Obama, Iowa and Immigration

Immigration policy has not been front and center in the campaign so far. Except for the issue of drivers' licenses, the candidates are getting a free pass. They use the mantra "we need immigration reform" and everyone moves on to the next topic.

The Washington Post reports on an Iowa town that is very upset about immigration raids in the workplace.

Monday's raid on the Agriprocessors plant, in which 389 immigrants were arrested and many held at a cattle exhibit hall, was the Bush administration's largest crackdown on illegal workers at a single site. It has upended this tree-lined community, which calls itself "Hometown to the World." Half of the school system's 600 students were absent Tuesday, including 90 percent of Hispanic children, because their parents were arrested or in hiding.

Current and former officials of the Department of Homeland Security say its raid on the largest employer in northeast Iowa reflects the administration's decision to put pressure on companies with large numbers of illegal immigrant workers, particularly in the meat industry. But its disruptive impact on the nation's largest supplier of kosher beef and on the surrounding community has provoked renewed criticism that the administration is disproportionately targeting workers instead of employers, and that the resulting turmoil is worse than the underlying crimes.

Since Barack Obama will be in Iowa Tuesday night touting his inevitablility as the nominee, how about pinning him down so voters can draw some real distinctions, if there are any, between him, Hillary and John McCain?

< Obama To Spend Tues. Night in Iowa, Possibly Will Claim Victory | Colorado's State Convention Held Saturday, Udall Nominated for Senate >
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    Jeralyn, here you go again (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Stellaaa on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:53:16 AM EST
    It's not about distinctions.  It's about you believing that "he" will do the "right" thing.  Basically, you, the voter, don't have to wonder.  Funny, that only at the end, when the so called uneducated voters, were voting, did he have to scramble to talk policies and programs.  All those educated high income voters, never demanded it of him.  

    They Must Be Soooo Elite They Don't Even (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:54:18 AM EST
    have to ask obama questions.  There is a very rude
    awakening coming.

    Why they're (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by cal1942 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:14:01 AM EST
    so elite that they can devine the answers through projection.

    Not elite (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by nellre on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:49:49 AM EST
    Spoiled rotten. Sheltered. Have not attended school of hard knocks.

    Some of my highly-educated friends who (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:43:44 PM EST
    support Obama have, in fact, spent some time in that famous school of hard knocks.  

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:00:09 AM EST
    I think the real distinction between voters, rather than "creative class" and "low information voters" is

    "Creative" class = pie in the sky voters
    "Low information" voters =


    Wierd formatting (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:01:57 AM EST
    is probably due to my double equal signs.  Sorry.

    What (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by cal1942 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:54:41 AM EST
    really knocks me out about the demographics in this campaign is the portrayal of Obama's supporters.

    The boyz seized on this as undeniable proof that Obama's supporters were somehow intellectually superior to Clinton voters.

    Examination of general election demographics reveals that the Republican candidate almost always receives a majority of college graduate voters.

    The boyz chose to ignore that problematic information and further ignore that business disciplines like finance, marketing, advertising, etc. together probably constitute at least a plurality of batchelors degrees.

    IMO not an indicator of intellectual superiority.


    It's just like baby boomers (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:00:15 PM EST
    who deny Bush is a baby boomer, too.  The Obama supporters feel like they get to define who is college educated and who is not.  The code is "low information voter."  So, an engineering degreed student from Auburn University who supports Clinton is "low information."  If the voter happens to be a woman, then she's just voting for Clinton because of her sex.

    These sorts of semantic acrobatics remind me of what happened during Gore and then Kerry's run, where Bush was the village idiot and the dems were oh so smart and cerebral compared to him.

    Through arrogance and elitism, we talked ourselves out of a win.


    Of Course In 04, The Dems Decided To Chose A (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:17:09 PM EST
    candidate that by his manner and speech shouted elitist and failed to win. In 08, it looks like the Dems will go for that 3rd strike.

    Indeed. Third strike, and I am out. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:21:36 PM EST
    It Would Be Fun To Watch obama Stutter (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:53:20 AM EST
    and stammer through that explanation, while pouting over the people raining on his parade.

    Great article (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Stellaaa on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:58:56 AM EST
    Because he's tried carefully to say enough of whatever the audiences he's been speaking to at the time want to hear while leaving himself enough space later on to deny his intentions to leave that impression, his record represents precisely the "character" weakness the Republicans have exploited in every Democratic candidate since Dukakis: Another Dem trying to put things over on the American people.

