things will get better. But they WILL NOT. Most of what we blame on immigrants are things that are wrong with the system itself. Getting rid of these “illegals” will exacerbate many of these problems, and if some things do get better, the change will be so insignificant that it will be negligible.

Posted by ofelia | Report as abusive

The basic premise of this piece, that population growth is essential for “economic growth,” is fundamentally flawed. While population growth supports economic growth as measured in macro terms, growth in the macro economy due to population growth is not “economic” growth at all. As a population grows beyond a critical level at which over-crowding forces people to conserve space, per capita consumption begins to decline, driving up unemployment and poverty. That is exactly what is happening in the U.S., fueled by both illegal and legal immigration alike, and exacerbated by free trade with badly overpopulated nations who export the unemployment they’d otherwise be forced to endure themselves.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”

Posted by Pete_Murphy | Report as abusive

Pete: tell that to Japanese, who are facing an immense crises of population decline. As the birth rate decreases, within 2 decades, the working population decreases, with less people paying taxes and in other ways supporting the services that the non-working old supported for others when they were working.

And in Japan, overcrowding is not a problem, despite having a population density many times that of just about anywhere in the USA.

Have you driven across this country? There is no space problem, believe me….

Posted by diamondruff | Report as abusive

Oh, and to all you immigrants from other states: I was born and raised in the extreme south of California. So were both my parents. My father’s place of work was on the fence between the US and Mexico. I am not Mexican, Latino, or Hispanic in any sense. And yet I have no problem with all the good people who I grew up with who had roots south of San Ysidro. However, as a true native of the Southwestern United States I do have a problem with aliens. I wish all you rednecks from Iowa, Alabama, West Virgina, and Michigan would just go back where you came from. Please….. It used to be better here without you; it really was….

Posted by diamondruff | Report as abusive


@GS, AIG, Lehman, didn’t act according to the law that’s why they were prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Next time do your homework, ok buddy?@

Hey “buddy”, if they hadn’t been operating within the law, some folks would be IN JAIL. No one has gone to jail yet. The best they could do was to argue to change the system. (financial reform). If they broke the law and have not been prosecuted, then how does that help your immigration stance?

It doesn’t. So do YOUR research before slamming groups of people, and demanding compliance to a system that itself, doesn’t even have a reasonable mechanism for solving the issues at hand.

I wonder how YOUR forefathers were treated when they came to this country. Or were they the ones that destroyed the lives of the native people that were here before them?

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

lastbunot, your statement above (with all the countries and consequences of crossing their borders illegally) is way off! The countries that you compared the USA to are all so-called democratic or communist countries. I thought you Americas are always proud of freedom that you have. Your mission is also to bring freedom to the rest of the world. Isn’t it why you have been in Iraq and Afganistan for years wasting tax-payers’ money? And now you are comparing your free country with all the restrictive countries like North Korea, China, Cuba, etc.

richmitch, I agree with you.

spring10, a little respect please…

Posted by melek | Report as abusive


OF all the problems the United States has, overcrowding surely is not one. Take up diamondruff’s suggestion and drive across the country. As to population growth and its economic impact: you are right insofar as the numbers alone are not what is important. If all the border crossers and visa overstayers were in their 60s, 70s and 80s, yes, there would be a problem. Age distribution matters, and immigration into the U.S. accounts for a young workforce. Why this is important at a time the baby boomers are beginning to retire should be obvious.

Posted by Komment | Report as abusive

This greatest country was buildup by those smartest people. If this land is still own by Indian, this land still a poor land. Remember, Native Indian came from Asian before George Washington found this land. Please understand that Illegals is a crime and is belong in prisons. You and I know that prisoners have no rights.

Posted by MJ1990 | Report as abusive

American love all human and that why all people around the world want to live in America. We believe in good people, smart people will help to build this country and make it better, But we never believe in freeloaders, drug lords, killers, gang members will help to build this country. Please ask yourself a question, will you let this happen to your country?

Posted by MJ1990 | Report as abusive

Ted Kennedy: Develop a kind of Gestapo here to seek out these people that are in the shadows.

