Gay Patriot Header Image

I will march on Monday

Posted by Average Gay Joe at 10:13 am - April 30, 2006.
Filed under: General,Illegal Immigration,National Politics

Friday was an interesting day for me. I have many Latino friends that are immigrants and a number of them called me all day expressing fear over being kicked out. Some of this is irrational probably stirred up from political opportunists, rumors, and perhaps bad experiences with the governments in their native countries. I say this because some of my friends I know are here legally with valid work visas, yet they too seem to have caught the “fear bug” going around. These folks, mainly from El Salvador, were granted permission to work in the U.S. and have been here for many years. They have married, had kids, bought homes, and in all respects that I’ve seen are the kind of people we want to have in our country. Instead of leaving them in agonizing limbo for years, extending the expiration of their work visas when business whines, a permanent resolution of their status needs to be made now. I personally believe they should be allowed to stay with permanent residency and later citizenship (assuming they meet all qualifications for such). Others of my friends are illegal immigrants (I reject the PC term “undocumented worker” as pure BS). They came for the obvious reason that conditions in their country sucked and they wanted a better life for themselves and their family, something I myself would have done in their situation.

I’ve previously mentioned on my own blog that I’m torn on the issue of illegal immigration. On the one hand I’m adamantly against open borders, am rankled by the “entitlement” attitude among some illegal immigrants along with some of the other nonsense, and find some of the criticism about the drain of illegal immigration on health care, schools, law enforcement, etc., to be valid. Yet on the other hand I cannot ignore the fact that both political parties have had a “wink and nod” approach to this for years for there own reasons and despite problems from some, most of these people are providing needed labor here and aid to the poor in their own countries. A guest-worker program legalizing their status with all the requirements citizens and permanent residents must meet as far as taxes go should alleviate some of the problems. Anyone who thinks we can maintain a porous border without this being detrimental to our nation or that we are seriously going to round up millions of people and deport them are just not dealing with reality. The border should have been attended to immediately after 9/11 but the politicos on both sides of the aisle ignored it for their own partisan reasons. As for the latter, most people know very well that besides lacking the manpower to carry out such a mass deportation, the first video on TV of some crying mother and her screaming baby being handcuffed by immigration officers to be deported will cause the whole scheme to fold like a house of cards. So let’s cut through the BS and resolve this in a way that may not please everyone but I believe will be the most fair and the best for our country.

The most pragmatic solution I can see for this is a melding of both the hardline and soft approach to illegal immigration. Specifically:

• Build the wall and put in place whatever other security measures are needed. Double the number of Border Patrol agents, particularly for catching suspected terrorists, narcotics traffickers, and gang-members.

• Deny driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition to those here illegally. This would not include those enrolled in a guest-worker program.

• Require a legal form of identification for voting; reject the bogus Mexican matricula consular IDs.

• Immediately deport those here illegally or who have work visas for crimes from petty theft to murder – after they serve their punishment.

• Establish a guest-worker program which allows those here already to remain as long as they pass a back round check (paid for by them), pay a fine for coming here illegally, and demonstrate that they have employment or are able to obtain a job in a reasonable amount of time and not be on welfare. A path to citizenship will have to be part of this, probably after some waiting period, with the details on this worked out. In my view though it should include a demonstration the candidate can support themselves and has a basic understanding of American history and an ability to speak English (I’m not asking for “Shakespeare”).

• Toughen penalties who continue to knowingly hire illegals after such a guest-worker program is established. By “toughen” I’m speaking of severe as in they lose their business and spend time in jail.

I am probably forgetting something in this list and undoubtedly it will find detractors from all sides, but it is the best solution I can think of to address the legitimate concerns I’ve seen on the many sides of this issue.

When I was growing up my father taught me the most important things in life are God, family, friends, and country. If a conflict between any of these arises than one must do what their conscience tells them is right. I do not agree with all that I’ve heard about the organizations or goals for this planned march, indeed I refuse to participate and condemn the boycott (an arrogant and stupid idea liable to spark a backlash), but I cannot abandon those whom I call friends even though I find some of their fears to be unjustified and irrational. Therefore I will join my friends on Monday – AFTER work – and march, for them. I will, however, be carrying an American flag.

UPDATE:  This column from the Concord Monitor has some items from Mexican law that the president and leaders in Congress should tout as part of an immigration reform program which in my view should also include a guest-worker program leading to citizenship for many here already.

