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Tuesday, April 27, 2010


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5 Myths about immigration
By Doris Meissner
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Despite the fact that we are a nation of immigrants -- or perhaps because of it -- immigration continues to be one of America's most contentious topics. The new law in Arizona authorizing police to arrest individuals who cannot show documents proving that they are in the country legally has set off a fresh bout of acrimony. But as in the past, much of the debate is founded on mythology.

1. Immigrants take jobs from American workers.

Although immigrants account for 12.5 percent of the U.S. population, they make up about 15 percent of the workforce. They are overrepresented among workers largely because the rest of our population is aging: Immigrants and their children have accounted for 58 percent of U.S. population growth since 1980. This probably won't change anytime soon. Low U.S. fertility rates and the upcoming retirement of the baby boomers mean that immigration is likely to be the only source of growth in what we call the "prime age" workforce -- workers ages 25 to 55 -- in the decades ahead. As record numbers of retirees begin drawing Social Security checks, younger immigrant workers will be paying taxes, somewhat easing the financial pressures on the system.

Moreover, immigrants tend to be concentrated in high- and low-skilled occupations that complement -- rather than compete with -- jobs held by native workers. And the foreign-born workers who fill lower-paying jobs are typically first-hired/first-fired employees, allowing employers to expand and contract their workforces rapidly. As a result, immigrants experience higher employment than natives during booms -- but they suffer higher job losses during downturns, including the current one.

It's true that an influx of new workers pushes wages down, but immigration also stimulates growth by creating new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors. As a result of this growth, economists estimate that wages for the vast majority of American workers are slightly higher than they would be without immigration. U.S. workers without a high school degree experience wage declines as a result of competition from immigrants, but these losses are modest, at just over 1 percent. Economists also estimate that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created.

2. Immigration is at an all-time high, and most new immigrants came illegally.

The historic high came more than a century ago, in 1890, when immigrants made up 14.8 percent of our population. Today, about two-thirds of immigrants are here legally, either as naturalized citizens or as lawful permanent residents, more commonly known as "green card" holders. And of the approximately 10.8 million immigrants who are in the country illegally, about 40 percent arrived legally but overstayed their visas.

It's worth noting that although the unauthorized immigrant population includes more people from Mexico than from any other country, Mexicans are also the largest group of lawful immigrants. As for the flow of illegal immigrants, apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border have declined by more than 50 percent over the past four years, while increases in the size of the illegal population, which had been growing by about 500,000 a year for more than a decade, have stopped. This decline is largely due to the recession, but stepped-up border enforcement is playing a part.

3. Today's immigrants are not integrating into American life like past waves did.

The integration of immigrants remains a hallmark of America's vitality as a society and a source of admiration abroad, as it has been throughout our history. Although some people complain that today's immigrants are not integrating into U.S. society as quickly as previous newcomers did, the same charge was leveled at virtually every past wave of immigrants, including the large numbers of Germans, Irish and Italians who arrived in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Today, as before, immigrant integration takes a generation or two. Learning English is one key driver of this process; the education and upward mobility of immigrants' children is the other. On the first count, today's immigrants consistently seek English instruction in such large numbers that adult-education programs cannot meet the demand, especially in places such as California. On the second count, the No Child Left Behind Act has played a critical role in helping educate immigrant children because it holds schools newly accountable for teaching them English.

However, the unauthorized status of millions of foreign-born immigrants can slow integration in crucial ways. For example, illegal immigrants are ineligible for in-state tuition at most public colleges and universities, putting higher education effectively out of their reach. And laws prohibiting unauthorized immigrants from getting driver's licenses or various professional credentials can leave them stuck in jobs with a high density of other immigrants and unable to advance.

4. Cracking down on illegal border crossings will make us safer.

The job of protecting the nation's borders is immense, encompassing nearly 7,500 miles of land borders, 12,380 miles of coastline and a vast network of sea ports, international airports, ports of entry along the Mexican and Canadian borders and visa-issuing consulates abroad.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have dramatically strengthened our borders through the use of biometrics at ports of entry, secure cargo-shipment systems, intelligence gathering, integrated databases and increased international cooperation. The Border Patrol has nearly doubled in size in the past five years, to more than 20,000 agents. The Department of Homeland Security says it is on schedule to meet congressional mandates for southwestern border enforcement, including fence-building. And cooperation with the Mexican government has improved significantly.

Still, our southwest border is more a classic law enforcement challenge than a front line in the war on terrorism. Antiterrorism measures rely heavily on intelligence gathering and clandestine efforts that are unrelated to border enforcement.

The seasoned enforcement officials I have spoken with all contend that if we provided enough visas to meet the economy's demand for workers, border agents would be freed to focus on protecting the nation from truly dangerous individuals and activities, such as drug-trafficking, smuggling and cartel violence.

5. Immigration reform cannot happen in an election year.

The politics of immigration can be explosive and can chase lawmakers away, especially as elections near, with the result that Congress infrequently and reluctantly updates immigration laws. However, all the significant immigration bills enacted in recent decades were passed in election years, often at the last minute and after fractious debates.

