What do we do with all these people?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by nbs2, May 3, 2006.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #1
    With the rapid destruction of the thread I started in the Community Discussion forum, it was proposed to me to start a thread here and post links to this one.

    Please, continue here your discussion regarding immigration topics and what should be done with illegals and for those who sacrificed time and were patient to wait for a time to be allowed in - those who I think are part of an older generation...those who did not demand instant gratification.
     
  2. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #2
    Disclaimer: I'm pretty new in the Political Forum. I'm doing my best. :eek:

    I have heard plenty of people (in person, not on MR, yet) and just to clarify, there are immigrants and non-documented workers that are not of Latino/a descent. There are all sorts of Asians, Africans, and yes, even Europeans.

    There are also immigrants in non-physical labor intensive jobs. Walk around inside a techy/ cubical office building-- when I did, I saw mainly different Asians, many of whom are immigrants (Indian, Chinese, Korean, etc.).

    I'm sorry, but there are plenty of people who are younger and older who have jumped through all the hoops, dealt with all the red tape, can answer more seemingly trivial questions about America that those of us born and raised here probably couldn't even answer (as even some of my teachers have admitted to)-- and they still get rejected citizenship. Even the terminology of "illegal immigrant" can be problematic. There are blurry lines. What about the many individuals who are between visas, or in the process of becoming a citizen? Care for some real-life examples of people I have personally interacted with?

    My parents' dance instructors-- a Japanese couple. They have been in America for ten years and just received notice, that their application was denied. They must now go back to Japan, after doing everything in their power to become a citizen. After starting a business that is (excuse me, was) doing quite well. And they do indeed contribute to local economies! When they go into a Target or the gas station-- do they get a separate non-taxed price? No, they're paying sales tax as well. And in this particular example, this couple rents out commercial space as a venue to teach dancing-- the last time I checked, renting property contributed to the economy.

    Another example, a friend of mine, his parents were born in Iran as was he, but they brought him over here at the tender age of 2 years old. He is nearing 22 and guess what? Still waiting for citzenship. He is a student at UC Davis, and holds a steady job-- I'd say that makes for a contributing/productive citizen.

    A student in one of my clases spoke up saying that he personally waited 8 years to get his student visa!

    So in the decade or so that many individuals must wait to receive citizenship or visas, what are they to do?! Just sit like a rock? Life goes on. So they build their new lives here-- with the understanding that if they are productive contributing 'citizens' and they are doing the proper actions to become a legally recognized citizen, they will be accepted into this country. They start families. They start businesses. What then when they are given the boot? They must uproot their families, forego their businesses, and leave behind a culture they have embraced as their own, a lifestyle that has become the norm.

    And of course, let's not forget.

    It's easy to say as someone w/ English as his/her language, and someone w/ a socio-economic background of middle to upper class, "Why don't they just do it the proper way?"

    Well, if you barely have the means to even live, how will you have the means to be educated, to even access the resources to get a visa and/or citizenship?

    A lot of times people come in w/ a travel visa, student or even work visa. But visas expire. And honestly, it can't be easy getting all the required steps in time.

    Have you ever been into a DMV? My guess is that the relevant offices are only worse than that. I already addressed the US taxes thing.

    And as for why they are entitled to rights?

    They are humans.

    I feel like in this debate, it's easy to lose sight of that. These are people, too. They laugh, they cry, they have families. Beautiful babies. They have funerals and memorial services. They're not that different from you and me. Except they are-- they are seen as sub-human, "aliens" and seen as criminals.

    I doubt that any one of us has never broken a law. Jay walking. Speeding. Full and complete stop. I bet some of us break laws everyday. But we don't have the full nation jeering at us saying how we're criminals just for being here. I think that that makes a huge impact.
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #3
    Thanks for the real-life stories. The more I hear about it, the more the immigration system in the U.S. appears to be a Kafkaesque, bureaucratic nightmare. The hardline "law and order" folks might want to consider the qualities of the system they reflexively defend. It's a great system if the goal is discouraging all immigration, even by the most motivated and skilled people.
     