Share

16 Comments

  1. Sorry Joe – I’m confused about what you’re marching for.

    I gather you would want to be marching:

    – for your friends who are here “legally with valid work visas”
    – against the drain of public funds/services by illegal immigrants
    – for secure borders / against open borders
    – for America
    – against the “entitlement attitude” of some illegal immigrants
    – against the ineffective “wink and nod” approach of both parties
    – for reasonable guest worker & amnesty programs
    – against employers who, after such programs have been established, would continue to hire illegals

    All of which I agree with. HOWEVER – At this point, I don’t believe your participation in Monday’s march will be taken (by the world) as meaning those things.

    ————————————

    I also respectfully take issue with this statement: “…most of these people are providing needed labor here and aid to the poor in their own countries…”

    From an economics standpoint: If we didn’t have the illegals, then market wages in the job areas they do (mostly unskilled) would rise significantly… which would be a very helpful thing for the unskilled / poor people we have in America legally.

    Moreover, through the very same workings of that wage increase (which, to the rest of the economy, would appear as a real price increase), we would also find that SOME PART of the jobs the illegals were doing, we don’t really need done. This is all Economics 101 – supply and demand.

    My point: “They do needed jobs” is a fallacy. One held almost universally, I grant; but a fallacy nonetheless. A free economy naturally works with whatever the labor supply is.

    As for “They send aid to the poor in their own countries”… you seem to be saying we should take illegals as a form of foreign aid, and I disagree even more with that.

    Don’t you hate it when people cut in line? Think about why. It’s unfair and wrong. Lots of people from around the world want to come here. We should get to run an organized line. Latin American illegals don’t own this land/country and shouldn’t get to cut in line. I don’t care if it helps their countries/families back home if they do.

    We should find other ways of helping Latin American countries – oh, say, leading them to political and economic freedom, so they can become better places in their own right.

    Comment by Calarato — April 30, 2006 @ 11:27 am - April 30, 2006

  2. All of which I agree with. HOWEVER – At this point, I don’t believe your participation in Monday’s march will be taken (by the world) as meaning those things.

    To borrow a portion from a favorite movie of mine, “The world must construe according to its wits”. I know why I am going which is all that matters. I have yet to see any march or movement which completely fits with my line of thinking.

    From an economics standpoint: If we didn’t have the illegals, then market wages in the job areas they do (mostly unskilled) would rise significantly… which would be a very helpful thing for the unskilled / poor people we have in America legally.

    This may have some truth in certain professions, but not in mine or at least my segment of the construction industry. We are unionized and the same wage (which is pretty good) is paid to everyone, citizen or not. Now you can argue that non-unionized workers being paid low wages depresses our own wage rate, which I’ll agree with to a point, but not to this degree. These “unskilled/poor people” you mention are invited to come work with us, where all they will need to do the job they will learn.

    My point: “They do needed jobs” is a fallacy. One held almost universally, I grant; but a fallacy nonetheless. A free economy naturally works with whatever the labor supply is.

    That’s great in theory but not terribly accurate in reality. My experience may be ancedotal but has shown that these folks do indeed provide needed labor which some Americans either do not want to do or are unwilling to put any real effort into the job. Let me just say that there is a reason why half our company is now Hispanic immigrant, and low wages ain’t it. They receive the same wages and benefits the American half gets.

    As for “They send aid to the poor in their own countries”… you seem to be saying we should take illegals as a form of foreign aid, and I disagree even more with that.

    So be it. If we are going to send foreign aid I’d rather the bulk of it come in a way which makes the recipients work for it and also benefits us rather than a hand-out which usually ends up in some corrupt politician’s pocket.

    Don’t you hate it when people cut in line?

    You mean like the Sooners? We have a history of tax and law-breaking amnesties when necessary to resolve an issue and I see no difference with this.

    Think about why. It’s unfair and wrong. Lots of people from around the world want to come here. We should get to run an organized line.

    Yes we should, but such hasn’t been done and this sentiment does not deal with the reality which exists now.

    Latin American illegals don’t own this land/country and shouldn’t get to cut in line.

    Too true, yet if you really think 12 million people are really going to be kicked out than you’re incredibly naive. legalize ’em, assimilate ’em, and build the wall all at the same time.

    We should find other ways of helping Latin American countries – oh, say, leading them to political and economic freedom, so they can become better places in their own right.

