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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Trump, The GOP, And Immigration

Category: Immigration
Posted: 07/12/15 02:39

by Dave Mindeman

Republicans are digging a deep hole on immigration and as usual they are trying to push their own inaction on the issue onto Democrats in some kind of desperate attempt to move the spotlight away from them.

The latest diversion is sanctuary cities. Cities that do not move against illegal immigration unless some other law enforcement issue comes into play. The San Francisco tragedy (a woman murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been deported several times) has become Donald Trump's latest exploitation on the immigration issue.

Sanctuary cities are regarded as a necessary status for law enforcement in many largely hispanic communities. If undocumented residents are not routinely targeted via routine police actions, the police can get the cooperation of the community on other crime related matters. Undocumented residents are still investigated for illegal activity and deported when convicted of crimes. But without the sanctuary status, the police get silence and no cooperation.

However, let's review how we got here. In 2013, the US Senate passed a bipartisan version of a decent immigration bill that addressed the majority of issues that are such hot potatoes right now. That bill has since sat in the US House awaiting action; getting none. This bill would have eliminated the need for sanctuary cities. And it would have addressed the problem of undocumented immigrants by giving them a path to citizenship.

But the House has refused to act... and immigration thrives as the most divisive issue in America.

Even now, Republicans could end this debate by taking up the immigration bill and fixing the problem. But the issue has gotten out of control. Facts are lost. And action is impossible.

Now, it seems, we want to build an impenetrable fence when the net border crossings is actually approaching zero. The Mexican economy has improved so much that many families are moving back.

Donald Trump convinces his vocal followers that Mexico is exploiting us. That they are dumping their undesirables across our borders. That the US is getting duped in trade agreements.

All of this is made up by a man who has never had a handle on the truth and does business by saying what people want to hear.

But there is also a willing and receptive group that want to hear this rhetoric. They are also willing to act on it. Trump has found the way to stir the pot.

And if facts are not deployed....if the rhetoric continues to heat up...and if the Republican Party as a whole is not strong enough to meet this anger head on, then the battle lines of division may move beyond the point of no return.

Donald Trump may be delighted at the attention and probably doesn't care where it leads....but that only proves that Trump doesn't really care about this country and if the Republican Party is too cowardly to put a stop to it, then they don't care about this country either.
comments (2) permalink

FearMongering On Immigration

Category: Immigration
Posted: 07/08/15 13:09

by Dave Mindeman

I would say there is a very good chance that during the Presidential campaign we are going to have another round of fear mongering on immigration. It is a favorite conservative topic -- and one that seldom deals in real facts. Because when it comes to undocumented residents most of the numbers and statistics are just guesses.

Here is how the Census Bureau estimates the undocumented:

Most use data from a survey taken by the Census Bureau each March that asks individuals in a very large and statistically controlled sample to identify their country of birth, and compare the number born outside the United States with the number of permanent resident aliens, authorized temporary workers, asylees and naturalized citizens known to be present. When the latter is subtracted from the former, the residual number of persons are presumed to be illegally present after adjusting upward for an estimated undercount of individuals likely missed in the surveys.

That method has an enormous potential for error. Our complicated LEGAL system of immigration makes it difficult to maintain contact with many who enter the country legally and even more difficult to determine if any of them have stayed past their Visa, left, or have changed status. The immigration service simply doesn't have enough staff -- although we seem to find plenty of money for border agents.

The days of the "drug mules" and people wandering the desert has become an outmoded caricature of our own perceptions of illegal immigration. The majority of it comes from the expiration of legal visa stays.

Pure illegal entry has been dropping for a decade:

At the height of the illegal-immigration crisis in 2000, 1.6 million illegal immigrants entered the United States. Since 2012, the numbers are down to about 400,000 -- and they've gone down so far this fiscal year by another 28 percent over last year.

Frankly, the money we are spending on fences and barriers and more agents is wasted money. At some point, a huge, long fence will become a monument to our own foolishness. Money that should have gone to basic infrastructure is going to attempts at appeasing our fearmongering.

Donald Trump exploits those fears and we let him get away with it, as he uses made up numbers and exaggerated examples. It is noted that in the US about 80 million people are either first or second generation LEGAL immigrants. Our population is a mixture of the world's cultures. Yet, we lump legal and illegal together in this constant parade of fear mongering politicians....all too willing to exploit ideas that can't be factually proved.

I would hope that this surge in discussion will find its way to real facts and solid numbers that give us the true picture of our actual dependence on immigration for our growth and stability.

Unless you are a Native American, we all came from somewhere else.
comments (1) permalink

The US House GOP Supports A Pretty Screwed Up Immigration System

Category: Immigration
Posted: 12/28/14 22:26, Edited: 12/29/14 11:38

by Dave Mindeman

I had to scratch my head when I looked at this headline in an AP story..

Farmers brace for workforce shortage under Obama's executive action on immigration

How could a policy that halts some of the deportations cause a workforce shortage????

The article explains....

Farmers already scrambling to find workers in California -- the nation's leading grower of fruits, vegetables and nuts -- fear an even greater labor shortage under President Barack Obama's executive action to block some 5 million people from deportation.

Thousands of the state's farmworkers, who make up a significant portion of those who will benefit, may choose to leave the uncertainty of their seasonal jobs for steady, year-around work building homes, cooking in restaurants and cleaning hotel rooms.

So if I have the interpretation right...... these seasonal agricultural jobs are dependent on workers living in fear that they will be found out by the Immigration Service and arrested? That keeps them working?

Can a system be more broken than that?

The House Republicans are grousing about Obama using executive action to help these people. And apparently, what these same House Republicans are saying is that they want the undocumented to be forced into jobs that don't ask questions. They prefer this "underground" economy.

And least that is the only interpretation I can devise because they do not want the President to act and they themselves refuse to act.

Is that really what the GOP wants?
comments (0) permalink


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