This list dates back to the Refugee Act of 1980, which established our system for humanitarian protection and refugee and asylum admissions. Next came the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which made it illegal to hire unauthorized immigrants and provided amnesty for 2.7 million illegal immigrants. The Immigration Act of 1990 increased the number of visas allotted to highly skilled workers. And the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act charged immigration agencies with implementing significant new law enforcement mandates.

Legislative attempts to make urgently needed changes fizzled in the House in 2005 and in the Senate in 2006 and 2007, and the to-do list for this Congress is substantial. But ruling out immigration reform, whether because Congress has other priorities or because it's an election year, would be a mistake. The outline for immigration legislation that Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and his Democratic colleagues unveiled last week, together with the uproar over the Arizona law, may help convince lawmakers that there's no time like the present.

Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, served as commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1993 to 2000. She will be online Monday, May 3, at 11 a.m. ET to chat.

In general, people think themselves as highly almighty. They believe that because since they were born they've lived here in the USA, that this entitles them to criticize, label, profile and refute others that do not look like them or that recently immigrated to this country. What they fail to realize is that this country was founded on the basis of immigrants who WERE poor and destitute, yet they brought this country to be respected and viewed as #1 in the world. They've also forgotten that UNLESS you are a direct descendant of Native Americans you ancestors ASSES were immigrants as well. Racists come in all kinds of colors; however, the worst are those who hide behind the blanket of judging Mexican people, but not their own family members of friends, or those whom they claim to be educated. I am of Puerto Rican descent, of ancestors who originally came from Spain. Arizona law of racial profiling brings us back as the owner of this blog well states to the Hitler days. I too will have to show proof of my birth and identification. The precedent that Arizona is setting us back. It clearly brings racism to the forefront again, with the only difference is whom we discriminate against. Once upon a time it was African Americans, but with the election of Barack Obama we need someone else to blame for all our fuck up's in life, so let's blame the next people with skin darker than ours, why don't we? High unemployment, a depressed economy, and competition for fewer resources are responsible for our failure to respect and look unto our fellow human beings as equal to us. Shame on Arizona, and shame on all of those who make excuses why they are racist. The problems is who enters our borders for the purpose of hurting or terrorizing us, not who enters our borders to contribute and continue to make this country great and help us become # 1 again!

I forgot to post the link regarding the changes. Sorry.


I want to mention a couple of things:

1. Lori in Texas was merely equating the AZ law to the START of the Holocaust. The concentration camps, gas chambers, etc. did not come until further down the line. In the beginning the Jews were merely required to provide documentation, then wear the Star of David, then move into sanctioned areas, etc. (And, just so you know, many Germans did not think that that was such a bad thing. I mean, what harm was it to ask that they prove they were/were not Jewish simply because they might look Jewish???)

2. If there wasn't such an issue with the wording of the law then why did the AZ governor sign a bill on Friday to modify the law?


Interesting article.

Brian, you are doing some serious stretching to try and blame our youth's lousy work ethic on illegal immigrants. If Americans wanted to take those jobs picking fruit and mowing lawns, the illegals would never have gotten a foothold into that employment. This whole immigration issue could be easily solved by better border control (and don't tell me the greatest military in the world can't defend 700 miles of border) and biometric social security cards which can't be counterfeited. Neither political party is going to do anything though, the Dems like the votes too much and the Repubs can't take away their bases' source of cheap labor.

Even today, when the Democrats introduced an immigration bill, John Boehner said it was not a good time, politically, to try and tackle immigration. WTF? I'm actually glad Arizona introduced this bill. Some parts of it are clearly unconstitutional and will be overturned but at least it brings the issue out into the news. Maybe now Congress will actually be forced to do something about it.

Regarding the Rasmussen poll link - did you read the fine print?

"This state survey of 500 Likely Voters in Arizona was conducted on April 14, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence."

500 "likely voters" were polled. That's hardly 70% of all Arizona residents, which is what Bill's Washington Post op-ed quoted. I call bullcrap on the poll - especially in light of the fact that it was conducted two weeks before the Governor signed the bill into law.

Has anyone even thought about the damage ILLEGALS are doing to our nation's young adults work ethic? When I was in my teens I mowed lawns, picked weeds...even strawberries. Many of my "white" ANGLO SAXON friends worked flippin' a burger at the local DQ or Burger King. Today, many of our younger adults won't even go near those types of jobs. If it isn't Nordstrom's, it's not worth their time. Nevermind that any job teaches the basics of responsibility. We are becoming a nation of spoiled brats because we look to those occupations and think of..."Mexican", "Hispanic", "Illegal's" jobs. It's sad. Just sad what this country is coming to. I would think that if you are pursuing the American dream, then you would take the appropriate channels to become a citizen of this country and live the dream to the fullest! I'm sick of the excuse about not having any money...our country is full of inspiring stories of individuals who were not surrounded with money who overcame obstacles and made a contribution to society! This crap about "poor me..I have no money so I come to America to live my dreams illegally" is absolute B.S. They are doing nothing but crowding our schools with their children (I saw one bus stop last week in front of a run-down apt. complex with at least 20-25 students waiting for the bus), taxing our health care, taking jobs and changing the demographic (and not in a good way)of society in general.

