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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
zigzag1
agnostic/progressive
11:15 PM on 11/19/2007
Damn illegals are destroying the dreams of millions of Americans. All of us whose dream is to ride in the back of a landscapers pickup with 6 other guys in dirty sponge bob tee shirts on the way to wrestle boulders in the Phoenix sun. And those who's dream is to change grandmas diapers in the nursing home have no chance to compete. My personal dream which has been dashed by illegals is to stand knee deep in pesticides and stoop all day to pick crops. And I dream of making $9/hr and having my employer stiff me at the end of the week and not having any recourse. Some think I must be a real loser to have my dreams dashed by a fellow with half his teeth and speaking almost no english but I say this " Vote for the candidate that will send them all back so we can leave our crops rot in the field and pay lots more for all the services those illegals provide".
10:48 PM on 11/19/2007
My grandfather jumped ship in the last century because we did not want scary brown people then either. How little we have learned.
10:44 PM on 11/19/2007
Anyone who bashes an immigrant (illegal or legal)for wanting to live here and doing the hard work that most Americans won't do for the substandard wages they make should be ashamed. This is NOT what the Democrats are about. The people of Mexico are victims of calculated NAFTA aftermath that did NOT all boats down there.

Here is the problem: High technology corporations have gotten away with this ruse of a Great Labor Shortage myth, and uncorrupted or thinking, upwardly mobile Democrats understand that this is an economic issue. High tech professionals are watching their wages plummet and their job prospects disappear as millions of of their jobs are outsourced or insourced.

To accuse millions of educated, white collar citizens as 'racist' is ignorant and the sign of an elitist or elitist wannabe, at best. When people are replaced by imported labor by rigged hiring practices designed to displace them, is this the kind of Democratic country you want to live in? This immigration issue is all about corporate greed and the elitists who suck off their teats.

Democrats need to unite on this economic issue first by leaving the hard working Mexican immigrants alone and helping them assimilate and by demanding corporate accountability with real labor reforms that put Americans first.
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
realitytrumpsbull
Two 'alves of coconut!
10:38 PM on 11/19/2007
Well, like it or lump it, there is a racial
componement to our national history. The Civil
War was about slavery at least in part, and
today's politics reflect it. The 50 states
got formed by the Union troops going forth
and seizing territory, and shooting people
for the most part that objected to it.

In the Conquest of the Americas, which started
a long time before the first english colonist
ever set foot on the continent, race and
religious political frictions were already in
full swing. The native americans got herded
around, wiped out, and so forth, by the
spanish conquistadors, or conquesters,
and then there were the dutch, the french,
the italians, and finally the english.
The Church, the Catholic church, of italy,
sent home untold riches from the New World,
and built countless retail outlets for their
social programs, and if you read along, there,
they were none too kind to the indigenous peoples or their religious practices. Finally,
though, McChurch was founded(VISA/MC accepted),
and with the purchase of Salvation Shares(R),
you, too, can purchase personal absolution from
all the past wrongdoing of Mankind in the
western hemisphere.

Sure, the first couple hundred years were
pretty rough, trials and witch burnings, but
in time, though, all the descendants of all
these original pioneers and settlers made good
account for themselves, and built the trans-
national Wal-Mart you see before you today.
The People's Republic Of AMEX welcomes all
(that have a credit rating above 650, other
restrictions may apply, offer not available
in CO,OR,CA,IL,NH,NY, and FL, so FU, see
store for details and our latest advertising
hype), give us your tired, your poor, your
potentially credit-worthy.

Fills you up with consumer pride, don't it? LOL
10:08 PM on 11/19/2007
Your comments about tech workers are ignorant and insulting to those of us who have experienced the impacts of outsourcing and the H1-B program directly.

I don't know any American tech worker who thinks that they "deserve those high-paying software development and engineering jobs, no matter how unqualified they are for them". You should cite a source for this assertion or issue a public withdrawal and apology.

What we think is that no matter how qualified we are we will lose out to offshore workers or H1-B holders. The former are paid a small fraction of what a fair salary in the US would be and will not cost the employer portion of the FICA tax or health insurance premiums. The latter are glorified indentured servants, are rarely better qualified than the Americans they displace and have no standing to demand better compensation or working conditions.

You've also made the common mistakes of conflating the H1-B issue with immigration and suggesting that the visa is a pathway to immigration.

H1-B visa holders are guest workers, not immigrants. It's true that they can apply for green cards but studies have shown that many of the largest employers of H1-B tech workers are Indian-owned outsourcing firms who pursue a strategy of using the program to build their off-shoring business and rotate their H1-B staff home after several years (http://www.sharedprosperity.org/bp187.html).

The H1-B program allows employers to undercut the bargaining power of American tech workers by underpaying H1-B workers (see above citation). Tech employers and corporate IT shops have used this to restrict hiring of qualified American college graduates and to displace their current staff, particularly those in mid-career who are earning higher salaries (http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html).

But I guess as "an executive at an international auction house" and pseudo-intellectual bullshit artist you would know a whole lot more about that than the authors of the studies I've cited. Either that or you just can't be bothered with the facts.
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10:08 PM on 11/19/2007
Gee, Mr. Jenkins, I guess I'm a senile old democrat, but when were the laws permitting immigration and naturalization into this country been revoked. I musta' been sleeping.

And if you think Americans who don't like *ILLEGALS* are racists...There are one billion poor Chinese, and another billion poor [asian] Indians. Say the governments of India and China decide, as has Mexico, they don't want the "burden" of their poor and ship them over here. You gonna meet their boat(s) at the dock and throw flowers and candy at the new-comers? Or you gonna be racist about the matter?