  4. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #4
    I should clarify - my issue with the immigration issue is trying to figure out what the problem is.

    I don't have any problem with legal immigration. I think that it should be encouaged - it is a lot easier to bring in established talent than it is to cultivate it at home (but, it is important to cultivate). My concern with recent events is that the issue hasbeen muddied. I respect the work that immigrants do, and I think they are entitled to work for a better life. I think that they also have a responsibility to integrate into the culture that they have joined. Not doing so creates too many Little Xs and not enough America.

    With illegals, I am concerned that little is done to stem the tide. Yes they (along with immigrants) perform the work that others don't want to do. But, I think that gets into the welfare culture of Americans and their sense of entitlement. The fact remains that they have violated the law. Do they have basic human rights? Yes. Should proactive measures be taken to stem the current tide? Yes. There are many who come here and work, but there are many who can't or don't. They are ideal fodder for gangs however, as they are given a sense of belonging and usually an easy way to make money. I applaud those who do try to work, but the question is how many. I wonder if the ineffectiveness of the protests on Monday may have inadvertantly shown how many do not work or seek to work. Stopping the flow of illegal immgrants is essential to improving conditions in other nations. What incentive is there for Mexico to change if all those who asire to more can just walkout of the country. If they stay, the become a force for change there. Now, all that remains are those who feel powerless to change their situation and those who profit from the situation.

    Do I believe that illegals have the right to services? I think that if (the proverbial) you believe that they do, you should fund them. The government does not have a role in absorbing that cost. Personally, I think we should send Mexico, etc a bill for services rendered to their nationals that they permitted to enter the US illegally. That would at least enourage efforts to stem the tide before they leave.
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    But again, this entire set of questions sidesteps the fundamental issue: legal immigration into the U.S. has become impossibly difficult to accomplish for most people. What is the point of treating violators of idiotic immigration laws as though they are the moral equivalent of murderers and rapists?
     
  6. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #6
    an anecdote from the INS...

    an american friend of mine wanted to marry his german girlfriend, who was still in europe. this was the early 90's. as he was my roommate at the time, i was there for every step of bureaucracy dealing w/ trying to obtain for her a marriage visa, which would allow her to legally move to chicago and then marry my friend.

    it all worked out in the end, but at one point he was told he needed to obtain two affidavits from people who knew them both and then have those people interviewed by the INS. i was one of those people. i took the day off work for my interview and queued up at about 6:30 a.m. (they would shut the doors at 11 a.m. and continue to process only those who had made it inside).

    sometime in the afternoon, we were next. the INS worker was surprised that we had shown up, as it wasn't required. he then pointed out that the form given to my friend -- the one requiring the affidavits -- was several years old and the regulations had changed.

    it's no wonder that people have trouble making it through the system.
     
  7. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #7
    I'm sorry, I don't quite know what you mean by "not enough America." Not enough, Caucasian America? The last time I checked, America is an incredible mix of many different ethnic backgrounds leading to a pretty unique American culture. And in fact, I disagree, I think that these 'foreign' cultures and peoples have indeed tried to integrate. I'd be willing to bet that most people would recognize the phrases, "chow mein" and when "fried rice" is mentioned, I'm sure people envision some Asian styled dish. On the flip side, few Chinese restaurants would offer sweet and sour x meat, but because it seems to be quite popular here in America, it has become some sort of a staple offered in most restaurants. If you read some written works by people of color, you might notice that one of the biggest and most recurring themes is how to balance one's cultural/ethnic background with the mainstream American culture. So I really do think that people strive to integrate-- plus, I think that it is an innate human quality to want to be accepted and to belong to a social group/environment.

    Perhaps the law needs reform then? I do agree, the non-documented workers/ people we're talking about have broken the law. But this wouldn't be the first time that America has had to reform ineffective and possibly injust laws.