You can rant all you want about how what Arizona is doing is wrong but illegal is illegal and I'm tired of everyone making excuses on why they should be here! Give me a break!

Even if half of these stats are correct, the numbers are staggering!!!
I also have included the URL's for verification
of all the following facts...

1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare
to illegal aliens each year by state governments.

Verify at:


2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.

Verify at:


3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on
Medicaid for illegal aliens.

Verify at:


4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!

Verify at:

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for
education for the American-born children of
illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
Verify at

6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to
incarcerate illegal aliens.

Verify at:


7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates
are illegal aliens.

Verify at:



8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal
aliens for Welfare & social services by the
American taxpayers.

Verify at:


9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed
American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.

Verify at:


10. The illegal aliens in the United States have
a crime rate that's two and a half times that of
white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their
children, are going to make a huge additional
crime problem in the US .

Verify at:



11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10
MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern
Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens
from Terrorist Countries.. Millions of pounds of
drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana,
crossed into the US from the Southern border.

Verify at: Homeland Security Report:

12. The National policy Institute, estimated that
the total cost of mass deportation would be
between $206 and $230 billion or an average
cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually
over a five year period.'

Verify at:


13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION
in remittances to their countries of origin.

Verify at:





14.. 'The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration:
Nearly One million sex crimes Committed
by Illegal Immigrants In The United States .'

Verify at:

http: // www.drdsk.com/articleshtml






The total cost is a whopping $ 338.3 BILLION

IT IS $338,300,000,000.00 WHICH WOULD BE

Rasmussen says 70%:



Three of Arizona's largest cities are fighting this law. One of Flagstaff's city councilmen even states that the law is "horrible and racist" (his words, not mine). When the mayors and city councilpeople of the largest cities in the state think the law is bad, that tells me a lot more than any Washington Post op-ed.

"70 percent of Arizonans support S.B. 1070"? That's not what the Arizonans are saying. I'd like to know where that figure came from, because the outcry in Arizona is about as loud as it's been elsewhere in the country.

I have friends who live in Arizona and their reaction has been pretty much split 50/50. Interestingly enough, the ones who support it are all caucasian - every single one. The ones who don't support it are a mix of caucasian, hispanic and black.

From today's Washington Post about Arizona's new law:
Myth No. 1: The law requires aliens to carry identification that they weren't already required to carry. On the contrary, the law simply penalizes aliens who fail to carry the registration documents that federal law already requires them to keep on their person. These federal crimes (8 United States Code Section 1304(a) or 1306(e)) have been around since 1940. The Arizona law simply adds a layer of state penalty to what already was a crime under federal law.

Ironically, the open-borders crowd has for years insisted that we use the term "undocumented" when referring to illegal aliens. Now, when a state takes seriously the documentation requirements of federal law, that crowd becomes apoplectic.

As for U.S. citizens, the law does not require them to carry any identification whatsoever. Indeed, the law cannot possibly be applied against U.S. citizens; only an alien can be found guilty under the Arizona statute.

Myth No. 2: The law will encourage racial profiling. The terms of the act make clear that such profiling cannot occur. Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official "may not solely consider race, color, or national origin" in making any stops or determining an alien's immigration status. In addition, all of the normal Fourth Amendment protections against racial profiling still apply.

Moreover, the law actually reduces the likelihood of racial profiling by forcing police officers to contact the federal government to verify a person's immigration status when they suspect a person is an illegal alien. It already was permissible for police officers across the country to make arrests for violations of federal immigration law where reasonable suspicion existed that a violation had occurred. Now, in Arizona, officers will have to make a phone call to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) 24/7 hot line to confirm that any aliens in their custody really are present unlawfully. Officers can no longer proceed based solely on their own assessment of a person's immigration status. In this way, the Arizona law takes any consideration of race out of the equation - strengthening the protections against racial profiling.

Myth No. 3: The law will require Arizona police officers to stop and question people. Here again, critics of the law are failing to read it carefully. The law only kicks in when a police officer already has made a "lawful contact" with a person, such as stopping him for breaking another law. The most likely contact is during the issuance of a speeding ticket. The law does not require the officer to begin questioning a person about his immigration status or to do anything the officer would not otherwise do.

Only after a stop is made, and subsequently the officer develops reasonable suspicion on his own that an immigration law has been violated, is any obligation imposed. At that point, the officer is required to call ICE to confirm whether the person is an illegal alien. Are critics seriously suggesting that local law enforcement officers should ignore the violations of federal law that they see at that point?

In sum, the law doesn't make any radical changes. Rather, it is a reasonable step that gives Arizona police officers another tool in their toolbox when they come into contact with illegal aliens during their normal law enforcement duties. It also prohibits Arizona cities from implementing sanctuary policies that prevent their officers from contacting ICE.

