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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

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.
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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?
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The GOP Has A Constitutional Remedy - PASS A BILL!

Category: Immigration
Posted: 11/21/14 14:06

by Dave Mindeman

House Republicans had a swift reaction to Obama's executive order on immigration....

They filed a lawsuit - on his actions on healthcare?


Boehner has been shopping this lawsuit idea for months and I guess he finally found a lawyer (Jonathan Turley) willing to do it. But this lawsuit is being pursued based on what Obama has NOT done on the health care law. And has nothing to do with executive action on immigration.

Is Congress really so broken that they can't even get their lawsuits figured out? This suit will fail and even if they do bring up one on immigration, that will fail as well. Obama isn't doing something revolutionary. He is doing what past Presidents have always done...and he is actually doing less of it than most. Executive orders are one means of executing laws in the best manner possible. And Obama is doing just that on health care and immigration.

If Boehner wants to stop Obama, he has a very clear Constitutional remedy. PASS A DAMN LAW! Instead of not doing anything and having sessions about once every other week, PASS A DAMN LAW!

In regards to immigration, you already have the bipartisan Senate bill sitting on your desk. All you have to do is move it to the floor. It will pass - maybe with more Democrats than Republicans - but it will pass.

And if you do that, immigration can be taken off the table as a divisive topic. Families can make plans for the future. And we can all get back to the business of governing.

But, Speaker Boehner won't do that will he? He can't. Because he has too many negative voices speaking much too loud.

It would take some political courage but the answer is right there on his desk. PASS THE DAMN BILL!
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