Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GREETINGS FROM GREEN ACRES!

Today's post in the second in a series by LDouglas. We are so happy to have lively and fascinatin guests at the Beach house. We're sure this topic will bring out as much conversation as Max on Monday. We'll start -Miss Vero's comment is the addition of the photo and caption above. Anyone else?


Oh... and a Happy Earth Day y'all!





When I said last week there would be a part 2 to my blog I had planned to give you a run down of some of the costs of illegal immigration. There are scads of data out there of the costs to taxpayers and non taxpayers alike. But it occurs to me through slight of hand or by some hat trick they've changed the conversation on me. It's like they concede illegal immigrants are costing us too much financially so the premise now for pro-amnesty immigrant groups is that by making them citizens, they can be contributors rather than takers. For instance, the
Immigration Policy Center claims the economic gain of citizenship for illegal immigrants would be $66 billion dollars in new state and federal revenue. They figure that because there are many illegal immigrants working for employers who pay them cash under the table. What the study doesn't take into account is how many of those workers would not end up being taxpayers even if their employers hired them legally. Or how many would qualify for various public assistance programs. Or how many have a family in their home country that would become eligible for citizenship. Or how many children would be added to our educational system. They also do not take into account the $66 billion would not come from employers pockets but consumers pockets- ours. It's very much like double jeopardy.


Helping fund Social Security is another tactic used by pro-amnesty groups. They say we need millions of young workers to pay for the large numbers of baby boomers getting ready to collect. But low wage workers don't put as much into the system and they often get back more than they put in. Also, many could qualify for benefits right off the bat without ever contributing. It is also very much like double jeopardy. And like a really bad Ponzi scheme. That being how many more will be needed to contribute to their social security.


According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, our immigration rate is higher than at any other time since the early 1900's. At our current rate of legal immigration, our population increases by 1% a year which doesn't sound like much until you realize at that rate our population will double to 600 million by 2087. If the immigration rate increases through path to citizenship for illegal immigrants on top of current legal rates, we could reach 1 billion by the next century. While we won't be here then we'll certainly be subjected to the growing pains along the way.


And we'll be making no difference in why people choose to cross our borders or in the countries they leave behind. If you have 17 minutes, here's a really good video that explains it simply. If you're pressed for time, fast forward to the last third.

Immigration Gumballs: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5871651411393887069

Sunday's Press Journal had an article stating Congress will be back this week from their spring break and how over the next 5 weeks they'll be working on the big issues- bank regulation, health care, energy, and education. Aside from bank regulation, I just don't see how we'll make any headway or progress on those other issues if overnight we grow the numbers of citizens we're trying to improve those services for.


Another reason is because birthright citizenship puts us in a dilemma of what to do when a mother is illegal but her children are not. We've pretty much stopped workplace raids because they say it's inhumane to separate a mother from her children. I don't deny it's a horrible thing but yet in this country we still send women to jail or prison when they break the law. What gives one woman more rights to break the law than another?

Another part would be to require employers to use E-Verify. That would keep the employers honest while also stemming the flow of illegal immigrants. It would also make better working conditions for guestworkers and keep us from having the reaction to an injured foreign worker like we've had to the last two along the Treasure Coast.

There are a slew of immigration bills proposed. Some for, some against. You can find them here at Congress.org:

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issuesaction/billlist/?issue=26

They're not all on one page so click “more bills” at the bottom to go to the next list.

BTW, there is one proposed that would limit citizenship at birth to persons born in the United States to mothers who are U.S. citizens or legal residents. (H.R. 126.)

Further reading on population, environment, public issues and immigration: http://www.thesocialcontract.com/

Same as above but to sign up to receive action alerts and send free faxes at key times: http://www.numbersusa.com/content/

TTFN, LDouglas






MWAH!
missvero@live.com

17 comments:

Blanc Debris said...

The Social Contract Press…..hummm

These are the people who printed and endorsed “The Camp of the Saints,” a tome widely revered by American white supremacists and is a anti-immigration analog to “The Turner Diaries.” The SCP is also tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center which describes it as a “hate group” which “publishes a number of racist works.”