Not a bad idea … for such a useless guy

Posted by RussianJew | Report as abusive

What bothers me about the immigration discussion the most is the singling out of just one group of people. There is an international population that has entered into the United States. It seems that it would be fair and sane to remove just one group as the focus for immigration discussions and focus on the legality of the process.

How can our nation develop a humane policy that welcomes people from other nations? What can be done to rectify the problems that have existed around creating a just immigrant policy?

I suspect that the population boom that is noted in this article is case for alarm for certain sectors of the population. 2025 is not that far off. I can only imagine what level of fear might be swirling through the minds of many Americans about being labeled as a minority. Especially when they have been so comfortable with being grouped in the majority.

Until there are uniformed and enforceable laws to govern legal entrance into America, we will probably continue to see missteps on resolving the problems. But it just seems to be reasonable to have the discussion without pointing out one specific group of people.

Posted by MsLadyDeborah | Report as abusive

I support the AZ law, and I’ll come right out and say that as far as legal immigration is concerned, I’d rather have Europeans here than Latin Americans. Sure, there are some Euro gangsters, and there’s the odd Guatemalan with a doctorate in chemical engineering, but in general you’ll do much better with the former group than the latter. A glance at the conditions of life in the countries they come from will tell you all you need to know.

Of course, there’s no reason why the US needs any immigration, legal or otherwise.

The bottom line is that multi-cultural/multi-ethnic societies eventually come apart. It’s already started here in the US, and demographic trends will only hasten the inevitable.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

Economic growth via population growth is the ultimate Ponzi scheme. Future generations will be the losers and will be left holding the bag. We must learn to survive with a stable population, or the future will be bleak indeed. Did you ever hear of water tables? How about energy development and food production? How about simply having enough open space to make life pleasant?

Advocating illegal immigration for resulting higher birth rates is perhaps the dumbest argument I have heard yet. Keep your higher birth rates. I will take quality of life.

Posted by toeser | Report as abusive

Say Russian Jew,

did you you not know that Ted Kennedy is dead? I suppose, either not or you communicate with him and Jim Morrisson and Elvis through your ouija board.

By the way, fellow Americans, ignorance WILL NOT set you free.

Posted by diamondruff | Report as abusive


Quality of life and population are simply independent variables. A drop in population will affect various things, including the quality of life in various ways for some in the short run at least, but life and the world are complex, and to make a one for one, linear connection between life quality and increase or decrease of population is foolish, just as making a simple connection between more space and quality of life is.

The fact is however, that this country has plenty of space, and the quality of life for many in countries with much higher population density (Europe and Japan) is just fine relative to the quality of life for many Americans by standards both subjective and objective.

Posted by diamondruff | Report as abusive

Easy Solution. Lock up the people who give the illegal immigrants work. 6 months minimum and a felony. This would include stockholders and management of companies.
Now just what don’t you get about illegal immigrants. Just try going to Australia and working illegally. The jails are not nice, and you don’t get a bus ride to the border.

Posted by fred5407 | Report as abusive

Why do Europe and Japan, with their high population densities, still have a high quality of life?

The answer? Ethnic homogeneity. Almost total in Japan, still quite high in most European countries. Contrast with Britain, which is even further down to road to multicultural ruin than the US.

Like it or not, things just work better when people have more in common. Similar outlooks, similar expectations, similar standards of behavior all contribute to a consensual society. “Diversity,” as officially defined, promoted and enforced, is a net negative.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

Demographic studies show fertility and intelligence to be negatively correlated! The more intelligent the lower total fertility rate than the less intelligent.

Other correlates of fertility include income, diet, and educational attainment. It is just plain stupid to increase your population with a group that has a high fertility rate especially if they are not integrating into your culture but retaining their own. YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!

If you allow yourself to be invaded by a 3rd world country you will become a 3rd world country.

Posted by Dave1 | Report as abusive

OH MY GOD!!! You mean I might be assimilated by Mexicans and have to actually eat food that has some flavor instead of the bland crap that most White people eat????

NOOOOOOOO!!!! I might actually have to develop taste buds.