    Obama No

    thanks, Stellaaa--good read n/t (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by kempis on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:33:35 AM EST
    exactly! (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by Josey on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:09:01 PM EST
    >>>Because he's tried carefully to say enough of whatever the audiences he's been speaking to at the time want to hear while leaving himself enough space later on to deny his intentions to leave that impression

    This deceptive verbiage is usually called "conning", but since it's Obama...


    Care (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by cal1942 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:24:50 AM EST
    to place a little wager on whether anyone will deign to ask Obama such a question?

    I'll bet 1 million (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    on "no."

    From Iowa (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by creeper on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:32:39 AM EST
    I wonder how many of the residents of Postville, Iowa would tell you the illegals working there have put them out of a job.

    If I were a gambling woman I'd place the number at maybe two.

    Also from Iowa... (none / 0) (#15)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:58:16 AM EST
    ...and I would take that bet.  Iowa is not immune to having residents that are anti-illegal zealots.  

    Just take a look at the discussions on the topic in the Register.  


    But I Wonder (5.00 / 0) (#18)
    by creeper on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:02:38 PM EST
    just how many of those whiners are actually affected by the presence of illegals here.

    It's been my experience that the people who scream the loudest about illegal immigrants are, in fact, not directly affected by them at all.

    That seems to be true everywhere...not only in Iowa.


    I gathered Postville and the surrounding (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:03:16 PM EST
    are did benefit by the Kosher meat plant locating there, as a previous business at that location had closed.  

    Believe me... (none / 0) (#35)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:02:35 PM EST
    ...living in Colorado, I am hip deep in immigration whiners to whom the issue has little or no impact on.  Meanwhile, in a World of food shortages and sky-rocketing prices, we have food that rots in the fields here because there is nobody to harvest it.

    But, Pottsville is probably a different story.  I don't imagine there is much in the way of jobs aside from the farms and the packing plant.  I think there are probably some who were tossed out of the plant in favor of a 13 y.o. from South America who will work for $5 an hour--without benefits.

    It is a very complex problem that isn't going to be solved by the ideas put forth by either the far left or extreme right.  The solution lies somewhere in the middle.


    Proof please (1.00 / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:52:50 PM EST
    Meanwhile, in a World of food shortages and sky-rocketing prices, we have food that rots in the fields here because there is nobody to harvest it.

    And in world of sky rocketing (none / 0) (#45)
    by jondee on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:58:38 PM EST
    food prices etc Wealthy Rethug donors are recieving welfare/subsidy checks without being required to use their farm land for any crops at all.

    Take 30 seconds to google wealthy farmers + subsidies for your proof please.


    You make the claim (1.00 / 0) (#51)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:21:46 PM EST
    You do the proof is the Internet standard.

    Since you don't provide any I assume you are either lazy or can not or both.

    Food prices are sky rocketing because of the run up in crude oil jacking up production cost and transportation cost

    Oil, like food, is a commodity. Commodities increase in price due to high demand and scarcity.

    Scarcity is due to the Demos stopping all new off shore drilling and in ANWAR to satisfy one of their base groups, aka Wacko Environmentalists.

    And your next question is???


    How about the ethanol idiocy? (none / 0) (#66)
    by gandy007 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:40:54 PM EST
    The diversion of corn to the production of highly subsidized ethanol is making the price of that commodity skyrocket.  That has a huge collateral effect.  

    Just a jazzy idea for a short term fix that sounded good at the time.

    Shows that we need a comprehensive energy plan, yes even the summer holiday kind of idea, as proposed by Hillary.  Just saying we should drill offshore and in national forests and in sensitive environments elsewhere is extremely shortsighted in my estimation.

    Whether we like it or not, oil is still a depleting resource, last I heard.  World  demand and other factors beyond our control are exacerbating the problem.  The least we can do is pass a windfall profits tax which is within the politicians control.  The greed, arrogance, and flaunting of unseemly profits by the oil companies; is shocking, to put it mildly.

    Maybe the only people helped by the summer holiday plan are people ate the margins and truckers operating in the red, but that is good enough for me. The best reason is one I wish were more clearly articulated by the campaign and Hillary herself.