Arizona police officers need the tool that S.B. 1070 provides. Arizona is at ground zero with respect to illegal immigration and its criminal consequences. Arizona has witnessed hundreds of violent crimes committed by illegal aliens. Most recently, the brutal murder of rancher Robert Krentz on his own property by a suspected illegal alien shocked all Americans. Phoenix is now the kidnapping capital of North America and the hub of human smuggling into the United States. Three Phoenix police officers have been shot by illegal aliens since 1999.

Arizona is in a state of crisis. No wonder 70 percent of Arizonans support S.B. 1070, with rank-and-file police associations voicing their approval as well. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama accuses Arizonans of having racist motivations and declares his intention to push for an amnesty - which would only trigger an even larger flood of illegal immigration.

Thank you for chiming in! Well done!

Thank you Kerry for the first thoughtful and relevant post. You make many great points and offer alternatives to make it better.

Well done!

I am not against cracking down on illegals, and if there was some way to deport every one and make them return legally, I'd be for it. But since that is not happening, there has to be baby steps at least. Unfortunately, I think the AZ law is so broad as to not be practical. Rather than effect positive change, it's just evoking this furor and lawsuits which will likely keep anything significant from being accomplished.

I do not think the police have the manpower to deal with this right now, nor do the jails or the courts. Will it take valuable time away from policing and answering more serious crimes?

Also, just looking like you're Hispanic is not a crime. I agree it's going to unfairly target a lot of citizens, tourists, students, etc. who just happen to look the part. I do not look Mexican, but I do get taken as Hispanic by many people. I would not consider getting stopped every day just because I have dark hair and a dark complexion OK because I have nothing to hide and am doing my duty to my country. I am now late to work, late to catch a plane, and majorly inconvenience, etc. Also, sneaking over the border isn't the only way to be considered illegal. There are a great many people who come here from other countries on work, student or other visas, and just overstay. So they are illegal too. And they are black, white, dark-skinned. How do you tell who is and who isn't here legally from the color of their skin?

I think a better first approach would have made it legal to inquire about your status when stopped for any other offense, like in FL where you can get a ticket for no seatbelt, but that cannot be the primary reason they stopped you. If they wanted to then ask EVERYONE asked about status at the time of any police questioning for any supposed violation, just like you're asked to provide ID, or insurance, that would be more OK. People may just have to get used to carrying multiple forms of ID, just like you have to have a passport when traveling out of the country.

Currently, police cannot ask about your status at all, even if you're stopped for some other offense. If they could ask while stopped for any other offense from jay-walking to assualt, you are killing two birds with one stone - getting a violator of any type stopped/ticketed, and getting an immigration issue taken care of at the same time. Easier for the police, the courts, etc. and the police are still able to concentrate on their primary duties.

At the same time, immigration should be going into businesses and busting them left and right. Go into the hotels, restaurants, etc. and ask the OWNER for documentation on everyone who is working there at the time. They should legally have to have it. Anyone they can't produce it for should then be called in and questioned personally. If you can't produce then, then you start with the arrests. INCLUDING THE BUSINESS OWNER. If all they get is a slap on the wrist or a small fine, they're never going to stop either.

I had an arguement this morning with someone that the "policy isn't racist, Illegal is illegal." Maybe that's not the intention, but it's the outcome as it is stated right now.

The AZ policy needs a few finer controls to stop it from profiling strictly on looks or appearance and being seen as "racist" and so something meaningful can be done.

Let's take race totally out of the equation, and think about all the other types of "profiling" that are possible, yet police are not allowed to act on. ... They can't shake down or stop every long-haired teenage boy on a skateboard because he looks like the type of person that might do drugs. They can't stop every 25-year old male driving a souped-up sports car because he could be a drag-racer. They can't stop every young girl walking down the street in a short dress because she looks like she could be a hooker. They can't pull over any 45 year old woman because she just came out of a liquor store and got in her car because she could be drunk. They can't stop any woman in the grocery that is talking harshly to her child because she could be a child abuser. They can't pull over every good old boy in a Dodge Hemi with a cowboy hat on because they think he may be carrying a weapon without a CCW permit. And they can't stop every Hispanic-looking person because they could be illegal.

You need real probable cause, not a profile based on some sort of look - whatever that look may be - skin color, dress, car, attitude, etc. Even if they fit the general profile of an offender 100%. Everything else has controls and laws that are associated to keep any group from being unfairly targeted without evidence. This law needs something similar so it can be enacted in the right way.

Dammit - I said I was done here.

Linda - I agree, the issue is about PROFILING. Not Hitler, Nazi's, Germany, Holocaust.

So back to my original question 34 pages previously - How do you enforce existing immigration laws in a state that borders a country of a distinctive nationality WITHOUT profiling?

Have you ever seen the show on TV - Criminal Minds? It's about the Behavioral Analysis Unit in the FBI and they profile the likely perpetrators in horrific crimes. They give a laundry list - The subject is probably of xx race, probably aged between xx-xx, unmarried with a social disorder.

I realize this is a television show - but it applies here as well. I can tell you that in Arizona, the likelihood of an illegal immigrant being of Hispanic descent is quite high.

Apply the same law to Minnesota - the likelihood of an illegal immigrant being Caucasian is quite high.

No matter HOW immigration processes are enforced, it will be profiling.