Posted by diamondruff | Report as abusive

Rutherford, are you 100% Native American? Are all your friends? Otherwise you are part white and need to leave the country to the pure Native Americans. I am truly sorry that people came over from other lands and conquered your people. If your people had been stronger, I guess that wouldn’t have happened. Survival of the fittest/manifest destiny, whatever, I had nothing to do with it. That said, I can honestly say I don’t believe “white man” is now gonna pack up and leave because of some guilt trip you are trying to lay upon them. At issue here are illegal immigrants and the law in Arizona which expands upon FEDERAL laws already in existance concerning aliens, and their responsibilities that the local police CAN legally enforce. Read the US code concerning aliens within our borders. Those aliens over 18 are REQUIRED to carry documentation at all times (I am sure showering without the papers is ok). They can be fined, jailed, deported if they do not provide documentation. That is federal law written in the 1940’s. a_Police_Can_Enforce_Federal_Immigration _Law.html#

Posted by styxrox69 | Report as abusive

I think California should be especially happy about all the illegals toting in their weed. Where would CA be without the weed?


Posted by MartyOBX | Report as abusive

I’m Mexican-American my parents are educated Mexican immigrants, my brothers and I all have Masters degrees. Never lived on welfare! The problem is that people are discriminating by the color of your skin and language. I speak both English and Spanish fluently and I’m very proud of my Mexican background. I’ve had several incidents where I have felt discriminated. This Spring Break I got on a plane and was speaking Spanish with another friend and I heard A white man and an Indian woman say,”Why don’t they go back to their country”, I immediately spoke English and the man was clearly embarrased and looked away. I’m an American too!!! I’m not a pig or smell like somebody said. People that smell and never learn English is because they are poor and forced to come to a foreign country where they are treated like dirt. Many of them are not even literate in Spanish and that’s the problem, how can they learn English?We need to see them as human beings!!!!! There needs to be a solution obviously…..but people are looking at every Hispanic as a threat. I think there is a lot racism and that’s not fair for people like me that have worked really hard to get a better life!!! I was born in the USA!!!!

Posted by monvalsal | Report as abusive

I just got an A In my history of Mexican American Class, and some of my family is Mexican american, however Illegal is ILLEGAL, if you can find your way and make it here and become legal fine, but don’t expect any favors, and if you are doing something illegal, don’t complain about getting arrested. (Just being in the united states, without going threw the correct process, is illegal)

Posted by markass530 | Report as abusive

If white Americans can put up with being endlessly reproached for benefiting from putative “white privilege,” prompted by historical events that they had nothing to do with, then law-abiding Hispanic-Americans can put up with the justifiable acrimony their illegal co-ethnics are generating.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

Well said markass. This includes all countries, not only Mexicans coming to America illegally, and expect a free ride. Mexicans have caused our wages to be lowered because they will do the same job for a less wage. They have taken many of our jobs. They don’t just work in the apple orchards, etc. anymore .. They are everywhere. Gloria Estefan was leading the rally in LA today, she is Latin not hispanic, yes she is foreign but has come to this country legally as far as I know. She is a entertainer, what mexican is going to take her job away from her. I know hispanics who where born in this country and still do not speak english well, not to mention understanding the english language. And I love this one, if the Mexicans don’t want to listen to us they pretend to not know english language. When it is obvious they do know english because they were just talking english before to someone else. What a hoot!

How about all the mexicans on WELFARE, having babies after babies, and they are all getting so fat they will end up in our hospitals with health problems. As many of the hospitals now are having problems keeping their doors open, and some in LA have closed completely because they can’t run a hospital without money coming and all going out.

Look at the crime, Mexicans, again. The crime rate is up and mostly due to Mexicans. Just check it out.

I agree with what the state of Arizona is doing, hopefully, other states follow. America should do what some other countries do — if they come over the boarder, just shoot if they don’t stop. Save tax payers lots money. America is a free countries, but we still have laws we have to follow.

Posted by mspiggy | Report as abusive

Seriously?? Ok I am part native american and part hispanic and raised here…born and raise as my parents were…SOOO yes immigrants are fine my partner is one but overbreeding..yes its called birth control..use it! I dont apprecaite paying taxes to take care of ur breeding!! That is stupid and if you came here for a new start..dont make where u live into little mexico.lern to speak english..make urself a productive citizen..what i know of mexicans(i have lived all over) they breed and breed and are on welfare with my tax dollars,send all their money home (to their country so stay there and spend ur money),refuse to learn english,disrespect ppl that dont want to speak spanglish to you and are just rude…i think that this law is good and everyone should pass it..funny thing chinese..learn english…west indians learn english..what makes u so special that u feel that u can breed like a rabbit and never bother to respect the country u live in..if i live in mexico (god forbid) guess what?? I will speak spanish and learn THEIR WAYS!! get over it vivz la raza my AZZ!!

