May 1, 2006

The "Day without Immigrants"

How is the Immigrant boycott day impacting your life?

News reports say that the largest employer of immigrants is private households, presumably for housekeeping and lawn work, followed by contractors.

It's also of note, given the proposed hog slaughtering facility in the area, that both Tyson Foods and Purdue, probably the largest meat processors in the country (Purdue now owns the Joslin meat packing plant) are shutting down nearly all of their facilities today because they can't function without immigrants.


At 5/01/2006 2:51 PM, Anonymous CollegeModerate said...

The problem I have here is that Immigrants and Illegal Immigrants are two completely different things.

If Tyson, or Purdue employ a large amount of legal immigrants, more power to them. We are supposed to be a welcoming and open country. If it weren’t for immigrants looking to boots-strap their way to a better life, many necessary but unwanted jobs would go undone.

The problem I have is when both sides of this argument lump these two groups as if they are one.

While fighting a bill targeted at illegals, one side has mobilized a large portion of all immigrants. I’m sorry but there is a BIG difference between those that sneak in and those that legally get here. Those legal immigrants should be proud of themselves for following the laws of this land, and pushing their brothers and sisters to do the same.

The other side talks about immigrants as a whole as if they are an evil presence in this country that must be stopped. Well guess what, unless you are a Native American, you are an immigrant. Just because your family got here a generation or two earlier doesn’t make you any better than those “immigrants.”

What makes it all the more interesting is that this is an issue that used to closely follow Left-Right party lines. Now many politicians seem to be scrambling to find out where their base really lies. Your standard “Republican Fat-Cat” loves the cheap labor, but your standard “Red State Hick” has different views on “foreigners.” It seems that the democrats are finding this same split in this party.

My humble opinion, make it easier to enter legally but increase greatly the punishments for those who enter illegally. We check you to make sure you are not a terrorist and a few other requirements, them come on in. If we find you here illegally, you must be a terrorist and we can find a job for you at a military base in Cuba(kidding.) But then again I am just a damn kid, what do I know.

At 5/01/2006 6:11 PM, Blogger Dave Barrett said...

You may think of legal and illegal immigrants as completely different things but one point the demonstrators are making today is that all immigrants (legal and illegal) have common cause in feeling disrespected and unwanted by a lot of the recent anti-immigrant talk.

First generation legal immigrants who came here as adults are rarely fluent English speakers and often speak their native language to others who speak it. All the talk about immigrants not learning English fast enough and not assimilating and this changing America for the worse affects the legal immigrants just as much as the illegal ones.

These insults hurt the legal immigrants deeply and they are not mollified by people who say they want to be tough on illegal immigrants in order to be fair to the legal immigrants who jumped through the hoops correctly. That may be an important distinction to you but you must not be listening very carefully if you have not heard them say that it is not an important distinction to them.

The most important distinction to most legal voting immigrants is between politicians and political parties who say that immigrants are good for America and welcome and politicians and political parties who say that immigrants cause a lot of problems and are not welcome. Even if you are careful to always say "illegal" when you talk about the people you don't want here the legal immigrants will not think you are on their side unless you spend a lot more time saying positive things about legal immigrants than you do saying negative things about illegal immigrants.

At 5/01/2006 11:50 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

Dave has a great point. While it is easy for people to say they are distinguishing between legal and illegal immigrants, they do not always come across that way.

It bothers me that sometimes the worth of a person depends on their legal status. Let's say I'm a business traveler staying at a hotel for a week, and I have a nice maid who is great at her job. She doesn't speak much English but I take the time to ask about her family. She has two kids, and she and her husband have three minimum wage jobs between them, but she says it's a much better life than what they'd have in Mexico, (or Honduras, Belize, etc.)

She's obviously a hard worker and a good person and mother. My question is, why should my opinion of her turn on whether or not she has a particular piece of of paper? The United States is supposed to stand for the idea that we canmake a better life for ourselves. So, do we blame illegal immigrants for trying to do what generations and generations have done before? Or should we at least consider, contemplate, or study whether it might be our immigration system and policies that are inadequate for those who desperately need the chance the U.S. offers.

If they had the same immigration policies a hundred or so years ago, and the same backlog and immovable bureaucracy we have today, there's a strong possibility I wouldn't be a legal American today. It's the policies that need to be focused on, not the enforcement. We need to take the emphasis off the people themselves and look to see whether our system itself is set up in a way that really benefits this country.

At 5/02/2006 11:08 AM, Anonymous havinfun said...

We need to appreciate the fact that the uS has looked the other way with illegal immigration for years - because it was good for the economy. The pendulum has swung to where the negatives now appear to outwiegh the positives. This is when we need real leadership to deal with the issue.