    Or perhaps those people who have no job security, no job protection, who aren't allowed to form or join unions-- have no guarantee that they can find work if they strike for one lousy day. Even if it could potentially help them (what, 10 years down the road? :rolleyes: ).

    As I stated in my first post, I don't think it's fair to single out non-documented workers of Latino/a descent because believe me, there are plenty of other people who are also illegally here.

    Anyway, that aside, you're right on some idealistic level. Sure, it'd be swell if people could stay and better their home countries. But let's face it, it's not always doable. If even simple web sites and images are censored, what hope can a citizen of that given nation have that their single voice will be heard before it's even squashed? If you were in that situation, I'm sure you'd jump at the opportunity to relocate to a nation that promises (but perhaps in reality, doesn't deliver) economic and educational opportunity, and most of all freedom.

    Again, if you had/have children, wouldn't you want them to have the whole world available to them? Many people believe that being in America affords that-- and if it means uprooting their whole lives, leaving behind familial, cultural, and economic security/support in their home countries-- they will do it. They will move here, to America, in hopes of greater opportunities for their families and for themselves.

    Yes. Thank you. You're much more concise and succinct than I am. :eek:

    And just think for a moment, the stories I mentioned above, of people in my life-- these are people living in one of the most affluent areas of the nation. These are educated individuals, people from middle to upper class socio-economic backgrounds-- if even they can NOT make it through the system, what hope is there, for those individuals who might not be fluent in speaking English, much less reading and writing?! What hope for those individuals who struggle to afford living here?

    But all that said, I do agree, unfortunately, these people are considered criminals and something must be done. I don't profess to having a viable solution, or any solution at that.

    I just want people to realize that it's not all that easy to gain a visa or citizenship and can downright be impossibly difficult for many migrants and ultimately, to not lose sight that these people are just that-- they are people, too.
     
  8. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #8
    I don't think that immigrants shouldbe treated as murderers or rapists, but I still think they have broken the law. I guess I would fall into a category of "misdemeanony" - not a misdemeanor, not a felony. You are right - we need to figure out how to care for all those already here.

    My not enough America, I go back to my fear that we are isolating ourselves into small clusters and don't have an integration into society. Much as the Irish, Italians, etc had to eventually integrate into the greater America, I think that the pletora of Asians and Latins need to integrate. My reference to too many Little Xs was that immigants who try to integrate into society often do better, along with their children, than those who shelter themselves in Little Italy or Chinatown.

    One problem of the events on Monday was that they became characterized as a rally for Mexican and other Latin immgrants. I saw no coverage regarding immigrants from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, etc. That did bother me a lot.

    I should study, so I'll try to add more later.
     
  9. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

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    #9
    Yeah, the system for this completely sucks. If you've ever worked for the US government in an office, you know exactly how unorganized everything is. Rules and procedures change almost daily, and its no wonder why we're at a crossroads.

    I think if we can put a good system in place, we won't have these issues.

    Although, it doesn't help when some of these people are waiving Mexican and other countries' flags when rallying to be part of America. I think it shows that SOME of these people who are rallying are full of **** and the others truly, genuinely want to be part of America.

    America is a great place. The government here might suck, but the country itself and what it tries to represent to this day are great things. I still have hope... I think we have to many lawyers in this country and not enough who truly want thigns to work.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    What's more, they are people who desire to become American citizens. If we'd think more clearly about why we want to place so many obstacles in the path of individuals who want to become citizens, then I believe solutions to immigration issues would become more evident.
     
  11. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #11
    what does it mean to integrate? adopt american culture? so far as i can tell, the only shared american "culture" are cars, TV, and consumption.

    i happen to love the chinatown and (both) little italy's in chicago. and little vietnam and little india. what's so wrong with having ethnic centers? in just about every city in the world, there's a bar for american ex-pats. should there not be?
     