Posted by mythought429 | Report as abusive

In response to my reply about excessive population density driving unemployment and poverty, some pointed to Japan and Europe as evidence that population density doesn’t matter, since they too have vibrant economies like the U.S. Their economies are heavily dependent on exports to the U.S., where per capita consumption hasn’t been halved by over-crowding. Were it not for the U.S. absorbing their exports, their economies would rapidly collapse.

Pete Murphy
Author, “Five Short Blasts”

Posted by Pete_Murphy | Report as abusive

Need to more people to pay into social security? The same people paying into it will eventually draw from it too so how will that “fix” social security? Also I read that the social security suspended account that illegals have paid into is being held for them until they become legal, so their not doing anything for “us legals.” Yes, hispanics including illegals are earning money here in the U.S. and spending it here too but sending a lot back to their own countries. As far as the Hispanic population being one third of the population in 2050, what is so good about that? They are a tightly knit community and there’s strength in numbers. I foresee problems with such an imbalance. There already is a lot of resentment about their preferential treatment with their language. In conclusion they should have “papers” and speak English just like everyone else and no excuses such as the lame excuse Willy made about them.

Posted by brilliantone | Report as abusive

I think that businesses should become more pro-active in helping to end the illegal immigrant and language problem by only hiring legals and people that speak fluent English. I live in the Northeast and so many job postings are requiring applicants to be bi-lingual. That’s absurd.
This is the United States of America and there should be no need having to be bi-lingual in the private sector.
Government agencies that are dealing with new arrivals who have not as yet learned the language should be the only exception to the bi-lingual requirement.

Posted by brilliantone | Report as abusive

Someone made a comment about those of us who are for ending the illegal immigrant situation as being ignorant and brainwashed. I think it’s the complete opposite.
This character was praising them for the type of work they do and the hardship and risk they endured by coming over here. Yes, those things are true but many in this comment thread have alluded to the illegals doing jobs that Americans would not do and getting this information from employers. Wake up and smell the coffee! What else are these employers going to say to justify hiring them when in fact ther’re hiring them because they work so
“cheap.” You that condone the illegals are only looking at the issue based on emotion. You need to learn the facts not us! Another character said they are not tapping into our social programs. Well they don’t have to because they are mostly employed. When it hits home then these characters change their tunes. If they get turned down from a good job because they don’t speak Spanish, then they will be screaming for change!!! Hypocrites!
BTW, they’re also the Mayflower analogy people. How utterly stupid. No comparison to illegal aliens. They came here to explore the “new world” and found a bunch of savages to deal with. I am sure if the Native Americans were civilized, friendly people, there would not have been any problems. Anyway who says the Native Americans had exclusivity to the Americas? Right, the English settlers should have jumped back on ship, gone back to England and then this post would not even exist.

Posted by brilliantone | Report as abusive

You know, there is a process of assimilation that takes place over the span of a generation or two. New immigrants are not going to be masters of the language. But second and third generations will be native speakers of the English language. That’s just how it works.

We Americans are very arrogant about our language. Most of us speak it more poorly than the immigrants that come here. Our only saving grace is that ours is the international language. That gives lazy mono-lingual speakers a chance to complain about these immigrants who now have to be able to speak at least two languages to live here. Making signs in other languages and offering bi-lingual services, creates jobs. Speaking another language is a skill that isn’t easy to acquire.

People who criticize non English speakers should instead criticize their own lack of ability to profit from a new situation. Those immigrants may “talk funny” but their money spends just as good yours.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

[…] Picking Apart the Case for Illegal Immigration 10/04/30/in-praise-of-latin-american-imm igrants/?cp=3#commen… […]

Posted by Picking Apart the Case for Illegal Immigration « "Five Short Blasts" Forum | Report as abusive

“A point worth noting but rarely mentioned in the often overheated debate about immigration: illegal immigrants in effect subsidize social security payments to Americans over 62.” – Bernd Debusmann

Those anti-immigrant bashers should take note of that. Contrary to popular belief, they do contribute a lot in the running of government. That’s a fact.