    That’s been tried time and time again for nearly 200 years all to no avail. Only the people of these countries can bring about real change. This also does not address the illegals who are already here.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — April 30, 2006 @ 12:11 pm - April 30, 2006

  3. [The idea that reduced labor competition, from illegals or whoever, would tend to raise wages in the segment they compete in] may have some truth in certain professions, but not in mine or at least my segment of the construction industry. We are unionized and the same wage (which is pretty good) is paid to everyone, citizen or not.

    It doesn’t sound like you’ve thought it through. In the end, the wage your union can command is set for you, by society’s joint demand for, AND supply of, your type of labor. When a type of labor is in supply, unions suddenly find they have a slightly harder a time of it. When a type of labor is hard to come by, unions have that much easier a time of it. Universal economic law.

    These “unskilled/poor people” you mention are invited to come work with us…

    By employers. That’s my point. If the employer just can’t get them, here’s what happens. First, the employer sits down and thinks about if he really needs them. In some cases, he doesn’t quite. Second, for the people truly needed, the employer says “OK, I have to bite the bullet and pay a little more.” Ultimately, your pay gets JUST good enough that JUST enough people are willing to do your job to cover all critical needs. And third, the employer says “The guys I do have – I wonder how I can make them more effective, to fully justify what I’m paying them”.

    That’s how economic freedom works and has for 200 years now. I mean, at least when we are all allowed to have economic freedom. Biggest success story in human history.

    My point is, all the above is an organic process. We (in the economy) all work it out together, organically. It ends up being whatever it is, and it’s a fallacy to say “We HAVE TO have the labor of person or group X”. No person, profession or group is ever THAT really needed.

    …these folks do indeed provide needed labor which some Americans either do not want to do or are unwilling to put any real effort into the job.

    Yes and no. Understand this: I haven’t denied in the least that there is a demand for their labor. It would be accurate to say their labor is WANTED – sometimes badly. If you are an employer and you can just hire a person at $15/hr or whatever, and NOT have to do any hard thinking about how bad you really need him or if there’s any way you could just make your existing people more effective… it’s LITERALLY a no-brainer… you go for the easy hire. Nobody likes to do hard thinking!

    But if conditions change – oh, say, ILLEGAL immigration shuts down, and the remaining legal immigration is almost as much as the illegal was, but not quite – and you just can’t get guys at $15/hr in the same way anymore… then the employer is forced to sit down and do the hard thinking, the 3 steps I described above.

    The hard thinking is where “progress” happens. It’s the reason we make $15 today, where we would have made only $1 a hundred years ago. (Leaving out inflation in both cases – meaning the real improvements in living standards over time.)

    [Lots of people from around the world want to come here. We should get to run an organized line.]

    Yes we should, but such hasn’t been done and this sentiment does not deal with the reality which exists now.

    Sure it does. I’m saying, same as you: Let’s rationally fix the darn problem. Secure our borders, end ILLEGAL immigration, and run an organized line.

    With that in mind, I was saying: The fact that somebody really, really wants to come here isn’t a good enough reason to let them in. Especially not ahead of others who are doing it right.

    …legalize ‘em, assimilate ‘em, and build the wall all at the same time.

    I told you earlier that was my general idea – I mean, that I agreed. Don’t get too pissy about stuff we agree on 😉

    [We should find other ways of helping Latin American countries – oh, say, leading them to political and economic freedom, so they can become better places in their own right.]

    That’s been tried time and time again for nearly 200 years all to no avail.

    Another long discussion for another time. Briefly: It’s been sort-of-tried and sort-of-not. To the extent it’s been tried for real, things are a little bit better in Latin America than they would be otherwise, that’s for damn sure.

    Comment by Calarato — April 30, 2006 @ 1:27 pm - April 30, 2006

  4. P.S.

    It was/is a pleasure to read your post Joe (with paragraph breaks 😉 ) and to have this discussion. It so totally beats all the usual lefty-idiotarian crap in these threads.

    You are way smarter than [insert lefty malicious troll of the day – Ian, raj, Erik, etc.]

    Comment by Calarato — April 30, 2006 @ 1:34 pm - April 30, 2006

  5. Half a moment, it sounds as if we actually agree on much of this. Am I reading you right? The only exception I can see is this:

    In the end, the wage your union can command is set for you, by society’s joint demand for, AND supply of, your type of labor. When a type of labor is in supply, unions suddenly find they have a slightly harder a time of it. When a type of labor is hard to come by, unions have that much easier a time of it. Universal economic law.