  12. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #12
    What's wrong in waving a flag to show where you come from?:confused:

    It's pretty hard to work out what that is, sometimes.
     
  13. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #13
    I think that's a serious question which needs revisiting. Though I don't like to resort to someone's manual of terms, integrate involves:
    in·te·grate v
    1. vti to become an accepted member of a group and its activities, or to help somebody do this
    2. vti to join two or more objects or make something part of a larger whole, or to become joined or combined in this way
    3. vt to make a group, community, place, or organization and its opportunities available to all, regardless of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, or social class
    4. vt to find the definite or indefinite integral of a function or equation
    Encarta® World English Dictionary


    South Florida is another example of the melting pot of a good number of Cubanos. I've helped hands on with the legalization process with friends from various Latino countries. It is a long, arduous and relatively expensive process. That's okay as long as it's a "fair and equal" opportunity for all. But this has not always been the case.

    It seems the common denominator of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is an attractive opportunity. The ideal has been bought in to. I don't believe the system has kept up with the rate and velocity of the dream. There will need to be a measured give and take on both sides of the issue, but I believe the present system is in dire need of updating.
     
  14. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #14
    We have a incompetant federal govt who shows us time and time again how they cant get anything right,immigration border control,drug war,Iraq, we need a complete and i do mean complete overhaul of everything the Federal govt is involved in. Kind of sorry our own federal govt ignores its own laws. Our govt has been taken over by the corporations. Cut that tie and we can get some stuff done but as long as we let big business call the shots they are going to screw us everytime. Thats what we have now with energy & immigration along with a hundred others. It wasnt suppose to be like this.
     
  15. Lau Guest

    #15
    Devilot, that was very eloquent and well written indeed.
     
  16. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #16
    Interestingly (at least I thought), just after my last post a local hospital called asking my wife to come in for translation for an emergency child birth situation. They're here. They're having babies. They may or may not be legal, but necessity is often the mother of invention.
     
  17. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    #17
    The protests essentially shut down the school in which I teach.

    I'd call that pretty effective.

    Then you should make sure you don't benefit from any services provided for you by "illegals."

    As I've said elsewhere, let's go after the white collar scum exploiting our immigrant culture. I'd rather take down those who exploit the poor than those who seek a more secure future for their children. One works to dehumanize, the other seeks a larger human and social good.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    Presumably invention's name is Pablito, or Raoul, or ...
     
  19. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #19
    Ms. Neccesity must be so proud.
     
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #20
    Cake != Have + Eat

    You can't create a service economy based on below minimum wage workers, and then tell the workers they can't get citizenship benefits, send their kids to school, be treated in hospital or protected by the country's laws.

    You can't "send them all home" because California's crops would rot in the fields and drop from the trees.

    1) Grant amnesty
    2) enforce workplace laws including minimum wage, safety and benefits
    3) suck it up and face the fact that we CANNOT AFFORD THE COST IN HUMAN MISERY of cheap food, cheap landscaping, cheap construction labour. You're pissed about the kids in Malaysia working for $0.50 a day sewing Nike shoes? What about the undocumented person who washed your car, picked the grapefruit you had for breakfast, stocked your grocery's shelves or washed the dishes after your dinner out last night?

    Goods and services have to go up in price to pay for the minimum wage.

    That's what it comes down to folks. If ALL workers were treated equally, we'd have to pay 25% more for Sunkist oranges, and the price of your pool service would go up by $100 a month. The tradeoff for cheap labour goods is a population of people who have their quality of life and the protection of law denied from them.

    You want their work? Treat them right. Then, of course, we'll have millions more productive and taxpaying residents contributing to the economy.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    isn't that what bush is proposing with his "guest worker" program? a bunch of cheap labor to exploit whose vote the GOP won't have to bother courting?
     
  22. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #22
    Ana María Necesidad, please. And don't forget Juan Carlos Alberto y Joselito. :)
     

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