Fox News - you mean that channel that revels in giving coverage to those rallies with all the Hitler and Nazi signs about the President, health care, etc?

Surely, if you are as rational and informed as you would purport to be, you cannot support that symbolism in those instances, correct?

And be careful throwing "talking points" stones. Yours are showing.

No one here is arguing that we should just give a summary free pass to anyone who manages to sneak in and circumvent the established rules, processes and laws. That's not the point. PROFILING is the point. And no matter how lofty the verbiage is from the Arizona lawmakers, that is what will be relied upon to enforce this law.

"You cannot "rationalize" away the truth"

That's the best thing you said all day. The truth is what it is, Mexicans are here illegally and therefore are breaking the law. THERE IS A FEDERAL LAW WHICH THE ARIZONA LAW IS BASED ON. If you have a problem with it, then you have a problem with the federal govt. Take it up with them. Do you complain when ICE comes in and deports those who are convicted of crimes? Or is that scenario ok in your book? If you are ok with that, then the Arizona law is the exact same thing. if not, you better have been just as passionate about this topic before last week, otherwise you are a just a hypocrite knee-jerker. And just because I watch Fox News or any other channel doesn't mean I can't think for myself, all I hear from you is the same talking points I have heard from the main stream media, so I am not too sure just how much thinking you are doing independently.

I think it's funny you say that because I was thinking you sounded alot like Sarah Palin with her fear-mongering tactics like the death panels over the health care bill. "It's racist, just like Germany! They're all gonna be rounded up and gassed!"

For the record, I'm very largely a liberal democrat, which pretty much assures my tendency to despise anything Fox News or Sarah Palin.

The notion that this law is racist is very definitely NOT a fact. It's an opinion based on interpretation.

I have made my point, I have defended my integrity and I'm bowing out now - with one final comment.

While I don't agree with you, I respect your opinion Lori - and it saddens me that you don't respect mine at the same time generalizing me as a racist.

Hitler had a problem with the Jews because in his mind they controlled the economy, they were to be blamed for Germany's economic woes, and he simply did not like them. It had nothing to do with them being illegal immigrants and therefore breaking the law, or the fact that they were a drain on the economy, or the fact that they were part of the Jewish Mafia and running drug cartels and murdering innocent people.
So explain to me your comparison again? Is it just that we ask them to show documentation so we know who they are? And if they are here illegally, they get deported which is the standard process that the federal govt's ICE is currently using?

To reiterate my point, nobody is rounding up the Mexicans because we don't like them, nobody is saying all Mexicans are criminals, nobody wants to put them in gas chambers or exterminate them. It is simply controlling the flow of people into Arizona since the federal govt is not enforcing border security. All law abiding Mexicans will go on with their happy lives, and all Mexicans who don't break the law will be just fine.
But I am sure Robert Krentz's death at the hands of illegal immigrants doesn't bother you, after all it's better that we allow anyone to come into this country and get away with murder than make sure that we protect ourselves by applying laws and common sense. It's people like you that allow these crimes to take place, by not calling out for border security.

I was born and raised here in Texas. I am fully aware of the "facts" of illegal immigration. I am not being alarmist, nor am I using sensationalism. You are choosing to ignore history.

I am talking about this law - specifically. And the fact is that this law, specifically, is racist and fascist.

You cannot "rationalize" away the truth, no matter how many hours per day you sit in front of Fox News or how many Sarah Palin rallies you attend.

"So because someone accurately quotes a factual historical reference, that's not "grownup" to you? Sorry, but that doesn't wash. The Arizona law is fascist."

In 1980, our Federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities. That approximately 27% of all prisoners in Federal custody are criminal illegal aliens and the majority (63%) of those are Mexican citizens. It is estimated that over $1 billion per year is spent on incarcerating these criminals.

In April 2005, the GAO released a report on a study of 55,322 illegal aliens incarcerated in federal, state, and local facilities during 2003. It found the following:
Of the 55,322 illegal aliens studied, researchers found that they were arrested a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien.

In Los Angeles, 95% of some 1,500 outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. About 67% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.
A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60% of the bloody 18th Street Gang, with an estimated membership at 20,000 in California, are illegal aliens. Police officers say the proportion is probably much greater. The gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia, the dominant force in California prisons, on complicated drug distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and is responsible for a number of murders, assaults, or robberies every day in LA County.
The Columbia Li'l Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.'s MacArthur Park, was about 60% illegal in 2002, says former Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis Li.
Frank "Pancho Villa" Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and illegal alien, controls the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.

So add up the costs and think how much better our lives would be if we controlled the border and kept these people out, saved the money and put it to better use, and not be a victim of crime because of these scumbags. But based on your assertion, enforcing the law and keeping criminals out of the country is fascist. Since you want to quote historical facts, maybe the Arizona law is like those brave Texans who fought at the Alamo against the Mexicans from the South. Being alarmist and using sensationalism to make wild claims only show alack of knowledge about the facts.

"It legalizes racial profiling for the sole purpose of singling out individuals who MAY be in this country illegally."

Again - why is this bad? It is a crime to be here illegally. So the sole purpose of this law is to identify criminals. If you're a citizen? Sweet, no harm. If you're a criminal? You've been identified.