    That is that at least it shows that some one is trying, that someone cares about those that are hurting, is willing to take the obvious risk of having economists, etc., throw dirt on the plan. At least Hillary cares and is trying, in the face of criticism and against great odds.


    Nobody that I know (1.00 / 0) (#79)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:24:29 PM EST
    objects to a comprehensive energy plan. Let's get going on biomass, wind, solar and nuclear...

    But right now we solutions for right now. That's drilling to break the speculators constant claim of more demand vs less supply.

    It's called triage. Stop the arterial bleeding before you worry about the broken leg.

    And yes. Corn subsidies should be stopped. It takes 400 pounds of corn to make 25 gallons of ethanol. That same 400 pounds can feed an adult for one year.

    As for the so-called holiday plan, works for me. I also seem to remember McCain calling for us to quit purchasing oil for the reserve, and to start pulling oil out of the reserve.

    All of this together would also strengthen the dollar vs the EU and stop the currency speculators. A stronger dollar drives down prices.

    Frankly Congress should lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.


    The ultimate cause is (none / 0) (#104)
    by jondee on Wed May 21, 2008 at 01:03:00 PM EST
    "Wacko Envitronmentalists"

    Are you really that out to lunch, or is it just that Rush and Glen Beck are that out to lunch?


    Around my way..... (none / 0) (#88)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:17:58 PM EST
    the biggest whiners about illegal immigration are the people who have illegal immigrants cutting their manicured lawns, and illegal immigrants washing their dishes at fine dining establishments...iow, the people who benefit most by their presence.

    You can't make this sh*t up!

    If it wasn't for all the suffering that would fall on the immigrants, I'd almost like to give them their wish and watch their landscaping and dinner bills skyrocket:)


    They just raided the new federal courthouse (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Joan in VA on Sun May 18, 2008 at 11:46:57 AM EST
    construction site here and arrested 39. It made me feel sick when I read about it. I can't help but empathize with those who are just trying to improve life for their families. Is their a solution and does anyone have the guts to deal with it? I don't know but I do know that the boondoggle fence project isn't the answer. There's no realistic easy way out of the problem.

    This is equally ironic as the (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:04:30 PM EST
    fact a construction company working on the border fence was also raided.  The head of the company sd. his best workers were undocumented Mexicans, which is why he kept hiring them.

    Okay, Here they be. (1.00 / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:08:51 PM EST
    1. Close the borders and remove the source of cheap labor that is killing the wages and working conditions of US Citizens.

    2. Provide a guest worker program for SOME of the illegals already here. Deport the others.

    3. Enforce some really harsh penalties on the owners/managers of companies hiring illegal aliens.

    4. Insist that Mexico and CA countries work to provide safety nets and other societal benefits for their citizens thus removing the pressure for them to leave their native countries.

    5. Remove the subsidy for corn/ethanol to drop the price of basic food stuffs and improve the standards of living in Mexico/CA. Removing pressure, etc...

    6. Eliminate the rules that allow close relatives to follow immigrants. This would provide pressure to stay in their native countries.

    Those 5 would be a good start.

    As usual the A.M Talk Radio (none / 0) (#94)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:00:28 PM EST
    Fox party line is F.O.S.

    Wage stagnation and deteriorating conditions for American workers has alot more to do with U.S investment capital's neverending pursuit (to the four corners of the earth) of cheap labor and low overhead and the fact the the No 1 employers in the U.S now are companies like Walmart and Target than it does with any hysterical, crypto-racist "threat" from illegal alliens.

    But, if those bootlickers ever had to speak the truth about anything they'd immediatly implode.


    I agree something should be done (none / 0) (#46)
    by thereyougo on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:01:47 PM EST
    about illegal immigration, but ALL countries have this problem because they do drain resources to a degree. Like having families who use public schools.

    At least its the argument the 'minute men' types complain is why they're against these folks.

    Realistically, Mexico where the majority come from should put policies in place to handle their poverty, and the GOP made it an issue because they say it makes the future voter a Democrat.

    Still it is a situation that needs moderating but has gotten very little until people began to man the borders of AZ and New Mexico and other places.

    I'm for guest a worker program, if Americans are no willing to mess with pig guts to bring breakfast to America.


    the solution.... (none / 0) (#89)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 12:19:19 PM EST
    is that diry word..."open borders".

    When you can wire money and move capital all around the world to work for you, it is only fair and just to allow labor the same freedom of movement.


