Higher Ground

Higher ground

This county is no more awash in illegals than it was at another time “awash” in Italians, Irish and Germans. If it is awash in anything, it’s in racist and dangerous rhetoric contrary to the highest principles on which it was founded.

Occasionally, this column has joined the attempt to inject some simple sanity into the increasingly polarized debate over this country’s policies and attitudes about immigration.

And as the presidential election nears, and the hyperbole and the hate speech jacks up, the need for a little clear thinking is waxing.

Credit Marisol Jiménez McGee, advocacy director of El Pueblo, who, with a child due in a little more than a week, recently gave a powerful, laser-sharp analysis of what has become this nation’s key conflict.

It was, in my mind, the single best speech, talk or utterance I’ve ever seen on the subject and the points she made are worthy not just of repeating, but ought to be inscribed on a set of handy, wallet-sized cards for anyone looking for how to knock down some of the blunt, extremist arguments you hear cascading into mainstream dialogue.

Speaking last week before an audience of progressive Democrats at Chapel Hill’s Community Church, Jiménez McGee offered an analysis of the new “war of attrition” against immigrants.

Quoting the leaders of this new movement (coming soon to a community college, a social service agency, hospital or an employer near you), Jiménez McGee said that since “loading them up on boxcars” isn’t practical, the idea is to starve them out — to deny the undocumented access not just to social services but to the basics of our society, like a sound education and equal protection.

Such efforts, by tradition, require a bit of “dehumanizing” of The Other, such as a popular online game that allows you to assume the role of a border patrol vigilante shooting drug dealers and/or “breeders” — the icon for such being that of a woman with children in tow.

Meanwhile, the federal government’s push to make local police and sheriff’s deputies enforcers of immigration laws pushes people farther into the shadows, making them reluctant to report crimes and allowing criminals in their communities to flourish unchecked by the safeguards enjoyed by the rest of us.

The system is broken, Jiménez McGee said plainly, but it won’t self correct.

The way the laws are crafted now, someone who’s been here and wants to “get legal” would have to return to their country and get in a line roughly 12 to 15 years long.

And now that the federal government has decided to simply walk away from immigration reform, state legislatures that had been on hold while waiting for the feds will cut loose. It is, after all an election year.

Like the civil rights movement of the last century, which by necessity is still, well, necessary, resolving the moral and legal issues around immigration won’t wait for politicians, business leaders and polite society to work things out. Like the civil rights struggle, law and economics and the basic guarantees of human rights are in profound disagreement. Just as it was under Jim Crow, an underclass has been created, one full of individuals who are only permitted limited participation in society and are disenfranchised politically just as hardily as they are exploited economically.

This era, probably this election cycle, marks a turning point for our political parties and institutions.
For the Republicans, this is the party’s Voortrekker moment, its wagons circling as it embraces an apartheid that would institutionalize the underclass for the sake of their friends in the corporate class.

Like apartheid, it comes at a heavy price for both the dignity of the oppressed and the soul of the oppressor.

For the Democratic party, this is a pivotal moment. Buying into the rhetoric, even a bit, means turning its back on its social justice past and returning deeper into its history — to its darkest days. This is not, as one party official recently opined, “a second-term issue for a Democratic president.” There’s a war on. And its time is now.

Kirk Ross
Published 12/20/07 in The Carrboro Citizen


Immigration/ Jim Crow?

I agree with most of this post, however I find it a little disturbing that you would equate the immigration issue to Jim Crow laws which left African-Americans in a perpetual state of quasi-slavery for a century. I agree that the treatment of of undocumented workers is horrible. That said, I think a lot of Americans will be repulsed by your comparison to Jim Crow. The big difference is that African Americans were citizens of this country and and therefore were here legitimately. Undocumented workers are here illegally. While I agree that there should be general amnesty for all undocumented workers and a pathway to citizenship, I think the comparison to the status of African-Americans is not fair and might serve to alienate some people.

my point

is that if we had a sane immigration structure that was not fueled by economic exploitation many of the undocumented would already be citizens or in some way legally here.
Where do we draw the line? What about someone who came here as an infant, or people who have lived and worked here for decades or so-called blended families of undocumented and legal residents?


I agree 100% with your policy description, I just thought the comparison to Jim Crow might be a little overblown.

Did you hear the story about the girl from Guatemala who was deported. She came here at age 2 months. Her parents were naturalized citizens. She had no idea that she was not a citizen of this country and here illegally. In her mid 20s she was discovered and was about to deported. She spoke very little Spanish, had never been to Guatemala, and had lived her whole life in the United States. That is a crime! I never heard whether the INS went forward with the deportation.

The United States has to realize that immigration is one of this country's strengths, not weaknesses. In the next 30 years, Europe and Japan will begin to struggle with the problems of population decline. How will these countries continue to fund their government programs with a declining tax base that is increasingly getting older. Every year, a greater percentage of their populations i retired. Fortunately, we will not be in that same boat, because immigration helps to prop up our sagging birthrates. If anything, the United States should be trying to attract immigration to the United States. More and more, high tech workers, who used to move to the United States, are staying in their home countries. We need to find a way to reverse this trend and attract more hi-tech workers.