Comparing this to genocide is disturbing and irresponsible. Enforcing the existing law by identifying criminals is not in any way gassing/killing/abusing all who fit a certain demographic. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING. The Holocaust was a horrific tragedy that resulted in unnecessary loss of ALOT of lives, and comparing it to this law is shameful.

I will not apologize for supporting this law. I refuse to believe your personal opinion that I have prejudices because I do. Feel free to question my morals all you want, I sleep well at night knowing that I embrace diversity in my life and in my country.

"Please stop the Nazi talk and Jews and other nonsense. Nobody is rounding up the Mexicans, calm down and have a grownup conversation."

So because someone accurately quotes a factual historical reference, that's not "grownup" to you? Sorry, but that doesn't wash. The Arizona law is fascist. Look it up and read some history. Educate yourself. This is how it starts - and we already know where it goes from there if people don't speak up and stop it. The comparison to early Nazi Germany is 100% correct. Just because you choose to ignore it doesn't make it go away.

Please stop the Nazi talk and Jews and other nonsense. Nobody is rounding up the Mexicans, calm down and have a grownup conversation. Deportation is currently enforced in the United States by ICE, if you have a problem with deportation take it up with the federal govt and with its laws. Arizona is simply enforcing the federal law, I didn't see anyone before these recent events saying that the federal govt is acting like Nazi Germany. How did this talking point become the main counter argument for all you over-reactionists?

Why is nobody mentioning that the reason this was passed is because the open border with Mexico creates problems in Arizona? I don't hear about any Canadians killing each other over drugs or kidnapping each other the way Mexicans do. So the problem is not just illegal immigration, but really it's people from Mexico that cause many problems that the state cannot deal with. We allow the criminals to come in just as easily as those that want to work. Why is it so hard to simply issue work permits and allow Mexicans that want to work entry into the country and then we know who they are and they would have proper documentation? In terms of a national ID, we do have one - it's called a social security card, and before you get one of those you are issued a green card. The problems are compounded by allowing entry without checking for any diseases, without checking for their intentions, or whether they want to become a citizen or are just here to take the money back to Mexico, which in turn hurts our economy. I am all for people working, and we need people to do certain jobs, but imagine if we gave the opportunity for these jobs to Europeans, and Africans, and Asians, how much more fair that would be to give everyone a chance to live the American dream. Not everyone has the opportunity to run across the border, so really this policy hurts us more than it helps.

Cindy in Dallas -- As I said in my original post, I am married to a legal immigrant to the United States who has maintained his foreign citizenship and has chosen not to become a U.S. citizen.

I stand firmly by what I said. This law is racist. It legalizes racial profiling for the sole purpose of singling out individuals who MAY be in this country illegally.

The law states that an officer need only have "reasonable suspicion" (and not "probable cause," as many have been mistakenly saying) to demand an individual's credentials and proof of citizenship. That means that, YES, a police officer can walk up to someone sitting quietly on a park bench eating their lunch in Phoenix and demand to see their proof of citizenship simply because that individual LOOKS Hispanic. ANd if they can't show proof? Off they go to jail. For looking Hispanic. THAT IS RACIST. And if you think this law is a good idea, then I question your prejudices - and I am not ashamed to do so. Be offended all you want.

It's a crying, tragic shame that more Germans back in the 1930's didn't give a damn about offending the Nazis when THEY started racially-profiling the Jews. I would rather offend someone on the internet (or straight to your face) than subscribe to, and endorse, fascist laws and policies. I will NOT be the person who sat back and said nothing when they talk about this in the future.

One of the problems with this is that I've not read any real facts as to how they intend to enforce this law. On right wing radio today, they were saying they would only ask for ID if stopped for a different violation -such as a traffic stop. If that's true then why pass a new law? Don't you always show ID at a traffic stop? That sounds like a bunch of bs to me.
I'd like to have some questions answered. What is going to be considered acceptable ID? Will you have to walk around with your passport/birth certificate or will a copy do? What happens to an American citizen who doesn't have ID on him? If they won't be checking ID's on only routine violations, then what are the parameters for stopping people?
It seems to me that Arizona should have put a little thought into this kneejerk piece of legislation they passed. Based on what I've heard their Governor say, the state has no answers to these questions yet either. If the police are going to be making it up as they go along, good luck with that.

I agree with you 100% Missy. If I'm a racist, I guess I'm a racist against my own race. Like I said in my post, the problem I have is the word ILLEGAL. Lori in Texas, I assume you are married to a person who is in this country legally, but chooses not to become a citizen? I, personally, have no problem with that. He is here legally, with a green card.

I find your post highly offensive Lori in Texas... I am in favor of this law and I am NOT a racist. I embrace all walks of life whether you are a Hispanic, Italian, German, African American, rainbow or purple. I encourage all nationalities and races who want to be a part of our great country to do so - but do it legally. Your insinuation that I'm in favor of this law therefore a racist is insulting and most definitely incorrect.