John Tanton, MD founded the SCP as well as FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) is criticized for taking funding for many years from the Pioneer Fund, an organization dedicated to "improving the character of the American people" by promoting the practice of eugenics, or selective breeding.

What are you planning to grow out there in Fellsmere, Lisa??

Jethro Bovine said...

Ms Douglas,

You are leaning in the right direction. Unfettered government actions of ANY ilk are bound to come to no good. The USA has a badly, if at all, thoughtout immigration plan. "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." This axiom is true for politics as well as for physics.

As with my rants on Monday re the government's lack of a plan for the "bailout", I are herewith ranting about the government's lack of a plan for normalizing immigration policy.
If the SPLC is tracking a group you can pretty much bet that there is something behind it. (There is enough real hate out there that I doubt the SPLC would make up some.) That said, it is NOT racist to demand that our immigration policies make sense for US Citizens, US institutions (generically like "healthcare", "eduction", etc) and finally, those millions who wish to immigrate. If they want to come here, they have to expect to pay into the system for a period of time before they can collect Medicaid, Welfare, Medicare, etc. Just like US-born citizens, if the new immigrees fail to pay taxes, etc, the consequences will be brought upon them.

Consider yourselves ranted.

Hugs,
JB

LDouglas said...

Blanc Debris,
I just recently came across the the Social Contract Press and never considered the thought of racist roots. Sorry- I don't think in those terms. I think in terms of population as it relates to not just the environment but to social issues too.

As far as FAIR, same thing. I do always consider that "facts" can be presented in ways to favor your cause but you can always consider they're close to accurate or they'll be challenged by someone.

The only thing I plan to grow that isn't for my personal use is the idea that there are limits to growth. This is the time to decide on whether we want to see a maximum number of people living at a minimum standard of living or a lower population that gives us a better standard and the ability to share with others.

Another thing to consider is if the war in Iraq wasn't about terrorism, then it was about securing a future source of oil. It isn't farfetched to think there won't be wars over food and water resources in the not too distant future. Rising food prices are already happening and taking their toll as are water shortages.

There will be little human rights, peace, and social justice for people when we can't meet their basic needs.

So if we could take a lie detector test and prove there's no racist undertone, do you think we should have immigration laws or open borders? If we have open borders, how many people do you think we can take in before we're just as poor as the countries they come from?

LDouglas said...

BTW, Just saw your comment JB. Thanks...

Anonymous said...

Lookup folks, flying overhead, pilots from Pakistan, India, Sudan? Could anyone of them be the one, trained in known Al Queda camps in those countries?
Could anyone have the very best documents money could buy, to get past whatever Flight Safety or any other training organization would require. Probably better then mine.
Could anyone of these people, flying all over Indian River County be the one who decides to drop the briefcase full of whatever kills the most. The biggest bang for the buck.
Worried about immigration, well, I think we have a bigger problem overhead, as we blog....... Back to the future. What if this was May, 2001, would this get your attention? Or does it sound too farfetched. Warren Buffett making money off of Sudanese pilots?

LDouglas said...

Anonymous,
Nothing is too farfetched these days. But population is to blame in terrorism too.

Otherwise I just noticed somehow a part of my blog was lost in the shuffle. It may make more sense if I add it- so here it is:

Right after I talk about the article that was in the Press Journal last Sunday this was next.

>For instance, by the time we reach what President Obama hopes to achieve in renewable energy and to become more energy independent, demand for energy will almost double. Instead of making progress, it's like barely treading water. And by the time those millions of jobs that are to be created in the alternative energy sector are created, they'll be millions more in need of a job.

Education is another area where I can't see making much progress if we continue to grow. I understand we're already paying for illegal immigrants children to attend school but we have no idea how many illegal immigrants have children at home that will be eligible to come in once their parent is on a path to citizenship. Or how many will have larger families than they would have had otherwise. It currently costs about $7,000 a year to educate one child and higher for those unable to speak English.

Ditto on health care. How can we make progress if we add millions and millions more every year?

The easiest route would be to stick to our guns, insist on no amnesty or path to citizenship and just press for our government to enforce our immigration laws. But I'm afraid that alone wouldn't be meaningful enough. Our system is in need of meaningful reform as our current immigration laws are outdated for the times.