Serious moral dilemma.

A genuine health care crisis.

Growing gaps in educational and economic opportunity.

A disastrous and immoral foreign policy which has shaken American standing around the world.

A Washington administration seemingly determined to repeal great swaths of our most fundamental Constitutional liberties.

A true global environmental catastrophe (climate change) in progress, which if not controlled will dwarf the human impacts of even today's severe problems. (And all the challenges which are involved--energy, water resources, land use patterns, transportation systems.)

And this: The chaos caused by a broken immigration system, politically manipulated by demagogues, subject to an increasingly strident "debate" with growing racist overtones, and millions of families caught in the crush.

Over the past few years, I've been among the many thousands of local elected officials struggling to deal with the consequences of the combination of federal neglect and political hysteria surrounding immigration. Law enforcement, public services, economic issues. I've been part of local outreach efforts to our growing Latino community. I've even gone to public meetings in support of a just and rational approach to the issue (where elected leaders have been pretty darn scarce on the ground lately, I can tell you).

What to address? Is it still possible to confront this last issue in the manner it needs without drowning out every other urgent question?

That's the dilemma faced by candidates on the national and state levels in this election. We see what's happening in Iowa and nationally on the Republican side. Even the ones who have tried to be moderates on this question (McCain, Huckabee) are in full retreat before the rush of the demagogues. The Democratic field is treating it as a third rail, fatal if touched.

I've been wrestling with it in my own, "down ballot" statewide contest. Not where I stand--I know that: comprehensive immigration reform at a national level, including the earned path to citizenship, and in the meantime handling the consequences of federal delay at the state and local levels with moderation and compassion, not hysteria. The details need work, but the outline is clear.

The issue is how to speak out in a constructive fashion without having the resulting sound-bite coverage sweep all your other priorities away. And that, folks, is what a number of us (myself included) are still trying to hammer out. Because Kirk is right--this is an issue that does call for us to speak out.

Dan Besse
Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

Dan Besse

I work everyday

with families who may or may not be here legally. I don't ask. I just work with families because that's my job. I see the fear in a mother's eyes when I talk about going to a county or state office for assistance. I know what happened when the House of Raeford turkey plant was raided several months ago, and how many children were left with relatives or friends because their parents were either taken away or had to disappear.

I know what the law says. I think the law is wrong. When people are here, contributing to our economy, we need to make a way for them to be here legally, no matter how they got here. Yes, there should be consequences for breaking the law. But families should not be broken. Five year olds should not lose their parents because their parents were trying to work to make a better life for the family.

And I agree with Kirk - Jim Crow is not too strong of a comparison. This is a sort of slavery, even though the individuals here are not citizens. The allusion will slap people in the face - as they should be slapped in the face. It is apartheid. It is Jim Crow. It has to stop.

Thanks for the article, Kirk.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I serve

on a nonprofit board that does outreach to the Latino community, and hear story after story of families are being torn apart; victimization by unsavory employers, scammers & predators; a rise in discrimination and bigotry. The fear being experienced in that community is very real, and I feel obliged to do what I can to change that.
For anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of the issue, I'd suggest you volunteer with a community outreach program, such as El Pueblo, and get to know some of these people who share our values; family, faith and work ethic.
I recently have had a series of discussions with a friend, who admittedly grew up in a household where bigotry was the norm; he was struggling to determine where he stood on this issue. While volunteering as a reading buddy in a classroom in an underprivileged school, he's had the opportunity to work with many children of immigrants. He's been extremely impressed with their desire to learn; their repeated requests to be tested, and gratitude for the opportunity to learn. His beams with pride when speaking about his students.

Jim Crow vs. Immigration

I am sorry, I still don't see the comparison. Jim Crow laws were completely immoral. They should never have been enacted and were offensive too all. Immigration laws are not. That is not to say the laws as written should not be amended. That us not to say that there should not be a pathway t citizenship, but I am not about to deny the United States' right to control our own borders. The United States does, and should, have the right to regulate movement across the borders whether that be people, products, ideas, etc. That is an essential function of any government. The government should never have had the right to create a sub class of citizens based on skin color. While I disagree with the treatment of undocumented workers, they did violate the law by entering the country. Unless you feel that the US should have no power to regulate immigration to this country, I don't see the comparison.

Cause and effect

The new Jim Crow is in process right now.
What is the effect of a law that, say, requires local law enforcement to check immigration status of even crime victims and witnesses (or a policy that rewards such behavior) if not to deprive an entire community equal protection under the law?
What about a law that prohibits public agencies to print or broadcast public safety messages in Spanish?
In the last session of the General Assembly there was a bill introduced to use the state's school bus fleet to deport all the illegals in North Carolina.

What is the cost of printing

all the documents that your local government prints?