Let me ask you - If this isn't the answer, how DO you enforce the existing immigration laws without considering race? The fact is, the leaky border in question is Mexico, which happens to be made up of a specific race. Can Mexican-born citizens be here legally? YES. And welcome to our country! I'm happy you're here! But the fact is 99% of those here illegally in states that border Mexico are in fact Mexican-born citizens, which is a certain race.

Seems to me no matter WHAT is done to enforce the EXISTING laws of immigration along the Mexico/American border are going to be targeted to Mexican-born citizens. That's not racism, it's a fact of geography.

I've searched my soul, and am quite content with my views of equality for all, thank you. Please don't stereotype me with sweeping (offensive) generalizations for having a differing opinion than yours.

Why is the amnesty thing sooooo important for the Obama administration? Political power!!! If you were an illegal, and the president got a bill passed that made you legal, would you not feel grateful? Would you not join his political party? 11+ million more votes for the Democratic party! Anchor babies galor follow in their parents Democratic footsteps! Redistricting means more Democratic representatives in the House! Anyone else see this besides me?

Racial profiling is NEVER right, and the Governor of Arizona can try to explain it away all she wants, but what she has done is legalize racial profiling.

I am a native Texan, born and raised for 45+ years. I lived for seven years in El Paso - right on the border of Mexico - so don't tell me I don't know about the problems of illegal immigration. I also worked in emergency medicine (9-11 based emergency-response ambulance and hospital emergency department) for over 10 years. Again, don't try to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. The icing on the cake of my experience is that I am married to a legal immigrant to the United States who has maintained his foreign citizenship and has chosen not to become a U.S. citizen.

The Arizona law RACISM. Pure and simple. You can babble circles around it and try to rationalize your opinions, but it's racism. Racial profiling of ANY race is a fascist tactic of bigotry, fear and prejudice - that's an historically-proven fact. You can't argue that away or claim that it doesn't matter. It does.

If you're in favor of this law, you need to do some serious soul-searching and be honest with yourself. I would also urge you to study up on your world history and see what fascist tactics like these have wrought in the past. What you'll find is ugly - and it's not what America is all about.

Yes, something needs to be done about illegal immigration. Racial profiling is NOT the solution.

I am of two minds on this issue. Yes it can be viewed as a violation of cival rights, yes it could lead to racial profiling, but white people are suspect of people of color and profile anyway. I almost always take the side of people of color in any arguement I have a freind who says I am a reverse racist but I have to say I can see the need to do this. They are taking away jobs of American citezens, I know the arguement that they do the jobs Americans dont want to do tell that to an unemployed culinary professional in NY or FLA(I mention these because I have witnessed it first hand.) They are also a drain on the system. They come here to enjoy the benefits this great country has to offer but not share in the responsablitys. I heard that the number of illegals in Arizona alone is 450000 so even if all of them work at minimum wage thats what 10 - 15 Million in uncollected taxes and how much in expened tax money. Multiply that country wide and the number is kinda stagering.

I'm in agreement with Missy and Jess. We need to do something. I, for one, have no problem at all in having a copy of my birth certificate or a national ID card on me at all times. I don't have a problem with folks wanting to come to America for a better life. My problem is the word ILLEGAL. I think Texas should adopt the same laws as the folks in AZ. And, for the record, my maiden name is Diaz. The school my grandson went to had five first grade classes...two were Spanish only, two were Spanish/English and one, that's right ONE was English. I'm tired of seeing signs in both English and Spanish. I'm tired of our hospitals and schools catering to illegals. I"m tired of hearing about how the immigration official are breaking up families. They are doing it, the illegal parents are doing it. I'm tired of people knocking on my door and talking to me in Spanish. I don't speak the language. I guess my dad thought he was doing the right thing in pushing English only at home. The little bit of Spanish I do know is from 2 years of HS Spanish. I'm not a dark skinned Hispanic. I got most of my coloring from my white, Irish mother. I do have dark hair and eyes, but one of my cousins used to joke that she was darker complected than I was! I am just sick and tired of undocumented workers, whether they are from Mexico, Canada or Ireland, coming here ILLEGALLY. Go through the proper channels and become a citizen. If these people can save enough money to pay a "coyote" thousands of dollars to smuggle them into this country, they can use that money to begin the citizenship process. I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone in this country illegally. None. Oh, and all these kids that protested here in Dallas a few years ago with signs saying "my parents are not criminals"...well, if they are here illegally...YES THEY ARE!!!

An interesting commentary on the subject: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/breathing-while-undocumented/?hp

I do a little freelance writing and I'm always prone to long, winding left wing rants (in person and in print). Thanks for the kudos, but be careful, it only encourages me...

Best to all,


Hmmm...all I'm going to say is I'm gay and still waiting for my marriage rights. Anyone here illegally can take a number and get in line. Bitches. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Loves it. Sounds to me like the lazy way to solve this is to simply remain with the thought, "Let's take on every other country's woes and forget about our own needs." Yep...that's the way to solve everything, isn't it? Let's just pay taxes to support those who are a significant part of the economic problems we face in this country.

Gee, can you tell I still love OUR PRESIDENT????