    Great (1.00 / 0) (#90)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:14:04 PM EST
    What happens to "labor" when you 50 million more illegals wanting a job?

    The ones that find jobs.... (none / 0) (#91)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:35:52 PM EST
    will stay, and the ones that don't will keep movin'.  Works for me.

    I was reading in one of the local papers that due to the standstill of new construction, many illegal immigrants are heading home because there is no work.  If we opened the borders, we might see a big flux at first, but in the end we'd absorb the workers our economy needs and the rest would have no choice but to move on to greener pastures.

    Imagine that...the market accomplishing what all the ICE raids in the world cannot:)


    Come on Kdog (1.00 / 0) (#93)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 19, 2008 at 04:43:35 PM EST
    You know that isn't realistic.

    You'd have Hover Camps all over the place and riots over free food.


    One way to find out.... (none / 0) (#96)
    by kdog on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:31:03 PM EST
    "Give me land, lots of land, under starry skys above...don't fence me in" :)

    What happens to labor (none / 0) (#103)
    by jondee on Wed May 21, 2008 at 11:47:33 AM EST
    when the No ! employer in the U.S is Walmart?

    Why Raise It? (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:11:30 PM EST
    I think it's good that immigration reform has been largely absent from the presidential debate since John McCain sewed up the Republican nomination. It is a typical Republican wedge issue with the potential to use fear and xenophobia to divide Democratic constituencies. The fact that McCain's candidacy makes it difficult for Republicans to use it as a wedge is a good thing. Ideally, a progressive approach to immigration reform would gain traction in the general election, creating a mandate for reform. But I don't think the country is ready for that yet. The nativists still control the narrative. It will take many, many stories like today's WaPo story before progressives can take the offensive on the issue.

    a wedge issue? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:39:01 PM EST
    tell that to the millions fighting for immigrant rights. Please.

    Of Course It's a Wedge Issue (none / 0) (#78)
    by Spike on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:22:47 PM EST
    The politics of the issue are clear: it's currently used by the right to bludgeon the left. That will continue to be the case until the basic political dynamic changes. Those fighting for immigrant rights have yet to demonstrate to mainstream politicians that they must be listened to. That's the bad news. The good news is that the demographic trends are unmistakable. The party that permanently alienates Hispanic Americans will condemn itself to permanent minority status. Even Karl Rove fully understood that. But we aren't there today.

    Speaking of Iowa... (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by citizen53 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:14:18 PM EST
    Here is an eye opener:


    The Deeper Racism in Iowa: Beneath the White Obama Craze

    First in the Nation

    Blacks would seem to be under special surveillance in Iowa.  The state might have been the first in the nation to support Obama on the road to the White House but it is also first in the rate of racially disparate mass incarceration.  According to a recent Sentencing Project report, Iowa locks up African Americans at 13.6 times the frequency that it imprisons whites, the worst record in the nation.

    This is more than twice the terrible national black-white race disparity (5.6) in incarceration rates. Mississippi and Alabama both lock up blacks at 3.5 times the rate at which they imprison whites, making them look like bastions of progressivism compared  to relatively lily-white northern states like Iowa (13.6), Wisconsin (10.6), and South Dakota (10.0).

    "Iowa locks up African Americans at 13.6 times the frequency that it imprisons whites."

    An antiwar activists from Des Moines told me last year that "if you want to see blacks in Iowa, just join us on a civil disobedience act and spend a night in jail."


    Middle-Class Obamists Missing in Action

    Interestingly enough, you don't see many if any white liberal Iowa City Obama supporters involved in efforts to fight and overcome routine institutional racism and racial harassment in their city and state.

    Given the purported anti-racism behind their support for Obama, they seem remarkably indifferent to - and ignorant of - Iowa's status as the nation's leader in disproportionate black imprisonment.

    Some of the black and liberal students here find this a paradox.  I have a different perspective. Two days before the heavily Caucasian Iowa caucus, one forthcoming and self-critical caucus-goer and neighbor told me something I'd been suspecting for some time. Obama, he said, was "a way for liberal and moderate whites around here to pat themselves on the back for not being too prejudiced to vote for a black guy."  But it was all premised, he agreed, on Obama being a "good," that is non-threatening, middle-class, academic-friendly, and "not-too fiery black" - one who seemed unlikely to confront institutional white supremacy in any way more meaningful than attaining higher office.