Now, what languages are you going to print these documents in? Spanish, Farcey, Chinese, French?

No, local governments only need to print documents in one language. I would rather use that printing budget for other support services that my community needs. A document would also require an interpreter to insure we are not changing the language or intent with our interpretation or accidentally insulting or offending someone. So how much is that person gonna cost the local government?

Across the globe, when you visit other nations, you speak their language, they do not speak ours or print things in english because I might come over.

When they do learn my language, their almost always is a finical slant to it. In other words, there is enough english speaking people visiting the region, that the local people decided it would be smart to learn english to get my dollar. Yes, there is folks learning english all over the world just because they want to.

My county, their is one family that is orintial, and less the 3% are spanish. Are you saying I have to write all my documents to support 3% of the population? That is just not smart money management.

BTW, this county does have programs that assist in english as a second language. It is free to county residences. What more is needed?

Actually, in many countries across the globe

English is compulsory in primary school. Most everything is printed in English and if you're nice enough to apologize for not knowing their language even the French don't mind conversing in English. I haven't traveled throughout Africa, but have throughout Europe and have friends in many countries. All speak better English than many Americans I know. We are catered to throughout the world believe it or not.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I have managed to visit a few countries

and many of these countries do speak english. Many places deep in the country has people that speak english.

You would be hard pressed to go to any country and not find someone who can speak english.

Why is that? England, parts of Canada, the US, US teritories, old English territories speak it. South Africa, Australia. Not all that many. Why do so many countries require english as an introductory or second language in schools? I do not know why. Glad though, makes it easier on me when I travel!

Are we arrogant that we think the world should speak english? I dont expect the world to speak english. When I visit other countries, I hope I can find someone who can translate for me. Or I point a lot! People quickly realize I do not know the language and are tolerant. So for me, it is a matter of laziness not to learn a second language. But I also realize that when I do go to a foreign country that does not speak english, I do not expect any literature in english to be made available to me. If it is there, I am thankful, but I do not require it. That would be arrogant on my part. It is arrogant on anyones part to expect, demand, require, etc. Be happy if it is in spanish, german, french etc in this country. If not, look for an interpreter.

Have you ever tried to order a train from the southern part of germany to the northern part? I knew that it would take most of the day, so I wanted a convertible sleeper section also, a step up from general coach on the train. I finally got it. I am sure the sales guy was happy when I left his window.

However, most of the places I visited around the world where touristy trap areas in the first place and these places will accommodate many different languages for the business proved.

Downtown Hertford, NC is not on the list of must sees on the global tourist map! Having alternative language documentation here is kinda silly.

I think the decision about multi-lingual literature

has already been made by the business community. They have discovered that the cost of bilingual packaging is more than worth the trouble.

Look at the bright side. At least we're not having to learn Chinese. Yet.

Wouldn't that be fun?

You know you can go to Alta Vista Babel Fish for translation. It's not usually that accurate - but it's fun. :)

Here's the above translated into Spanish:

Usted sabe que usted puede conseguido a los pescados de Alta Vista Babel para la traducción. No es generalmente ésa exacta, sino que es diversión.

And here's the same thing translated back into English.

You know that you can obtained to the fish of Alta Vista Babel for the translation. She is not generally that one exact one, but that is diversion.

Isn't language fun? :)

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Now wait a minute

Downtown Hertford is quite lovely and should be on everybody's list of places to go before they die. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I am one of the few in this county

who have that checked off my bucket list. Not many even in the county have this one checked off!

But I do love my county!

I have, actually.

And it wasn't particularly difficult, seeing as I'm fluent in German (more or less.) But I prefer to take the ICE, since it gets you there faster, with fewer changes. (6 hours, Munich to Berlin.)

Considering that the US does not have an official language, what's so bad about making documents available in other languages for recent immigrants or refugees? Durham is on the refugee relocation list, and I think they're getting 900 or so next year. And here at the health department, we have to provide translation services for them, through a telephone service since we don't have live interpreters for anything but Spanish.

Also, your Europe example is flawed: Have you ever looked at the back of, say, a European box of cereal or a package of chocolates? I happen to have one right here, a box of merci chocolates. It's got ingredients listed in 8 languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Danish, Arabic, and Russian. I bought it in Germany; it was made in Germany by Storck KG. Now, granted, the same package can be sold in many different countries, and it's not one of those for-tourists things. But the EU has open borders and a common currency, so people from all over the EU can get jobs anywhere else in the EU (for the most part) and they can travel/holiday all over the EU.

But English is currently the lingua franca. Lucky us. Once upon a time, as you might guess from the term I just used, it was French. Before that, it was Latin. (Anecdote: I was buying a donut at Dunkin Donuts in Berlin last week, and I ordered in German. The couple behind us in line was speaking something that could have been Italian, but they ordered in English. The cashier spoke pretty good English.)

I traveled germany

in the early 1990s. Was fun.