Ok I feel a rant coming on, so skip this if you don't want my opinion! There are millions of illegals here. Fact. So do we round them up, Nazi style, ship them out of the country, guard our borders with every soldier we have (on a side note, that is good, bring them all home) SHOOT ANYONE WHO TRIES TO CROSS OVER AGAIN!. And start over? I think amnesty is wrong in principle, for a crime. But this is a different sort of crime, wanting a better life, wanting to provide for your family when there is no better way? That is a forgivable crime, IMHO.

We need reform, but what? Give the people here a chance, a chance to stay...a chance to bring their familes and make a REAL life. Because what they have sucks. You think they wouldn't rather be home with their kids, going to baseball games and eating really GOOD enchiladas?

Now when they come, I have a few requests! Number one, learn English. My Irish, Norweigan, Dutch, and Native American ancestors managed, so can you. Legal immigrants will have requirements. They will have real jobs, that pay real benefits and require real taxes be paid. And now, finally, they will have health care, and won't be forced to use the emergency room!

I do have a problem with our school dollars being spent on teaching children English. It sounds harsh, even to myself, liberal that I am, but if they don't HAVE to learn it, MOST WON'T! My Icelanic friend came here at 12, 7th grade was a real bitch for her. But she figured it out, she learned English. And she had no one but her step sister to cry to about it!!!!! She coped, she HAD TO!!!!! We are enabling them. Speak any language you want at home, but here, in public, and that includes school, we speak ENGLISH!

My favorite Republican debater says we should ask Mexico if they would like to become part of the UNITED STATES?!!! They are all legal and we get their natural resources. and everyone has a job!!!! I told him, what a trade off, what did Mexico get out of it? His response? Jobs! And oh now, health insurance, sometimes I want to slap him!

There has to be an answer, I'm with Chicky, we are the melting pot of the world, we consider ourselves the best country in the world, WE CAN FIX THIS! Yes, we can!!!!!!!!!!!

Well Liz its sounds great, what will be taught in these training classes? How do you tell an illegal Mexican from a legal one, so you know who to pull over???? You can't, unless they are carrying a gun! Sounds the same as white people! Sorry but this is wrong. I have 2 Aunts and their families that live in Phoenix, can't wait for their REP views. Oh and by the way they hire illegals...."they are hard workers, good guys" and what they don't say is "work cheap". They shame me!

Jimmy is professionally brilliant. :O)

Please read Governor Brewer's statement, she is very clear about NOT racial profiling!


Hey, I know, why don't we just make all the "legals" get a tattoo on their arm, that way they don't have to produce any papers, they simply show their arm - anyone without a tat is an illegal and could be sent directly to the gas chambers!

C'mon you guys - this is AMERICA. We are the original melting pot. We are made up of 100s of different races, cultures and backgrounds - that's one of the reasons America is so great - NONE of us (except the Native American's) have any more right to be here than anyone else. This country was built on the principal that our doors are open and all are welcome. I am offended that any one of you feels they have more right to be here than someone who has the misfortune to be born in a geographically different place then you. I feel that what Arizona is doing is morally wrong.

P.S. Jimmy - you get a Standing O from me too.

I too want to know what you do Jimmy. You should be a speech writer.

This is going to be a nightmare for legal aliens. How many forms of id are going to be sufficient? My best friend is Icelandic, and a legal alien. Her green card was issued to her when she was 12, she's now 45. Think that picture looks anything like her anymore? She could go get a new one, but then she has to renew it every 2 years, (the rules have changed). But that is a 6 hour trip to the nearest federal building. And I'm sure I nice fat fee.

About 10 years ago her brother tried to legally immigrate here. He was 35, a master electrician, a hard worker. Kind of guy you'd think we'd want to welcome to America....fat chance. Not only did he have to find a job here first, but it had to be a job the company couldn't fill with an American worker. And he was supposed to do all this from Iceland. He spoke with an immigration attorney, who told him to save his money, he had a snowball's chance in hell.

The cards are totally stacked against someone wanting to enter this country legally. Yes, immigration is a huge problem and something needs to be done, but this isn't it. I can't help but feel empathy for most of the illegals.

I am not from the U.S. so would not presume to dive into this debate. However, I too, like Theresa from Virginia, am curious about what you, Jimmy, do for a living. That was quite the speech - worthy of a Standing O!!!

Jimmy - you are one eloquent guy! I don't know what you do for a living, but you can certainly articulate a good argument! Bravo!

Thanks Linda! I'll look into it - the big brother argument annoys me. haha :)

Thousandairs, mexican-looking people, disabled people, old people, gay people - they ALL can be here illegally, or they can ALL be here as citizens. It's not dependent on race to be a citizen... It's not a blanket "You're hispanic (or old, or gay or whathaveyou) get out". It's simply verifying that you are not breaking the law.

I read the law, and support it. I would support it if was white people, asian people, hispanic people or Irish people. We have borders, we have laws, they should be enforced.

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one.

The argument is the whole "Big Brother Boogeyman" thing. Give it a Google, there is plenty out there to read from both sides of the debate. Senators Graham and Schumer have been tossing around the idea of a biometric ID card for all Americans to carry.

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