For example, ending birthright citizenship is very necessary for the times. I couldn't find a number of just how many women cross the border in time to give birth every year but I did find numbers ranging between 300,000 and 450,000 births every year to illegal immigrants. We can no longer afford a policy that encourages people to take advantage of a safety net for our poorest citizens and rewards them with citizenship for their offspring. Especially, when it costs us an average of $8,000.00 each to as high as $500,000.00 for premature babies etc.


From there it picks up on "Another reason" etc.

Ricky said...

Did LDouglas defend using a racist site to press her point??? (see Blanc's post above) LDouglas "never considered the thought of racist roots"!

What journalistic integrity. What research skills. What hogwash! Let's cite the KKK as an authority on race relations.

And then this, "'facts' can be presented in ways to favor your cause but you can always consider they're close to accurate or they'll be challenged by someone."

I guess Sadam really did have something to do with 911 and Niger really was trying to sell yellowcake to Iraq. Otherwise, why would we have invaded? None of this was challenged at the time. And no, we don't torture...

Your superficial 'research' is on a par with Max's. The Beach House surly deserves better.

LDouglas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LDouglas said...

Ricky,
I'm not a journalist, I'm a blogger. It is my opinion that we should tighten up our immigration laws or suffer the fates of other countries with too many people and too few resources and a government that gets more corrupt as the problems mount.

But yes, I guess I was defending myself because I wouldn't intentionally use information from racists. I just honestly didn't think about it. I know there are racists out there but didn't account they would tie themselves to population and environmental issues.

But you don't have to worry. I'm sorry and I will look for it in the future as it's high time we get past arguing over racism before we get to discussing what we should do about illegal immigration.

Imagine a source of contention between you and your spouse, or you and your boss (or an employee) or you and a neighbor- whomever.

Now suppose if everytime something came up that needed to be addressed or you need to cooperate on, you started by rehashing that contention. It would be tiring wouldn't it? And wouldn't it stymie progress or make getting to a solution more difficult?

That's what it feels like to me everytime someone throws racism into the mix instead of just focusing on the issue at hand. It isn't helpful to the conversation at all. And if you keep crying wolf (racist) when there isn't a wolf around, how will we believe you when there really is a wolf?

BTW, illegal immigrants just like racists come in all colors.

Ricky said...

You apologize, which is fine. We all make mistakes, but then you go on and seem to imply that it is I, or Blanc, that interjected race into the discussion.

But it was you that brought race to the discussion by using a poorly researched cite that evidently comes from a white supremacist group.

You didn't know? You aren't a journalist? Fair enough. But take responsibility for your own writings and the cites you use. You may not "intentionally use information from racists", but you did it anyway. Who is crying wolf here?

BTW - when you are on the same side as such groups, it might be time to pause and rethink. Just sayin'

LDouglas said...

But you both did interject race into it. All of the other information was disregarded because of those two references. But I see the point that I started it. I can't expect you've ever read my other stuff but if you had you'd see that I didn't purposely inject race into it. As you say, fair enough.

Now as far as rethinking my position on population growth because of being on the same side as some racists, it doesn't change it. Numbers are numbers. Besides, there are plenty of people of color who are against illegal immigration and population growth as well.

immigrant descendant said...

Lisa, until this particular column, you were my hero. Veering off onto this subject, you really put your foot in it. What criteria for entry, only the wealthy and educated? Attractive and sterile?Hey, let's adopt the Indian caste system. Indian River County used to allow hundreds of guest workers during the harvest, who were only too happy to return home (mostly the Bahamas) after the season. Once the doors started to slam shut, why leave when you may never get back? Tightening up has had the effect of a border rush to get here.

Max Newport said...

Why not just enforce the laws that are already in place? There are procedures for illegals to become legal that don't involve social status or appearance. There are immigrants that follow those procedures and become American citizens. I know dozens of folks who have become citizens.

Those who are here illegally should pack up and leave. It is not biased or racist, they are simply breaking the law.

For those who want to be here legally, at least make the minimal effort to follow the rules. For those who ignore the rules, they are either criminal or stupid and we have enough of those here already.