My agency purchases brochures and other materials

translated into Spanish. We strive to accommodate the Spanish-speaking families that we serve. I have two main offices, and in each office I have at least one employee at all times who speaks Spanish. My goal is to have native Spanish speakers in each office so that I can be sure that we can serve everyone who needs assistance. It doesn't cost that much more for us to do that.

And yes - county governments should be prepared to serve families who speak other languages. In my opinion. I don't think every document needs to be translated, but I think that crucial ones should be, and that should be handled on a state level. That makes the cost burden easier to bear, and eliminates the excuse of "we don't have any spanish speaking families here". The documents could easily be available if the state produced them. As a state we have a large and growing Spanish speaking population; by making documents available for them we make them feel welcome. Believe it or not, by making them feel welcome, we encourage them to learn English.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Of course I think we have the right to reglate our borders.

but once the undocumented workers are here, we seem to have no problem exploiting them economically, and destroying their families, with very little penalty to the employers who entice them here in the first place. The system is set up by corporate America to benefit corporate America. They lost their slave labor in the 1800's, and replaced it with legal immigrant labor in the 1900's. They lost that with the rise of the unions and labor laws, so now, they are exploiting undocumented workers. Same Song, Next Verse.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

The slaves were not here illegally.

Wow. That is a tough concept to get my head around.

In what world is it legal to capture another human being at gun/knife point, chain them to one another, and transport them thousands of miles to farms where they work in permanent servitude? I guess you're arguing that the might makes right . . . and that something is "legal" just because a bunch of greedy white imperialist said so.

I may have to nominate your statement for quote of the year.

I see his point

at the time, slavery was legal. Morally, they were here illegally.

We figured out that what we where doing was immoral. We almost destroyed this country fixing this issue. We abolished this practice. There is still folks that have not bought into the equality of all, but that is a different discussion topic.

Slavery is wrong. Forcing someone to do something they do not wish to do is wrong. With illegal immigrants, what are we forcing them to do that is wrong? Follow our laws?

One of these years

future generations will look back on our collective treatment of the poor and oppressed in the world and judge us harshly.

"Our laws" have been the justification for far too much evil, including the eradication of an entire Native American culture less than 300 years ago. "Our laws" have led to corporations having free rein to pollute this planet into near oblivion without any liability whatsoever for the consequences. "Our laws" have enabled our military to invade another sovereign country that posed no threat to us whatsoever, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and untold suffering. "Our laws" have widened the gap between the richest and poorest in this nation to truly dangerous proportions. "Our laws" have funded a ruthless dictator in Pakistan who has stood idly by (at best) while his chief political opponent was assassinated.

I could go on, but I'm sure you get my point. And I hope you'll pardon me for not having all that much enthusiasm for "our laws" these days.


The comparison was with Jim Crow and in very specific ways. You may wish to read the actual column.
The small brown straw hat description is insulting and speaks volumes about how easy it is to fall into a racist viewpoint when discussing this issue.
Most undocumented workers are functioning quite well here in a host of jobs and professions. Many came here as very young children and know no other country. Because of how screwed up the system is, for them to get legal they would have to return to a country they never knew and wait in a line 12-15 years long.
The main point is that economy is way out in front of the legal system and it is in the interests of those businesses exploiting this system to see it not changed. Now, because it is politically advantageous to be seen as tough, there will be laws introduced throughout this country designed to further drive a community underground.
The hard thing to do is stand up and say this is not right.
Fortunately we have a few guideposts for that. Here's one you may wish to commit to memory:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Unalienable. Get it?

On the horizon

There will be a flurry of bills here and elsewhere. The community college issue was just a whiff of what's coming. We will one day be judged — and rightly so — on where we stood while this was going down.

you are going to get mcuh help from the Democrats on this one

With the decline of the tobacco market, the furniture market and the textile market, jobs which lead to a group of North Carolinas poor to work out of povery are declining. At the same time, what jobs are available the workers are in competion with illeagal alliens who are not only making the job market scarce but holding the wages donw. Every time one of these illeagals accept a job in which they are not on the payroll but are paid cash under the table it does that much more damage to out citizens who have found themselves without work. The Bush administration has chosen the side of the companies who use this practice and have chosen to turn thier backs on these workers, inspite of the fact some are the very voters who elected him.

As for the Democrats, there may be those who show up for committee meetings to pass party platforms, but more often than not Democratic candidates have not even read these such platforms yet alone agree with them. To them they see a group of voters who feel, with justifcation they have been betrayed by the White House and the party is going to be all to glad to comptete for votes they have hot been getting in for at least a the last decade.

If you wish to change the party minds you need to show how your way will gain them more votes.

If our government IS breaking up families

this practice needs to stop. Legal or illegal. If a person is found to be an illegal, and a determination that deportation is required, then the next question is is their anyone in this country that you wish to bring back with you to your home country. Make it the responsibility of that illegal to break up his family.