Posted by RomyMarquez | Report as abusive

What is ‘illegal’ ?

Germany used Turks as cheap labour, big shift in demographics, but let’s rather stay on the Mainland.

There will be a Chinese person for every one person in the Southern Hemisphere by 2050.

Posted by Ghandiolfini | Report as abusive


And look who we have as our Commander and Chief–Barack Obama. Was he born in AMerica? Hasn’t been proven. See if the Mexican population vote for him next term. I rest my case.

Posted by mspiggy | Report as abusive

Only in American can someone be illegal and ask to be praised.

Posted by Ken.S | Report as abusive

A fake social security card that enables payroll deductions also enables benefits. Fake isn’t fake anymore. If you can get someone to put you in the computer, it’s real.

Population growth is not a good thing. Importing consumers from elsewhere does nothing for those of us who work for a living. It only helps large corporation with goods to sell. These consumers that are imported from south of the border consume goods, true. But they also consume jobs, and they’re not all cotton-pickers.

Politicians like illegal aliens, because they can cater to that demographic. Illegal aliens that can work, do so because they have papers. “Papers” means they’re in government databases as “real Americans.” It also means that they can vote.

The only solution to this problem (and if you’re still saying it’s not a problem, you’re a bad American), is to put a double fence across the entire southern border of the Continental United States. Seed it with land mines, put up lights, and staff it with well-equipped national guardsmen during their annual training. Command them to shoot anyone who attempts to cross. The ones that are here are already in the database, so good luck rooting them out. But at least we can close the border already.

Oh, and having amnesty isn’t going to work. Ever. That just encourages them.

Posted by fastluck | Report as abusive

If the US Government (and by extension the American “people”) wants to seriously stem the tide of undocumented workers crossing the border from Mexico, then they need to stop supporting the right-wing interests of the international corporate elites, stop demonizing the Left-wing Mexican socialists who seek social and economic opportunity at home for the Mexican Poor, and very carefully help to structurally address the stark inequality and diminutive status of Mexico’s majority “native” population.

When the richest man in the world (Carlos Slim) is….. no, not Steve Jobs, not Bill gates or Warren Buffet or Ingvar Kamprad-Ikea of Sweden,….none of these!, but instead is actually a Mexican (of European descent) who has made (and unfortunately been allowed to keep) his money in a country where there are millions (mainly of Indian descent) on the verge of starvation and malnutrition, unable to buy proper shoes or clothing, and who are barely educated enough in their own Spanish language to argue their case in “White” Mexican minority society!

So “that’s Mexico’s problem” you say, “not ours here in the USA”…..but most of the Mexican economy is American or other “Western” owned!!!…..So indeed our corporations in America hold the “keys” to Mexico and can therefore influence the structure of the Mexican economy in more powerful ways than any corrupt white Mexican government official can!…..Charity, does indeed start at home, but people in Mexico cannot be charitable to their own if they do not have the power to do so. Give them the power, allow the democratic Left to prevail, stop subverting the will of Mexico’s Indian electorate, and over time, you will see a country (Mexico) that provides economic opportunities for the dispossessed at home…..Our border problem will be solved!

Posted by Myheels | Report as abusive

Good points, Myheels. But for the record, Slim is of Lebanese descent.

Posted by Komment | Report as abusive

I have a Hispanic last name-my family migrated to the US legally.They paid taxes, never received food stamps or assistance. I reside in Arizona, I now carry my passport with me and I do not mind being racially profiled as long as it is conducted respectfully.I can write a book about everything I have gone through for having a Hispanic last name since I moved to Phoenix in 1998. Illegals give us all a bad name. I have had my identity stolen, everyone assumes I am Mexican, I have often considered a name change. Other countries in the world have a national id no big deal. I am ready to carry my passport or id and I am all for getting rid of the illegals. I am also all for getting rid of birthright citizenship immediately!!! As many other countries have done and this will help reduce the amount of illegals receiving state funded health insurance and govt funded food stamps for their children. They know how to work our system better than any of us. Why do we have to politically correct all the time? Other countries should take care of their own poor crack down on corrupt government and seek ways to employ their own instead of pawning them on the US!!!….I am all for this Arizona law as are 90% of legal Hispanics all over the US….

