Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Frightening Thought of Bill HR 4088

Finally someone noticed. The NYT ran an editorial this morning that says it directly:

"Senate Republicans last week offered more than a dozen bills to further enshrine mass deportation as the national immigration strategy"

It is of great concern that the U.S. population is not responding to this travesty. How can we sit back when there is a bill before the Senate that is pushing for mass deportation?

at the end of this post is the opinion piece from the NYT. We've listed a number of comments to the article.

NYT 3 13 2008

2008 7:12 am
This editorial is absolutely right. What makes it even more pathetic is the hypocrisy of Republican party, who want undocumented aliens in the US because that way, their constituents, the unethical farmers, business owners, factory managers and builders who use undocumented aliens, can exploit them even more. They use fear mongering and paranoia solely for the sake of profits. If they were truly concerned about undocumented aliens, they would confiscate any and all businesses hiring undocumented aliens, as well as all assets of the owners and jail the owners and managers. Undocumented workers would cease to exist in the US. This would be great, however, if you want to limit economic growth and pay through the roof for food, housing and services. So the sensible thing is to throw out the incompetents in Homeland Security, INS and reorganize the system in a sane manner that best benefits our economy, foreign relations and society as a whole. Legalese the underclass in hiding before they become a real problem, link immigration to demand for employees and graduate students in strategic professions. Work toward boosting wages in Mexico and Central America and toward gradually reworking NAFTA into an agreement that allows free flow of labor as well as capital.

— Rick Mc Callister, San Salvador

2008 8:35 am
Shame shame shame almost every group who immigrated to America has been demonizes by others before them. During the 30's Hitler blamed ethnic groups for the economic problem in Germany; We have ignorant and hateful racist politions along with right wing thugs on radio and TV telling people it is alright to kick other groups of peoplke to make yourself feel better; Where our leaders should be examples they are cowards

— Harvey, New York NY

2008 8:35 am

It seems to me that we are all illegal immigrants. We arrived uninvited a few centuries back. We took the land we wanted -- which was all of it -- from the people who lived here. If they objected, we killed them. If they survived, we sent them to a special kind of prison called a "reservation." We destroyed their cultures and their languages, and we took everything they had. And now that it's all ours, we want to be very careful not to share any more of it than we already have.

A proud history, indeed, and a strong foundation on which to be self-righteous.

— robrachlin, greensboro, nc

I believe illegal immigrants are being used as scapegoats by the Republican party to avert the angry of 2/3rds of Americans againt the waste and violent this administration has cause. It is a weak attempt to find a "different bad guy" to let them off the hook. The sad thing is , it will be effective with some voters.

March 13, 2008
New York Times

The Road to Dystopia

The search for a silver bullet to slay illegal immigration continues. Hard-liners are turning the country upside down looking for it.

They are looking in Washington, where Senate Republicans last week offered more than a dozen bills to further enshrine mass deportation as the national immigration strategy. It is a grab bag of enforcement measures that will be useful for tough-talking campaign commercials, but will not actually solve anything.

Republicans and some Democrats in the House are trying to force a vote on a bad bill called the SAVE Act, which among other things would force all workers, including citizens, to prove they have a right to earn a living — a bad idea compounded by the notoriously bad state of federal government records.

The error rate in just one database, the Social Security Administration’s, is believed to be more than 4 percent, making it likely that many thousands of Americans would face unjust firings and discrimination, and waste a lot of time and effort trying to clear their names.

The harsh-enforcement virus has spread far beyond the Capitol. In states like Oklahoma, laws have been enacted to force illegal immigrants further underground, off official registries and into anonymity, by denying them identification like driver’s licenses. In a growing number of states and counties, politicians are offering up police officers to the federal government for immigration posses. From Prince William County, Va., to Maricopa County, Ariz., officers who pull people over for minor traffic infractions are checking immigration papers, too.

Many law-enforcement professionals say this is reckless and self-defeating, because it sends a deep, silencing chill into immigrant communities. Citizens and legal residents will inevitably be hassled for looking Latino. And it is expensive; Prince William’s new law is expected to cost $26 million over five years, plus a few million more to outfit police cars with cameras, as a hedge against lawsuits.

Maybe some people do not mind that immigration zealotry is sending the country down a path of far greater intrusion into citizens’ lives, into a world of ingrained suspicion, routine discrimination and economic disruption. Is that what we want — to make the immigration system tougher without fixing it? To make illegal immigrants suffer without any hope of ever becoming legal, because that is amnesty?

Could it be that tightening the screws relentlessly on illegal immigrants, even if some citizens suffer in the process, is all for the greater good?

Which is — what exactly? To drive a large cohort of workers out of a sputtering economy? To take more people off the books? To prop up the under-the-table businesses that inevitably evade such crackdowns? To worsen wages and working conditions for all Americans, since nobody works more cheaply and takes more abuse than a terrified, desperate immigrant?

This is a country that runs on routine amnesties. Where would the courts be without plea bargains, or state budgets without periodic tax forgiveness? Are illegal immigrants the one class of undesirables for whom common sense, proportionality, discernment, good judgment and compassion are unthinkable?

It is frightening to think that this country’s answer could be an emphatic yes.

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