When you perform an action, no matter what it is, as an adult, you must take responsibility for that action. In this case, I am just applying that logic. When you shoplift to feed your family and get caught. The court has options. Continued shoplifting will eventually result in you going to jail for some time. Is it fair that you never go, but continue to shoplift, even if it is to feed your family? You made that decision, live with the consequence.

A question that needs to be asked is who placed these people in the shadows? Did my county legislators? My county laws?

We all know that when we go to the county seat and discuss anything with them, we are going to need certain documents to prove we live in that county and warrant assistance from that body. When we show up without those documents we know we might get some assistance, but we will be told to produce them at some point or lose the assistance asked for.

The process for getting those documents are not a secret. They are not based on a secret handshake or skin color check. No one is stopped from getting the service if they provide the basic minimum documentation.

So who is placing these people in this subclass? Not our government. Not me. Not you. The person who desires to live in this country without the basic proper documentation to say he belongs here is.

What legal right is any illegal being disenfranchised from?

When you go to the school board, you are required to provide a birth certificate and other documentation on the child. You have to show documentation that shows your address, correct?

A non citizen does not have a right to vote. So that is not being taken from them.

When illegals are rounded up in some sweep, if they tell where their family is, the family should also be included in the round up. The family stays together if they desire. It is not this countries fault that the family will not get the proper documentation to be here.

There is a reason we have a process to allow people into this country. So we know who is in this country.

Think of the laws that are being broken to allow illegals to stay in this country.

First, yea, they crossed a border illegally.
Now, they have to live in the shadows which opens them up for exploitation by unscrupulous people.
They have to get some kind of legal documentation. If they cannot get it, then they will forge it. How many of you have children and done a credit check on that little guys SSN. His credit may already be trashed because someone is using it today.
If they decide not to forge documents and not register etc, they will rely on the good naturedness of the people working the various agencies to bend the rules from a humanitarian point of view.
They have to lie their entire lives while living here.

Did this country force them to do this? Did their old country force them to do this?

take a deeper look

...at US policy...then you'll have your answer. Did the US contribute to the destabilization of countries, many of them in South Amercia, via trade policies, by participating in the overthrow of their governments,etc?
Yes, and the result is enormous migration that impacts us here...just like the CIA concept of "blowback", our policies have long term implications, and the karma has a tendency to come back at us...I shudder to think about the long term implications of our Iraq policy and the "blowback" future generations may experience.

What's also really worrisome is that as the US continues it's policy of ignoring global warming,the results will be millions of immigrants forced to leave their homes who will attempt to migrate to developing nations...The Pentagon predicts just such an outcome if unchecked warming continues.

It seems to make sense to me that our foreign policy objectives should be based on creating stability in the world. I'd recommend Gen. Tony Zinni's (prior Centcom commander), "The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America's Power and Purpose".
He does a good job of explaining why it would be in our best interest ( for security, economic, & moral reasons) to help nations build stability via infrastructure support, etc, before things reach crisis mode.

An ounce of prevention

He does a good job of explaining why it would be in our best interest ( for security, economic, & moral reasons) to help nations build stability via infrastructure support, etc, before things reach crisis mode.

Assist the countries that have an exodus from their country to ours. Figure out why these people feel they must leave their country and live in ours even if it means living in the shadows for the rest of their lives.

I have an analogy for you, Parm:

Assist the countries that have an exodus from their country to ours. Figure out why these people feel they must leave their country and live in ours even if it means living in the shadows for the rest of their lives.

Our foreign policy has been driven by "enhancing U.S. interests" for well over a century. We pave the way for our corporations to take advantage of human and natural resources in other countries, with profits as the ultimate goal. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. More often than not it does, and frequently these international business relations leave the people of said countries in a worsening economic position.

Here's your analogy: thanks to the behavior of a promiscuous uncle (who always gives you money on your birthday), an orphan shows up on your doorstep. He is your cousin, and he is in need. Do you deny your family's responsibility for his predicament and send him away, or do you recognize that you not only share a small part of the responsibility for him, but also look forward to learning more about him and spending time together?

Make no mistake—these folks are not "aliens", they are a part of the American legacy.

answering your analogy

Here's your analogy: thanks to the behavior of a promiscuous uncle (who always gives you money on your birthday), an orphan shows up on your doorstep. He is your cousin, and he is in need. Do you deny your family's responsibility for his predicament and send him away, or do you recognize that you not only share a small part of the responsibility for him, but also look forward to learning more about him and spending time together?

I would not look at it as my family's (uncle-nephew) responsibility for his predicament. I would not look at him as a responsibility in any way. I would accept him as family. As family, I would help him where I could because that is the way I am. Anyone who I consider family will be helped by me. No tallies generated. Unconditional support.

The finding out about him will be nice, but I just do not track that kind of stuff to well. I cannot go back past my parents with regard to family tree. They did not share that information with me, I do not know it. Learning about him and spending time with him just is not a part of my norm.