BTW, given the recent growth of the total population due to illegal aliens, how do we feed them? IOW, is the US self-sufficient in food today? (Hint: is the US a net importer of food?)
09:27 PM on 11/19/2007
What a wonderful post. However, the Democrats need an action plan to help Mr. Jenkins pursue his dream. Allow me to suggest:

1. An even closer collaboration between the Democratic Party and the groups they're controlled by and those companies that profit from illegal activity. Those companies - and banks - are making billions off illegal activity, and the Democratic Party should grab their share of the pie.

2. Even more links between various leaders of the Democratic Party and the Mexican government. The Democratic Party will put the "u" back in collaborateur as they join with their "amigos" from south of the border in a mutually beneficial arrangement.
09:11 PM on 11/19/2007
While I would agree with you that Barack Obama is the best hope we have for a candidate who might actually be able to lead us out of this mess, I don't think it's helpful to label all opposition to illegal immigration xenophobic nativism.

While I do acknowledge that there are xenophobic nativists who oppose illegal immigration, I think the reason you see polls showing 75% of New York state residents opposing driver's licenses for illegal immigrants is that there are plenty of legitimate reasons to oppose it.

For myself, I'm a progressive Democrat, I speak Spanish, have been to Mexico more times than I can count, have worked for years as a non-profit/environmental lawyer primarily with Latino community-based organizations, have always had close Latino friends from Kindergarten until the present. I could go on, I live in the heart of Los Angeles, for chrissakes, I'm far from a xenophobic nativist.

But I'm passionately opposed to illegal immigration. For me, it cuts against everything that we are trying to work for in the progressive movement. It erodes support for public services. In no category of work do illegal immigrants constitute a majority of the labor force, so yes, obviously, they do take jobs that Americans would do.

The list of ills could go on and on: overcrowded and overburdened public schools, emergency rooms, recreational facilities, environmental damage at the border, etc. But to me, none of that gets to the main point: we have a right, as all nations to, to have an immigration policy that is respected by all parties. If we need more people to come in, that should be decided by our representatives in a democratic fashion, not by border "coyotes" and outlaw employers.
08:48 PM on 11/19/2007
To equate illegal immigrants with "immigrants" generally demonstrate how vapid you are.
08:00 PM on 11/19/2007
" There is extraordinary little attention paid in the presidential campaign to the hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded Iraqis, or the millions of displaced Iraqi families. Even Democrats are remarkably timid on the subject, as if they wanted to avoid any little bit of guilt, or as if Iraqi lives were exponentially less important, or both."

Everyone cries for "the troops". "The troops" signed up for a job knowing the risks involved - war and possibly death. What about the Iraqi civilians? They didn't sign up for any of this. Innocent men, woman, and children have lost their lives, due to a war that WE started. Children are dying, because our troops are there. Everyone who is against this war talks about the troops, as if the American people are more comfortable sympathizing with the suffering of grown men who made concious decisions to embark on a dangerous profession than the innocent dead Iraqi children.
08:00 PM on 11/19/2007
I agreed with you article on a whole. I just want to repeat a few key things you said that made me want to stand up and cheer to finally hear someone (other than myself) say:

"...they just cutting their nose to spite their face: denying unfilled U.S. jobs to potential immigrants simply speeds up outsourcing as most companies looking for growth (as they all do) will move operations elsewhere. "

Absolutly, I work in high tech, an industry with the highest base salary for college grads, and one of the lowest unemployement rates. None of my coworkers ever complain about H2A workers, why try to fix a system thats not broken?


"Democrats could pay a real price for Bill Clinton's trade agreements, bilateral or otherwise, that don't include strong provisions about the environment, work conditions and social benefits (in just a few fell swoops, he outsourced pollution, child labor and 100-hour work weeks)"

And then we turn around and complain about illegal immigration. Our trade agreements have left their country in ruins. Instead of trying to fix what we broke, or at least change existing trade agreements stop further destruction, we complain about the economic refugees fleeing the shameful wages and abhorent working conditions that we helped force upon them.
07:35 PM on 11/19/2007
To me, this is old time liberalism, the kind I grew up on. My own views have been polished by the good fortune of going to various Third World countries in pursuit of pot to smuggle, and seeing first hand how thoroughly miserable life is on a daily basis for the majority of humanity. Hell, you don't even have to go to Asia or Africa, just pop down to Haiti for a quick visit sometime.

Do we need to sacrifice in this country for other people to be able to get some taste of the prosperity that we take for granted? Actually, I'm convinced that with some planning and organizing (those nasty concepts that the right wing gags over) we can continue to move up at the same time that we help pull everyone else up with us. I'm not dunmb enough to say that it would be simple, but I am still idealistic enough (even after eight years of prison lock down) to believe it possible.

My personal favorite opening act in the scenario that leads to planetary tranquility is for us North Americans to decide that it's time to look after our whole neighborhood together. I mean, for Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. to not be one country by this late date is not a sin perhaps, but it certainly can't be called the epitome of good planning either.

The biggest, the richest, and the best is where we have been told we came from (I know, I know!!!) but we're certainly not living up to any heritage like that. Merge with people who have been absolutely wonderful to live next to during my life, though, and a lot of energy would be put back into our journey. Add the goodness of the Canadians and the simple, family oriented approach to life of the Mexicans and we would once again be a country that the whole world would follow without our needing to put a gun to somones head to make it happen.
07:14 PM on 11/19/2007
People who believe immigrants are terrorists are never going to vote democratic.

People who endorse unrestrained spending on the war are never going to vote democratic.

i could go on and on with comparisons like this.

The democratic party is spitting in the face of their base, and ignoring the viability of their political future, for fear that the far right might take umbrage.