    Actually our wage is determined through negotiations between the union and contractors. The influence on these negotiations you speak of has more to do with non-union workers willing to work for low wages than anything else. If anything you are making an argument for more unionization in this field, which since I have a “love-hate” relationship with the unions I’m conflicted about. 😉

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — April 30, 2006 @ 1:48 pm - April 30, 2006

  6. AGC, I’m surprised you admit to being a Sooner…talk about self-loathing! (HOOK EM HORNS! ;-p)

    Still, you do have valid points and I agree with Calarato – thank you for your posting.

    BTW – wonder how many African-Americans will join ranks with Hispanics and other illegals to protest? Or are they afraid of losing their number-one minority status and therefore will have to go out and get jobs that illegals are currently doing?

    I bet you won’t see any Asians there either. They’re already working and/or attending school on a nice fat scholarship program. Good for them. Maybe they can teach others a thing or two about applying one’s self and reaching for the prize…

    Did anyone else get a kick out of seeing Her Ebonic Majesty Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) getting frog-marched in handcuffs from the Darfur protest in DC? Hilarious!

    Sipping merlot in the hot Texas sun…

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 30, 2006 @ 2:21 pm - April 30, 2006

  7. Actually our wage is determined through negotiations between the union and contractors.

    Of course. And the “influences I speak of” determine your relative bargaining positions. Thereby determining the general range / limits of the outcome.

    Supposed your union demanded $100/hr. Would it get it? Hell no.

    Suppose the contractors demanded $3/hr. Would they get it? Hell no.

    Suppose the existing average wage (wild guess – bear with me) is $15/hr. Suppose your union wanted to make it $16. Suppose a glut of immigrants (legal or illegal) flooded your area with contracting skills, to the point where many of you were idle, unemployed. Would your union then find it easier to get to $16? Or harder?

    Now imagine the reverse – each of you is working 3 jobs at good overtime, your labor market is SO freaking tight. Will your union find it harder to get to $16? Or easier? Hmm, maybe they could get even more.

    If anything you are making an argument for more unionization…

    No. I’m saying unions matter less than they believe they do, one way or the other.

    There is a labor supply, there is a labor demand, and as a result, there is a natural market Price and Quantity at which that particular type of labor will be employed. Unions can deviate a little from that, but less than they think.

    If you’re running a socialistic economy where unions have tons of power – think France or Germany – then unions will be able to deviate from it a bit more, and for longer. But what do you get then? Mass, long-term unemployment.

    If union laws and powerful unions can force your contractors to pay $50/hr, when the work is really only worth $25, your contractors will hire less people, period. That’s the story in Europe.

    I’m saying, all of it ‘is the way it is’. Where do we want to end up? What kind of economy do we want to run? We pays our money and we takes our choice.

    Personally, I want a free economy with flexible prices (upward and downward) and, as a result, full employment – not to mention high growth. France wants a hidebound economy with cushy wages and job security for people who don’t necessarily do much – and France’s unemployed pay the price.

    Comment by Calarato — April 30, 2006 @ 2:53 pm - April 30, 2006

  8. P.S. AND I want secure borders…
    AND I want a big stream of immigrants who can help in booming markets that have excess demand for labor…
    AND I want them legal…
    AND I want the total stream (hopefully all-legal) to be just a little bit smaller than stream we’re getting today (legal + illegal), or certainly free of the al Qaeda types they caught at the border the other day…

    …and of all those, secure borders is the most important, or the key first step to the rest.

    Comment by Calarato — April 30, 2006 @ 3:01 pm - April 30, 2006

  9. I am not sure where I fit exactly, more in line with AGJ, mostly because I think we should admit more people here legally that want to come here to work, I think the proccess should be made easy enough and cheap enough, that those who want to come can do so.

    I absolutely think letting more people come-should go hand in hand with a secure border and a zero tolerance policy towards illegals-both towards those who come here and those who hire them knowingly.

    Basically policy should be set so that coming illegally isn’t worth it for those who want to come, and making sure employers won’t risk hiring illegals.

    I will also add though, that I don’t think the US should be the source of welfare to the world, and our immigration policy shouldn’t be geared towards that aspect-sure it is compassionate and all that, but the US has the right to secure its borders and set immigration policy how they want.

    Comment by just me — April 30, 2006 @ 4:30 pm - April 30, 2006

  10. AGC, I’m surprised you admit to being a Sooner…talk about self-loathing! (HOOK EM HORNS! ;-p)

    Ha! Eh, more of a futbol fan but I do enjoy watching Navy beat the stuffing out of Army. 🙂

    Still, you do have valid points and I agree with Calarato – thank you for your posting.