LDouglas said...

"What criteria for entry, only the wealthy and educated?"

No, the criteria should be a sustainable number. Sustainable, financially, environmentally and socially. That's it.

We allow a million immigrants in legally every year and somewhere around a million and a half as guestworkers. I have no problem with guestworkers when our economy is good and they're needed. I don't see why tightening up our immigration laws should affect guestworkers. (Except for slowing guestworker entry due to our present economic troubles.)

But we have a 20 year backlog of those waiting legally and it costs us billions a year to process. How many more should we add to that number? And who should ante up the additional billions needed to process all the illegal immigrants in the meantime? And where will the extra money come from for their healthcare, education, their unemployment benefits, food stamps, housing subsidies etc?

We're just about tapped out being taxed to keep the things that make this country better than a lot of the rest of the world as it is.
We're talking about closing down schools. We're talking about letting thousands of prisoners go. We're cutting funding for those in nursing homes. There's more but the most worrisome is we're also just about tapped out on clean sustainable water supplies. The farmers in one area of California would of had to stop farming if they weren't recently provided with reclaimed septic water. Out west is so dry and populated they've actually considered towing icebergs down. All over the country there are water problems and I'm not even going to touch on the pollution in our water from the mere act of living- like flame retardants in oysters and pharmaceuticals in fish.

Just counting new legal immigrants and our birthrate we grow by 4 million a year. That's almost another state of Florida every 4 years. Another state of Florida that needs energy including oil, roads, schools, jobs, health care, protection, water, food. 12 years that's three more states of Florida.

All while the world adds 70 million a year or the equivalent of another United States every 4 years. How long do you think oil will last? How many more coal plants can the air handle? Over a billion people already live without access to clean water...

Population is something we are going to need to address sooner or later. I would just rather do it sooner before we end up with the same problems that plague other countries with too many people and too few or unaffordable resources.

LDouglas said...

Max,
We should enforce our immigration laws. I have asked this question before but have never received an answer. If we're not going to enforce our immigration laws then why have any? If we don't have any, how would we keep from being overwhelmed? Why wouldn't other countries load planes up with anybody willing to come here?

And wouldn't only allowing only those who have walked or drove over the border to immigrate be even more discriminatory then following our immigration laws?

macdear said...

Mark Twain is illustrative. "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." I suppose this may be true in part because misinformation, like a lie, requires no accuracy, validation or research; all of which are time-consuming practices.

"Illegal aliens" is a term invented by anti-immigrant groups designed to put undocumented persons in the worst possible light and to instill fear in Americans. It is intentionally designed to associate undocumented persons with criminality.
The INA refers to undocumented persons as either “EWI” (entered without inspection) or as someone who has overstayed their visa.

The fundamental problem with U.S. immigration policy is that it treats international migration as a pathological condition to be repressed through law enforcement actions. Migration is the natural outgrowth of the worlds free market expansion and economic integration. (Think NAFTA) and should be managed for the mutual advantage of trading partners. Studies show by migrating in response to economic changes at home, migrants do not intend to remain abroad for the rest of their lives. Though, in recent years, the USA’s repressive border-enforcement policies simply make it more difficult for such migrants to achieve their ambition of returning home.

Prominent in the popular imagination is the notion that immigrants in general and undocumented immigrants in particular, consume more in public services than they contribute in taxes, thus burdening U.S.-citizen taxpayers.

Research on the foreign-born generally finds that immigrants (legal) are less likely than natives to use public services and that most of those who do use them are refugee groups, such as Russians, Cubans, and Indochinese. Just 2 percent of Mexican immigrants have ever received welfare or Social Security payments and just 3 percent have ever accepted food stamps. In contrast, 84 percent paid taxes. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 declared undocumented immigrants ineligible for Social Security while limiting their eligibility for educational benefits even if they had paid the requisite taxes.

