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A Day Without Immigrants
Monday, May 01, 2006


Unless your ancesters walked accross the Aleutian land brigde, I'm pretty much talking about a day without YOU, too...
posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 10:07 AM  
11 Comments:
  • At May 01, 2006 2:01 PM, Blogger tirade25 said…

    What about space aliens?

     
  • At May 01, 2006 2:28 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    "There's UFOs over New York and I ain't too surprised..." -John Lennon ;)

     
  • At May 02, 2006 11:19 AM, Anonymous jayvos said…

    America doesn't do May Day. But it did yesterday, and how. Many of the official organisations that are supposed to be fighting the right-wing anti-immigration legislation advised workers and students not to protest, not to leave their jobs and classes. That conservative approach has been dealt a sharp blow (the total of people taking part in the strike is in the millions). If the US left and unions aren't organising around this, they're crazy.

     
  • At May 03, 2006 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We're living in a city that's already $2M in the hole, whose city council has recently approved thousands of dollars for a pop hero memorial, has already raised property taxes, is facing the demands of employees of school and city departments for increases in salary and benefits, and whose administration is now suggesting the city become a zone for more incoming dependents.

    jayvos, just who is YOUR sugar-daddy?

     
  • At May 03, 2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Jon Hastings said…

    jayvos,

    Hey - I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "[i]f the US left and unions aren't organising around this, they're crazy."

    Just from basic economics, illegal immigration is bad for unions: unions exist to drive the wages of workers up. But increasing the number of workers through immigration drives wages down. That's why the Wall Street Journal and other big business right-wingers are so hot for open borders legislation: they want an unlimited supply of cheap labor. (This is why labor leader Cesar Chavez staged protests against farmers who made use of illegals).

    Democrats are hot for open borders becuase they (probably rightly) believe that more immigrants means more votes for the Democratic Party. However, this kind of ethnic block voting within the Democratic Party has historically led to lots of corruption and bad government (i.e., the Democrat Irish political machine in turn of the century New York or the Democrat party in the South from the late 1800s until the 1970s).

    Actual leftists (which I'm not) and actual union supporters (which I am), should be very wary about gung-ho support for open borders and/or amnesty programs.

    Best,
    Jon

     
  • At May 03, 2006 4:15 PM, Blogger Fells said…

    What I get a kick out of is that Kiss wants to make Burlington a safe haven for ILLEGAL aliens. I don't have a problem at all with immigration, just as long as it is done legally.

     
  • At May 03, 2006 4:58 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

    Here are a few things to think about before y'all get your panties in a wad over who is "legal" and who is "illegal":

    Some of my English Ancesters arrived in Massachusetts on the Mayflower. They had not been cleared by the INS.

    I'm sure there were more than a few "American Indians" who considered their Europeans tormenters "illegal" immigrants.

    African immigrants arrived here legally- in slave ships.

    You know, it's really easy for us fat, lazy, white people who were born here to point and shout and say "build a wall!" or "Just shoot them!" or whatever. But how many of us have ever gone hungry for a week, let alone a day? How many of us know what it's like to walk through the desert for days without water? How many of us can even begin to imagine the kind of poverty that would force us to such desperation?

    The lower house of our Congress tried to make it a felony to give any aid or comfort to people in such desperate situations. That kind of viscious, mean-spirited, rotten bullshit is wrong, un-Christian, and totally void of empathy. I'm glad people took to the streets to rebuke that.

    Almost everyone in this country is an immigrant or a decendant of immigrants. Immigrants built this country and its wealth. Legal, illegal- whatever. The "legal status" of a living breathing human being is just a philosophical construct, and nothing about it is mentioned in the poem at the Statue of Liberty.

     
  • At May 04, 2006 1:28 AM, Anonymous Leonardo Da Pinchme said…

    Good point Haik,
    Still...I believe they should either make all immigrants legal, or do something make the word illegal mean something in some way. Its seems counter-productive to continue to allow something "illegal" to happen.

     
  • At May 04, 2006 8:51 AM, Blogger charity said…

    In this day and age, with so many enemies of America waiting to strike, we need to know who is here. We cannot have an open-door policy that allows people to come and go without documentation. Other countries require passports for people to enter. Other countries do not allow temporary visitors to get public benefits. This is not something exclusive to the US. Why does this make us some sort of bad guy?

    My question is why can’t these people go through the legal channels to be here? That is the question that needs to be answered.

     
  • At May 04, 2006 9:33 AM, Blogger Jon Hastings said…

    Hi Haik,

    Here's the thing: as a college-educated, middle class, lazy, white dude, massive immigration is completely in my (short term) benefit. If wages for manual labor and other services are kept down by immigration that means I can more easily afford luxuries like eating fruit year-round and having my laundry done for me.

    So when I raise questions about open borders, I'm really not doing so out of my own (short term) self-interest.

    This piece from the New York Times, about the doubts some African-American leaders have about the immigration movement, is relevant.

    Charity,

    There's a lot of pressure from special interest groups to overlook the standard legal process: big businesses (agriculture, development, WalMart) want a never-ending supply of cheap labor to keep prices down and profits up.

    It's weird: I can completely understand the open borders arguments made by libertarian economists like Tyler Cowen and the big business boosters at the W$J. In the end, I disagree with them, because I think they are placing the welfare of big business and middle-and-up class Americans ahead of the welfare of lower class/poverty stricken Americans. But at least they are consistent in their philosophy.

    I'm a little more puzzled by the way leftists and progressives have embraced the possibility of open borders though. I think this phenomenon is related to what Thomas Frank describes in What's the Matter with Kansas?: from an economic/policy p.o.v., open borders is disastrous for many goals that liberals are trying to achieve (open borders means lower wages, more sprawl and its accompanying environmental destruction, and placing a strain on public welfare programs that will eventually undermine them). However, liberals are willing to ignore all this because of sentimental passion. It's weird to see ultra-left socialists completely buying into the W$J's take on this issue.

    For what it's worth, I think the spirit of what Haik is saying is irght on: immigrants have contributed a lot to American life and should continue to do so. Also, I do think we have a moral obligation to provide a refuge for victims of oppressive political situation. However, we also have an obligation to the people who were born here to make sure that we don't enact policies that make their lives worse.

    Best,
    Jon

     
  • At May 07, 2006 8:22 PM, Blogger tirade25 said…

    Hastings,


    Word.

     
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