So whether he is in need or just popped out of the blue to say hello, I would treat him the same. Help him where and if I could. Sociable to him I would be regardless. Because he is family (even if a bastard) I would treat him like I do my brothers. I treat my brothers very well.

Will I treat every person who walks to my door like family, no. I will chat with them then part company with them. Depending on many conditions, I may help or not help them in their time of need. Each situation requires reviewing at that time.

Back to your analogy.....

Make no mistake—these folks are not "aliens", they are a part of the American legacy.

These folks your referring to are the children of illegal immigrants that came to this country and know nothing else. Who's fault is it that they are now in this predicament? Their parents. What do they have to do to fix this problem? Go to immigration and find out what needs to be done.

What can we do to help this person? If as a nation, we decide that we should help these people, then help them. Make some kind of provision that helps the children of illegal immigrants that have been here for their entire known lives. Allow them a way to become citizens as that is what they have been for all this time.

Senator Clinton and Obama should be introducing legislation or working on the people of the committees that would handle this to introduce legislation to help and protect these children who have lived in this country for years not realizing they were not US citizens. You are right; to these children, they do not know anything other then claiming to be an American.

Why do I single these two out? They wish to lead this entire country. As such, they should be building coalitions that unify and drive this country in a direction. In this case, immigration reform. These two have the ability to unify this country on this not as a cheerleader, but as the leaders. Make it happen. Senator Reid got the immigration bill through committee quickly and to the floor. The only thing he did wrong was had to much in it to fast. To much change for to many people.

This portion of the illegal immigration concerns could and should be addressed by Congress. If Congress and the pres cannot see eye to eye on the entire problem, then work on smaller portions of the problem section by section. Divide and conquer.

Trying to get all of the reform through at one time has been shown to be impossible. So do not work on the whole problem at once. Progress is progress. If we fixed this portion of the problem by June of next year then how many people who do not even realize they are illegal would we help? Right now, by June those people will still be illegal and will be hit by the legislative baseball bat when they try to act like a US citizen that they thought they are.

They would have to show some kind of paper trail through the school system or something like that showing they have been here for that amount of time. If they have been living like US citizens, then this should not be a problem. This should satisfy the red side of the isle. We ask for paper trails for election results, we should also ask for paper trails of kids through the school systems if they have been acting like US citizens. They would have to be here for a length of time to qualify for this. 1 or 2 years does not make you a citizen. 8 10 12 years, now you can claim that you did not know and have always been a US citizen.

We could tie this to the next appropriations spending bill for the Iraq or Afganistian war. Keep it simple and target this one aspect of the fight. The children you identified who are totally innocent of there parents action are the ones we are trying to protect today. Others we can protect tomorrow.

Children to be 17 and younger. Once an adult, I am sorry, but to many other problems start to creep in which is what the Reds attacked on this issue last summer.

Only problem is how many people will claim they fall in this category?

The problem with this is once we make the kids US citizens, people will want to work on the parents right away. The parents are causing this problem, not us. The parents will have to do what is correct. Get in line and follow the rules. The kids can be dual citizens. If mom and dad do something that requires deportation, the kids can go with them. No biggie. The family stays together. Again, it is the parents who caused this problem. The US is not kicking the kids out of the country, the parents are taking the kids with them. The parents have a choice to leave the kids behind, hopefully with other family members. While some may say Parm, your cutting hairs and your punishing the kids, I say no I am not. I am keeping a family together. The parents acted in a way that hurt their kids. The parents can always claim some form of asylum. Their is not a country in the Americas that is bad for a family. People live in these countries everyday. They might be harder to live in, but not impossible.

For those who will think "Parm, why dont you go live in country xxx if you think it is so good." I say, I do not have to. I am a US citizen and wish to live here because I legally can.

My take on illegal immigrants is they for what ever reason do not wish to live in their country. That they wish to live in this country but because of circumstances beyond their control, they cannot take the route of legal immigration. The parents have made a decision. They must live with that decision. They must be willing to live with the ramifications of that decision or don't make it. Make another choice. They know upfront that they are not working on becoming legal. You brought to my attention this problem. I never thought of this. Now I have.

However, young children who do not even know about borders, countries, politicians, sovereignty etc should not be considered illegal also. I do not have a problem with granting these children US citizenship if the parents can show these kids have been acting like US children for a length of time. I will also require a caveat that these children cannot by the virtue of them becoming a US citizen that the parents automatically become one also. The parents need to work on that aspect.

Any children that they have while living in this country illegally are US citizens. You are born in the US, you have the right to claim being a US citizen. You have the right to claim dual citizenship for all I care. But again, that child does not give the parents head of the line privilages to citizenship. The child did not do anything illegal. The parents did. I will not reward an adult US citizenship by committing a crime.

The uncle in the analogy is Uncle Sam,

and the money he sends you represents the strong economy that allows you to prosper, and the orphan represents those who are left behind thanks to the compromises we make when we support non-Democratic leaders, etc.

The analogy was supposed to show you that your reality and their reality are connected to a certain degree, but I guess it missed the mark.