Our teaching standards in the State of Arizona have been lowered to accomadate the illegals this leaves our kids behind in a very tough Global job Market. Our hospitals are bankrupt, our states are bankrupt, most of the ones in AZ work for cash under the table and do not pay taxes or have unclaimed taxes, their anchor babies provide them with food stamps and health care. All this while the rest of us get taxed on unemployment and pay high insurance premiums, get no food stamps. They have it made.

The illegals do not speak for ALL HISPANICS. They should protest in your own countries about civil rights and injustices not here!!!


Why not take pride in doing things right instead of pushing themselves down everyone’s throat? What kind of model citizens are you if you preach illegal immigration? Why don’t they take it out on your own countries which you are all so proud of for not taking the necessary steps to take care of you and provide jobs and care for the poor and uneducated. Why do you think it is a United States problem? Those countries have failed failed them and they expect the US to pick up the tab. Protest in Mexico and see what happens? Want to talk about Civil Rights?

I have my passport on hand and ready to vote!!! Sorry for those in Govt. that oppose you will not have my vote.

Posted by AZ4theLaw | Report as abusive

I have a Hispanic last name-my family migrated to the US legally.They paid taxes, never received food stamps or assistance. I reside in Arizona, I now carry my passport with me and I do not mind being racially profiled as long as it is conducted respectfully.I can write a book about everything I have gone through for having a Hispanic last name since I moved to Phoenix in 1998. Illegals give us all a bad name. I have had my identity stolen, everyone assumes I am Mexican, I have often considered a name change. Other countries in the world have a national id no big deal. I am ready to carry my passport or id and I am all for getting rid of the illegals. I am also all for getting rid of birthright citizenship immediately!!! As many other countries have done and this will help reduce the amount of illegals receiving state funded health insurance and govt funded food stamps for their children. They know how to work our system better than any of us. Why do we have to politically correct all the time? Other countries should take care of their own poor crack down on corrupt government and seek ways to employ their own instead of pawning them on the US!!!….I am all for this Arizona law as are 90% of legal Hispanics all over the US….

Our teaching standards in the State of Arizona have been lowered to accomadate the illegals this leaves our kids behind in a very tough Global job Market.

The illegals do not speak for ALL HISPANICS. They should protest in your own countries about civil rights and injustices not here!!!


Why not take pride in doing things right instead of pushing themselves down everyone’s throat? What kind of model citizens are you if you preach illegal immigration? Why don’t they take it out on your own countries which you are all so proud of for not taking the necessary steps to take care of you and provide jobs and care for the poor and uneducated. Why do you think it is a United States problem? Those countries have failed failed them and they expect the US to pick up the tab. Protest in Mexico and see what happens? Want to talk about Civil Rights?

It my right and civil duty to vote – illegals can’t.
I have my passport on hand and ready to vote!!! Sorry for those in Govt. that oppose you will not have my vote.

Posted by AZ4theLaw | Report as abusive

Regarding being pulled over as how this is racial profiling. While this no doubt does happen, the fact is that anybody can have this happen. I am a white male of Irish background with blue eyes, (which means I am as white as they come).

I have been pulled over at least 5 times where there was no probable cause (and I was a former reserve officer so I know probable cause).

One they claimed that my car matched one used in a robbery. The only problem is that my car at the time was a 1968 California Special mustang what was and is a very rare special edition car that does not look like other mustangs, especially from the rear (it has 63 Tbird lights that are horizontal that look more like Camero lights, not the 3 vertical slashes of a normal Mustang).

I have had other times when I was pulled over. Once the officer said I failed to stop (not true) and the other time the officer did not know the law and I informed him of the correct law (use of a turn signal, which is not required when there are no other cars around moving – he was parked). So, just because you are pulled over don’t assume it is because you are a minority. Sometimes officers go fishing and sometimes the don’t know the law themselves. Stuff happens.