The idea that immigrants come to the United States fleeing abject poverty and material deprivation at home is deeply embedded within the American psyche. As we know, the largest single source for U.S. immigrants is a large, rapidly developing economy: Mexico. Though Americans tend to perceive Mexico as a poor and underdeveloped country, this is not the case. Although Mexico has had its share of economic setbacks, it is not poor by global standards. Mexico has a one trillion dollar economy, a per capita income of almost $9,000 (compared to $9,700 in Russia), a fully industrialized economy, a high level of urbanization, the largest oil reserves outside of the Middle East, an advanced life expectancy, and a rate of fertility (2.3 children per woman) that is only slightly above “replacement” level

From 2002 to 2004, Florida’s immigrant workers paid an estimated annual average of $10.49 billion in federal taxes, $4.5 billion in state and local taxes, $1.3 billion in property taxes, and $3.2 billion in sales taxes. That’s nearly $20 billion in tax revenue each year.

Now that some “real” facts are out of the way, let’s address your concerns.

“What the study doesn't take into account is how many of those workers would not end up being taxpayers even if their employers hired them legally.”

Huh? All employers are required by law, to deduct Social Security and FIGA taxes. Of course, with every consumer purchase comes state sales tax. Studies show that upwards of 50%-75% of EWI’s pay both Social Security and FIGA, without the hope of ever recouping any benefit, as they are working with non-valid social security numbers.

“Or how many would qualify for various public assistance programs.”

That has already been studied and resolved. See above.

“They also do not take into account the $66 billion would not come from employers pockets but consumers pockets- ours”

When the first large scale EWI amnesty occurred during the Reagan Administration, wages and working conditions increased, across the board for all working Americans. The existence of a large underground labor market puts downward pressure on wages in some industries, weakens workplace safety, and undermines the well-being of all American workers. Newly legalized workers would be able to move into higher-paying jobs, pay more in taxes, and spend more on goods and services

“According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, our immigration rate is higher than at any other time since the early 1900's”

While immigration numbers have been increasing since the advent of NAFTA, during
the last 2 years, those numbers have decreased.

“Another reason is because birthright citizenship puts us in a dilemma of what to do when a mother is illegal but her children are not.”

Yes, I agree that birthright citizenship should be evaluated. However, in the case of workplace raids, the most egregious disregard of the law is perpetrated by the employer who undermines competition and undercuts the wages of native-born workers. Wherein lays a huge and disparaging prosecution of criminality. Rather than using law resources guarding our “border with Mexico”, perhaps those resources would be better utilized identifying employers who hired EWI. Businesses should be cognizant that criminal prosecution and repercussion would be enforced, to the most stringent letter of the law.
E-verify is a first step.

Which brings us to another anti-immigration myth, EWI’s do not take jobs from Americans, and unscrupulous employers do.

Last and not least, I hear your dismay over sustainability, it is the reason I have enjoyed your time at the Beach House. But for me, this is the most disappointing of all of the arguments you have put forth on immigration, thus far.

Immigration does not cause our country to consume 1/3 of the entire earth’s resources. Until we as a country, stop trying to place blame and take a hard look at ourselves and our dwindling resources, we are all collectively doomed.

Immigration is not a drain on the USA’s health, education and social services. The major drain on our financial power to promote a well educated and healthy general population is the failure of a lazy, entitled and afraid populous that refuses to insist that the USA’s government stop spending more than all of the world’s nations combined, on the military machine.

I think that a rational conversation regarding immigration reform is needed. Unfortunately until facts are used instead of fear and conjecture, that conversation is impossible.



The Pew Foundation
http://pewresearch.org/topics/immigration/

The Immigration Policy Center
http://immigration.server263.com/index.php?content=home

The Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center
http://www.fiacfla.org/coalition.php

Fear and Loathing in Prime Time
http://mediamattersaction.org/static/pdfs/fear-and-loathing.pdf

The Anti-Immigration Movement
The Southern Poverty Law Center
http://www.splcenter.org/intel/immigrant.jsp

The Reason Foundation
http://www.reason.org

The Urban Institute
http://www.urban.org

LDouglas said...

Thank you macdear for taking the time to write a response. It was a most refreshing reply and something for me to consider further.

I'm still not convinced granting amnesty is in our best interest or that we shouldn't work towards a sustainable population while we work on those other things.

But I intend to check out your links so that I'll at least have a broader view to form and base my opinions on in the future. Thanks again...