1. The border must be secured - period. If we need to build a 'Great Wall of America' so be it. We have no hope of dealing with illegal immigration until we stop the flow.

2. Once we accomplish this, we can deal with identifying a reasonable approach to the issue. We need these workers, but how do we deal with the 'illegal' nature of the problem without (1) condoning the behavior (and thus encouraging future similar behavior) and without (2) negatively affecting our economy (let's face it, the hospitality industry, the construction industry, etc. rely heavily on illigals and without them, let's face it, inflation will indeed hit.

This is a tough issue that needs to be addressed and needs to be addressed outside of the rheteric of either side.

We need to appreciate that 'illegal' means illegal, but we also need to identify and appreciate the economic realities.

Do we also need to discuss the underlying issue that makes illegals necessary? We all know (heck, the illegals themselves tell us) that they are doing jobs at wages that Americans otherwise will not perform. Why is this? Our welfare state has made it easier to not work and collect, rather than work an 'iffy' job for $8.00 - $10.00/ hour.

At 5/02/2006 1:44 PM, Anonymous Get Legal said...

There is a real problem with ILLEGAL immigrants. We taxpayers are forced to pay higher taxes in relation to the fact that we are paying for their children's educations and medical expenses,while also paying higher insurance rates since most illegals have no car insurance. Those that are paying taxes are committing criminal acts since they would not have a social security # and if they do have one they obtained it illegally. Ask an out of work skilled tradesman and see if he likes the idea of constuction crews made up of illegals working for much less than the prevailing wage. I'm all for legal immigration. If we allow the illegals to stay because they are "already here" then when do we start forgiving other criminal acts? If we are a nation of laws then it is about time the federal government starts enforcing ALL the laws. By the way, where was George Bush yesterday?

At 5/02/2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people are sheep. I love how you all run around chasing what the TV tells you to chase.

When the war started I was an outcast for not being for the war. Anti-American at the least. The media said so. Now the same media tells you to be against it. People that yelled at me are yelling at me about why they are against the war.

Another example, steroids. The TV told us to love Bonds, McGuire, and Sosa. Now they act as if these people were cancer. If you say well we didn't know all the facts well then you are beyond help. The TV and Baseball knew about steroids.

Now they have moved all of your attention to illegal immigrants. This is nothing new. We have had illegals from the begining. I remember Bush during the election talking about undocumented worker program. I saw this comming, feeding the flames to you gullable people.

I am ashamed to see how the media plays Americans and how Americans are played.

At 5/02/2006 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 5/02/2006 9:13 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...


You continue to perpetuate the myth that illegal immigrants somehow pass costs onto us, when the fact is that illegal immigrants pay more in taxes every year than they (and their families) receive in government benefits. Thereason is simple. It is easy to be taxed as an illegal. (The government is not going to object to where it gets money.) However, it is much harder to collect money from the government (welfare, Soc. Sec., etc.) because the government does its best to not just give out those services.

To claim otherwise is ignorant or dishonest. It seems to make sense on the surface, but the reality does not match up.

At 5/03/2006 10:14 AM, Anonymous Get Legal said...


You must be in dreamland. Employers who pay iilegals cash under the table aren't paying their taxes. Those that work for Tyson or any other business have fake social security cards to provide ID. At the end of the year the IRS does not care if you are legal or illegal when you file.

Hospitals pass on the cost of treating the uninsured to those of us that can afford to pay. This also holds true in the car insurance industry. Ever wonder why your uninsured motorist coverage costs as much as it does?

Since public schools must accept ALL students, my school taxes are based on paying for the cost of their children's education.

My whole point is that these people are here illegally.Either enforce the law or change it. There are certain laws I would like to ignore (paying taxes) but the government would come looking for me. It is not a hard law to enforce.

At 5/05/2006 10:24 AM, Blogger highxlr8r said...


Your first paragraph illustrates my point.

"At the end of the year the IRS does not care if you are legal or illegal when you file."

You are right about cash jobs, but any job where you recieve a check is sending money every week to the federal treasury, and those workers are never going to file a return to get a refund because of the risk of being caught.

If pushing costs onto the rest of us is the biggest issue for you, there needs to be outrage over the wealthiest individuals and corporations who continue to be "creative" with their taxes, paying less than their share. That pushes as much, if not more, costs onto the rest of us "law-abiding" citizens.

I agree that we should enforce the law, and would be willing to compromise if, at the same time we crack down on immigration, we crack down on tax evasion.

Or, we can change the immigration law in order to be the open, welcoming society a nation in our position should be.

At 5/06/2006 8:52 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Did Tyson in Joslin shut down or not??


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