My take on illegal immigrants is they for what ever reason do not wish to live in their country.

Latin America (as a whole) has an unemployment rate twice as high as the U.S., and an underemployment level that is approaching 50%, which is flirting with catastrophe. I'm not placing the entire blame for their economic situation on the U.S., but I am saying we have contributed to it, sometimes considerably.

As an example: Monsanto, with some assistance from our diplomatic corps, has been selling Genetically Modified maize (corn) throughout Central and South America for several years now. Normally, farmers will set aside some of their crop to reseed their fields for the next harvest, but Monsanto requires them to purchase their GM seeds every year, or face the possibility of being dragged into court if they take seeds from their (previous) crop.

In Mexico alone, over half (12.5 million) of the people employed in agriculture are involved in maize cultivation. Farmers being forced to buy seeds every year will either a) go out of business, or b) employ fewer workers. God knows what will happen to the micro-producers who survive on a couple of dollars a day.

We've got big feet, Parm. When we wander through the garden that is the rest of the world, we leave footprints. If we don't watch where we walk, we can do a lot of damage along the way.

Another analogy

Someone has decided that he wishes to live in your attic. He did not ask for permission. He just moved up there. That person told you that he would take out the trash, mom the lawn and pay some of the mortgage. For that he told you that this agreement was good. How long will that person live up there before your calling the cops? He made all the agreements and told you what you will do.

After a few months of this, you realize this guy is not a threat to you. He just wants to live in your attic. If it is up to him, he will stay their for the rest of his life. It is up to him, so he will be there the rest of your life.

Are you going to redo the attic for him so he has something better then the rafters to sleep on and insulation to sleep in? Will you put an extension on your phone to him in case he needs to call someone in an emergency? Will you contract with the cable company to have cable installed in your attic? Are you going to put a bathroom up their for him?

For me, this is what illegal immigration boils down to. Normally good people who just want to live. However, the sovereignty of this nation is being eroded. Something I spent 22 years of my life daily protecting.

We need to work on WHY these people feel it is better to live in this country illegally then live in their country.

Did our diplomatic corps require these countries to accept the provision to only buy from Mansanto on a yearly basis, or was this a political decision from that country? Our diplomats did not talk with the local communities and farmers and ask how they did business? If that is the case (the OLF fight indicates this could be true) then we need to pull Mansanto out of those countries, or really remove that restriction. Will this corn survive like normal corn from one harvest to planting season and prosper or will it be poison to the consumer by doing so? Would have to know some of these answers first.

On the whole, are we helping or hurting countries with our "help". If we are hurting, then we need to stop. We do have a responsibility for that. If we are hurting the local community to enrich the powerful, then we are stepping where we do not belong.

On the surface, it sounds like we screwed the pooch on this one. However, does that give these people the right to live in your attic?


and the orphan represents those who are left behind thanks to the compromises we make when we support non-Democratic leaders, etc.

arguably, Mexico is a democratic state. They have a senate, and a president. They have representitives and a supreme court of sorts.

What happens is we offer people assistance with all the good intentions we cherish. Because greed kicks in, power kicks in, the intentions are swept away leaving the orphans you mention.

Based on some of your arguement, we should not offer any assistance to anyone as all we are doing is making orphans. That we hurt more then we help.

I know that is not what you are saying. We need to watch what we do and how we do it. Throwing money at a problem is normally the dumbest way to approach a problem. Seeing what the people need and then having oversight of that project is what is needed. It is our money after all. If the local government does not wish to work with us on this, then pull the funds. Pull the corn. Get our feet out of their garden and let them grow it the way they wish. If our help is hurting more then it is helping then we need to readdress what we are doing.

This goes back to my other comments about why people leave their country. Because the conditions are so terrible, folks feel that even living in the shadows of the US is better then proudly living in their home country. Do not ask the dam politicians of that local area, ask the people. Fix the problem based on what the people indicate. Politicians do lie to keep their power.

The entire illegal immigration argument is not about people in this country, but about our neighboring countries that cannot maintain a quality of life that makes people want to live their. Is that our problem to solve? Making any kind of concessions in this country regarding illegal immigration without fixing that problem means we are putting a bandaid on the severed limb, and not the body where the blood of that country is flowing from.

However, when we try to fix other countries problems, we screw it up worse.

If you can read between the lines,

On the whole, are we helping or hurting countries with our "help". If we are hurting, then we need to stop. We do have a responsibility for that. If we are hurting the local community to enrich the powerful, then we are stepping where we do not belong.

this link might give you some idea of the scope of the State Department's role in some of the problems that have arisen from our corporations' activities abroad:

Create jobs at home by opening markets abroad. We have achieved great success by putting the bottom lines of American businesses on the front lines of American diplomacy. More than 250 trade agreements over the last 20 years have helped our trade expand 25-fold since 1970 and nearly 120% since 1990.