Posted by dragoon6779 | Report as abusive

gobnait said: “would you kindly explain to me why you refuse to differentiate between ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ immigrants? Furthermore, kindly comment on how any illegal alien can pay taxes without a Social Security number? At least be honest in your comments.”

I’ll ignore the “at least be honest with your comments” part. First of all, I don’t use the term “illegal”. I use undocumented. Kindly read the original comment. As for paying into Social Security, they use an unregistered number that they give the employer. The employer uses that number to deduct TAXES, SOCIAL SECURITY DEDUCTIONS, and ALL OTHER DEDUCTIONS that most other Americans pay. Now, that I told you how they contribute to Social Security, do you agree that undocumented citizens are good for the economy? That was a rhetorical question, by the way. I don’t plan to waste my time trying to educate ignorant people who refuse to accept reality.

Posted by Messinger | Report as abusive

we are all in this together people

except a small number of us control most of the income and wealth

that small number is NOT the “illegal” immigrants

and THAT is the problem

i know many latinos in Los Angeles – why is it that when I see them talking amongst themselves they are speaking English, have JDs and RNs and/or are just plain hard working people?

Must be because they are people of integrity and good values

I say legalize every last one of them

QUESTION: All else being equal, if an economy doubles in size, what is the main reason for that

ANSWER: The population doubles

The entire “illegal” immigration issue is a Red Herring and Scape Goat

Dennis Allard
oceanpark d o t com
Santa Monica, California

Posted by dennisallard | Report as abusive

According to some people, this land belongs to the Native Americans. With that type of argument, you could say the US belongs to Russia -> Europe -> Africa. After, that is where the first humanoids first appeared.

Good read.

Posted by isarubio | Report as abusive

Stupid friggin right-wing idiots! Don’t you understand that YOU TOO can now be arrested if you do not carry ID no matter how white you are? You always claim to be in favor of freedom and the constitution but you will freely give away that freedom because you think it will only affect other people – not yourselves!

Let’s forget about the right and wrong of the concept of arresting illegal immigrants by the police who – I am sure – have better things to do with their time.

What you are saying here is that any American citizen can be stopped without cause and thrown into jail for not having proper ID. American citizens!!

Since Bush was in office you now need a passport to return from Canada. Now you need one just to walk the streets of Arizona. Sounds like the Soviet Union to me. Did you know that everyone there needed an “Internal Passport” to travel in their own country? Not much difference in Arizona.

Is this your idea of freedom?

Posted by jmmx | Report as abusive

The main reason the Federal government has not done anything to “legalize” undocumented immigrants is because of pressure from ignorant voters who are victims of their racism and demogogic politicians.
Even Bush knew they are needed in this economy.
Contrary to popular belief, undocumented people pay taxes, and spend a lot of cash, thus pumping much needed cash flow into the economy. By the way, in order to claim welfare, unemployment, food stamps, medic care, you need to provide proof of citizenship. Undocumented people don’t go to hospitals, don’t see a doctor because they live in the shadows and are afraid of being reported.
Given, they pay taxes and can’t vote, they should at least be treated with dignity. After all, they are human beings, just the same as a white person; all children of the same God.

Posted by Messinger | Report as abusive

Rephrasing Churchill words:
“If in yours 20’s you don’t feel sorry for illegals you have no heart if in yours 30′ you still fell sorry for illegals you have no brain.”

No modern western society can afford take aboard 12,000,000 uneducated poor.

Doesn’t matter how hard they work. They will never able to cover cost of social services they get including schooling for numerous kids and emergency rooms.

Now put on top:
High crime rate among Latinos and illegals. Yep. We pay for prisons, police etc.
Overall drag on economy that comes with uneducated mobs.
Denying jobs to USA’s poor. Guess where these guys end up. No they don’t cross to Mexico, they stay in US and collect benefits.

I don’t live in Ivory Tower. I helped quite a few successful/unsuccessful immigrant families.

Posted by sk_usa | Report as abusive

Wow. I can’t beilive there are so many ignorants speaking at the same time.

People like mspiggy say: she is not hispanic she is Latin..wait what?
Hispanics = Spanish speaking person
Latin: Latin America (Spanish: América Latina or Latinoamérica; Portuguese: América Latina; French: Amérique latine) is a region of the Americas where Romance languages (i.e., those derived from Latin) – particularly Spanish, Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken.