    Anytime. Since I have yet to meet anyone I agree with 100% it’s no surprise when others disagree with me. 😉

    BTW – wonder how many African-Americans will join ranks with Hispanics and other illegals to protest?

    Beats me.

    Or are they afraid of losing their number-one minority status and therefore will have to go out and get jobs that illegals are currently doing?

    There are many blacks in our company as well, whom I haven’t problem with. These guys work and some I’m friends with. Decent folks. As for black losing top minority status, too late. Hispanics now outnumber blacks in the USA.

    I bet you won’t see any Asians there either. They’re already working and/or attending school on a nice fat scholarship program. Good for them. Maybe they can teach others a thing or two about applying one’s self and reaching for the prize…

    Yes they could to both immigrants and native-born Americans. As for any Asians being at the marches, I have no idea. There’s talk of it.

    Did anyone else get a kick out of seeing Her Ebonic Majesty Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) getting frog-marched in handcuffs from the Darfur protest in DC? Hilarious!

    I’m more interested in seeing her thrown in jail for hitting a cop.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — April 30, 2006 @ 7:04 pm - April 30, 2006

  11. Of course. And the “influences I speak of” determine your relative bargaining positions. Thereby determining the general range / limits of the outcome.

    Obviously which includes more factors than the available labor pool.

    Suppose the existing average wage (wild guess – bear with me) is $15/hr. Suppose your union wanted to make it $16. Suppose a glut of immigrants (legal or illegal) flooded your area with contracting skills, to the point where many of you were idle, unemployed. Would your union then find it easier to get to $16? Or harder?

    That depends on whether these workers were unionized or not, along with whether the extra dollar would come with a cut in benefits or not in your hypothetical scenario. That person making $15 an hour receives benefits in the range of $3-5 more per hour which does not include the employer’s responsibility for unemployment , etc.

    No. I’m saying unions matter less than they believe they do, one way or the other.

    They have an effect, sometimes good and at other times not so good. When the market is filled with non-unionized workers willing to work for less pay and/or less benefits they are not so effective. You are still making an argument for unionization of these workers, which some unions (such as mine) are finally catching on to.

    If you’re running a socialistic economy where unions have tons of power – think France or Germany – then unions will be able to deviate from it a bit more, and for longer. But what do you get then? Mass, long-term unemployment.

    Obviously. Those are good examples of when the balance has shifted too far to unions.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — April 30, 2006 @ 7:11 pm - April 30, 2006

  12. AND I want secure borders…
    AND I want a big stream of immigrants who can help in booming markets that have excess demand for labor…
    AND I want them legal…
    AND I want the total stream (hopefully all-legal) to be just a little bit smaller than stream we’re getting today (legal + illegal), or certainly free of the al Qaeda types they caught at the border the other day…

    …and of all those, secure borders is the most important, or the key first step to the rest.

    Indeed. I see this as a package deal and something both parties haven’t figured out yet. We get the tough enforcement and security from the GOP and the open borders nonsense from the Dems. I say blend the two proposals, which I’ve already outlined what I find reasonable.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — April 30, 2006 @ 7:13 pm - April 30, 2006

  13. #10 – AGC, just one small correction. The cop-hitter was Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), not Sheila. But I can understand your confusion; after all, they both look and sound alike and act as if they’ve read the same “I’m democratically elected but still a victim” Cliff Notes.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 30, 2006 @ 9:12 pm - April 30, 2006

  14. I’m glad Joe mentioned identity to vote. What scares me most about 12 million or more illegal aliens living in the United States is how many of them are being registered and allowed to vote. (For that matter, how many legal immigrants are being allowed to vote before becoming citizens?)

    Sadly, I think it’s time for citizens to have national photo identity cards — they should be required to vote and to apply for a variety of public services (and privileges such as driver licenses).

    My thoughts on secure borders, employer penalties, guest workers, etc., were posted above in response to Bruce’s posting on Joe’s plans to march Monday.

    Comment by Trace Phelps — April 30, 2006 @ 10:46 pm - April 30, 2006

  15. My thoughts on secure borders, employer penalties, guest workers, etc., were posted above in response to Bruce’s posting on Joe’s plans to march Monday.

    And they were very well-put.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 1, 2006 @ 12:39 am - May 1, 2006

  16. #13: Ooops! My bad I guess. Ah well, they’re both loons so an easy mistake.

    Comment by Average Gay Joe — May 1, 2006 @ 9:54 pm - May 1, 2006

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.