The success of American business in international markets is a vital national interest. Twelve million American jobs depend on export-related jobs that pay 13% to 17% more than non-trade-related jobs. America's economic well-being, global leadership, and national security are all reinforced when American companies successfully compete in the global economy.

American Businesses. Support for U.S. businesses is a core function of the State Department at home and abroad. The Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) is a good initial point of contact for firms seeking State Department assistance and support. This office works directly with American companies to help them tap the worldwide resources of the Department. Officers at U.S. embassies around the world work to create a level playing field for American businesses. These officers often are the eyes, ears, and in-country negotiators for U.S. business interests. As experts on host-country markets and business practices, they identify opportunities for American firms and advocate on their behalf.

Like I said, read between the lines. If you start out with this publicly acknowledged aggressive approach to pursuing the interests of U.S. businesses abroad, there's not a lot of room for an objective analysis of the potentially negative impacts of these business deals on the local populace. Not to mention the likelihood of corruption on the part of (some) State agents.

If it is up to him, he will stay their for the rest of his life. It is up to him, so he will be there the rest of your life.

I see you've met my younger son...

here is another immigration problem

As experts on host-country markets and business practices, they identify opportunities for American firms and advocate on their behalf.

Free market economy does not need a advocate in a host country. Under a free market economy, government should not be interfering or advocating. When the government starts advocating as the experts of another country, guess what company we get????? holliburton.

If the host country wants our industry, then advertise for them. Come to the states and find those countries and broker deals. In a global ecomony like every keeps saying, our government should not be sticking our nose in there. We got all these dam AFTAs. what do we need bush sticking his dam nose in business affairs.

Business and religion should be considered the same. Untouchable by the government. Stay away from it. Anytime our government gets involved with any dam thing its a cluster.

Just to many decisions made based on greed vice people.

Before the government "stuck its nose" in business

we had children working 12 hour days in factories. Think sweatshops. Think sewing factory fires.

There has to be some regulation. Businesses will not regulate themselves, no matter what the FMF's want you to think. It hasn't happened, and it won't happen. It's up to us - we the people - and that's what we've set up the government to do. Sometimes it's too big, sometimes it's unwieldy, and sometimes we elect the wrong people. But we've got to have the regulation.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

an ounce

of prevention, exactly!
It's rare that the US does any soul searching to find out what our part is in the world's problems, but it is oh so necessary. Especially in these times of debate over US sanctioned torture, preemptive war..............we need to regain our moral compass.

Immigration Reform

Undocumented workers are no different than immigrants in our history. They are treated with contempt at every turn. They are coming to America in search of the American dream. I don't think they only learn English to make a buck as someone implied. I remember listening to Pat Buchanan talk about how immigrants of an earlier age struggled to learn English, unlike this generation of Hispanic immigrants. He mentioned the Spanish television shows and newspapers. That is hogwash. When I wrote a term paper in graduate school on America's decision to declare independence, I did research in five of the six daily newspapers written in Philadelphia. I couldn't research the sixth because I couldn't read German. I also must remind people that there was a movement in the United States to make German the second official language of the country.

Before I end this, let me interject a point of humor. When debate whether Spanish should be given special status as language in Texas, a Texas state representative (I hope a Republican) stood up and said, "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me."

That is rich Yankees Fan

"If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me."

I gotta remember this one.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Texas BS?

be given special status as language in Texas, a Texas state representative (I hope a Republican) stood up and said, "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me."* Yankee Fan

He was indeed a Republican who was from a district that had a town name Bethel Zion Texas which was the county seat. His name was Big John Moses Bowie. He was the great great grandson of Jim Bowie of the Alamo fame. When challenged in a political campaign by a competitor about being the great, great Grandson of Jim Bowie, since Jim Bowie had no children in his Texas patriot career. He claim God move in secret ways with his family. After the election he was serve with child support papers claiming he was a bastard child of the lord by his oppostion....

After being seated in the Texas House, His Democrat enemies started a Impeachment movement against him for lying. When serve with the Impeachment papers on the House Floor, He claim that he had no idea that there was a Ice Cream name in peach mint by the State of Texas

In peach meant

I thought in peach meant a shot of Southern Comfort.

Ya mean Jesus didn't speak King James English? What kind of a Herodic was he?

I can hear Prince Charles now. "Y'all talk right funny in the south. Say could you mash that button for the second storey 'cause I'm fixing to get off the lift at the first floor".

If I may repeat

There was a time when strangers were welcome here...Music would play, they tell me the days were sweet and clear...It was a sweeter tune..and there was so much room..The people would come from everywhere.

Neal Sedaka

I thought it appropriate considering the Republican round-up mentality regarding undocumented people in America.

The incalcuable economic costs, and human damage rounding up millions of people will effect, is immoral and ridiculas on it's face.

Lets be smarter than those who fell for the Joe McCarthy show earlier in our history, least we become paranoid enough to begin shooting on sight.

We must remember who we are; A country of Immigrants and children of immigrants..

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03