People here are way too ignorant. Hispanic is not an ethnicity or a race. 62% of immigrants are Mexican, no surprise there when you consider the old Mexican – owned states. There are other RACES, ETHNICITIES, and NATIONALITIES that are illegal. I’m not from Mexico, but is rather sad to see people being very high and mighty, when we all now that there are many people that would deserve a chance on the county. For example the Dream Act.

Sure they should kick out all the crinimals, and welfare should come to an end.

But hell. you can’t genralize, might as well gather us all up and put us in a cage, in a “relocalization” camp like they did the Japs.

Wake up.No one and NO one is a pure American.

Posted by piggychu | Report as abusive

“Jobs no Americans want to do” is nothing but empty and unfounded rhetoric. There is a demand for unskilled labor, but the lie is that only Mexicans are willing to fill this demand. The politicians and voters that follow this logic are essentially in favor of creating a second-class proletariat society within America; these low skilled jobs aren’t good enough for US, but we can let that LOT do the dirty work. All of you are just supporting the next generation of dark skinned exploitation. Shame on you all.

Posted by Zacs | Report as abusive

The Arizona law is rooted in discrimination and hatred. I feel sorry for Hispanic Americans. Do we need to wear a symbol on our clothing to prove are citizenship like the Jews with the Star of David on their clothing? This is how hatred begins in a subtle manner. We need to remember how history repeats itself. This law is dangerous!!! I am sadden !!!

Posted by sad | Report as abusive

I think many are forgetting a huge fact: Arizona was part of Mexico not even yet a century ago. Most of the immigrants might be Mexicans, but this land belonged to them and their ancestors perhaps less than two generations ago!

Why now they have to deal with discrimination? I agree that those doing illegal acts be deported if they’re illegal, but why those boosting the economy of AZ? Let’s not forget that most of the ‘white people’ will not clean hotels and toilets, will not cut the lawn, will not work back in the kitchen for the money those immigrants do. And AZ depends very much of tourism, which means most of these immigrants are working for lower wages than any ‘white person’ in this country would. If AZ low wage jobs suffer due to lack of demand by citizens expecting more money for the same work then their economy will also suffer.

Yes, some of these immigrants may send money to their original country, but the majority will not stay here so most of those SS withheld wages will never be in their hands, so us legal citizens will benefit of it in the long run.

Let them be and do their lives, the majority will not harm our economy, but help it. Most of them will not be violent, we are with our hate and ignorance to see the big picture.

As I thought let’s remember the words of an incredible man: Martin Luther King, Jr., Wall Street Journal, November 13, 1962:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction….The chain reaction of evil–hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars–must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of

Posted by LSJ77 | Report as abusive

I thought Mexico was in Central America!

As for who was here first, the human genone has been decoded. If Native Americans were serious about the enormorus amount of benefits they get going to “Native Americans” only, DNA testing would be a prerequisite to recieve benefits.
Instead, they dumped tons of earth on a prehistoric human found in the NorthWest that was possibly an early immigrant to the Americas from Europe,

Posted by 2pesos | Report as abusive

Should profficiency in the use of modern sanitation and indoor plumbing fixtures be a requirement in the path to citizenship? In Alexandria, Virginia, you have to clean up after your dogs, but apparently not after your undocumented workers.

Yes, I live just outside the nation’s capitol the suburbs where many congress critters also reside. But I guaranty that there are no rich ruling class Democrats in my “working class” neighborhood, and no funny-sounding language speakers defiling their yards– at least not after sunset.

Posted by 4mommy | Report as abusive

The southwestern quarter of the United satates of America is quickly becomming Mexico North. All of Mexico’s third-world problems are becoming ours.

America, wake up!

jack Garcia

Posted by Skysailor | Report as abusive

Yes, legal is better than illegal. But, given the birth rates necessary to avoid our extinction, we might ask ourselves: is legal better than extinction?

Oh, and, Bill Clinton certainly has a large pair, to be weighing in on unemployment, after he sent all our jobs to China and Mexico.

Keep the faith!

Posted by humanwrites | Report as abusive