    We kid ourselves in this country.  It is a sad testament.  We are manipulated into voting for people like Bush and now, Obama, as if it will
    cleanse America and show that we are not what we are, ignorant.

    I think this goes hand in hand (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:56:10 PM EST
    with the easier mingling of the races in---hold your breath, the south!  I have mentioned before the NYC expatriates who comment on the mixed dating, mixed marriages (or just co-habiting, who cares which), and mixed-race children here.  If the media had kept out of it, I do not know how the SC primary would have looked.  Personally, I can sure understand the AAs (we usually say 'black') being overjoyed to vote for a black (even if his background is hardly comparable, his looks are, I suppose).  But don't label the 'white' vote as purely back lash.  Hillary is a 'historic candidate in her own right, and she has the 'right stuff.'

    Wow (none / 0) (#52)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:25:08 PM EST
    "Iowa locks up African Americans at 13.6 times the frequency that it imprisons whites."

    Who knew Iowa was in the racist South?


    Having grown up near Ft. Madison IA, (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:17:56 PM EST
    I googled it to see if the 19th century state prison still exists.  It does.  Prison industries runs an upholstery shop there.  Last two inmates to escape used--guess what, upholstery webbing--to scale the limestone walls.



    What's your point? (1.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:19:01 PM EST
    That if you don't vote for Obama you're a racist?

    What about his 90% plus votes from blacks?

    Why don't you just toss the black/white stuff and concentrate on the issues??


    The point is well stated in the article (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by citizen53 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:38:59 PM EST
    Obama capitalized on middle class whites' rejection of openly bigoted "level-one" (state-of-mind) racism only because he reassured them he would honor their refusal to acknowledge and confront the continuing power of deeper, "level two" (state-of-being) - societal and institutional - racism in American life. I have spoken with local middle-class whites for whom loving the "good" (bourgeois) black Obama is the other side of the coin of hating the "bad" and "underclass" blacks who are becoming more evident in Iowa City.

    The town's white liberals don't seem interested in tackling the deeper institutional racism that lives on beneath the surface while they congratulate themselves for being willing to back a certain non-threatening kind of black candidate. They certainly don't want to look closely at the unpleasant picture of how racial and class oppression produce  pain and inequality in their own schools, neighborhoods, and community. They respond very well to what Black Agenda Report's Glen Ford has identified as Obama's "strategy to win the White House" by "run[ning] a `race-neutral' campaign in a society that is anything but neutral on race." As Ford notes, "the very premise - that race neutrality is possible in a nation built on white supremacy - demand[s] the systematic practice of the most profound race-factual denial, which is ultimately indistinguishable from rank dishonesty."

    . . .

    At the same time, many of even my more progressive white neighbors have fallen deeply into what Left sociologist Charles Derber has identified as "The Election Trap" - the "linking of power and change with winning elections."

    "The Election Trap," Derber argues, "inflates and distorts the role of the horse race in democratic politics.  It makes near-term elections the primary object of political struggle and electoral victory the criterion for measuring power."  It forgets that "the main catalysts for regime change in America have not been parties glued to the next election, but social movements that operate on the scale of decades rather than two and four year election cycles" [1].

    For what it's worth, a similar dichotomy exists on the Iraq War when it comes to the liberal white Obamanists of Iowa City.  They'll tell you they support Obama because he was "against the war from the beginning" - a highly inaccurate judgment - but you won't see them at many if any of them at gatherings and speaking events called by the local antiwar movement.

    Sorry, but if you don't believe this is an issue, then we disagree.

    It's about how we pretend here in America about a lot of things.  


    heh (1.00 / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:55:52 PM EST
    How about some issues that are real??

    Defense? Health care? Gasoline prices??

    All I see from Obama is "vote for me or you are a racist."

    No Thanks and I am not.


    You may not think they are real... (5.00 / 0) (#67)
    by citizen53 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:57:10 PM EST
    but this issue is as old as the Republic.

    Have you ever been to Iowa City? (none / 0) (#30)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:50:10 PM EST
    Because statements like this...

    "I have spoken with local middle-class whites for whom loving the "good" (bourgeois) black Obama is the other side of the coin of hating the "bad" and "underclass" blacks who are becoming more evident in Iowa City."

    ...tell me that you have absolutely no idea of the racial or ideologic make-up of the IC.


    It is not my statement... (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by citizen53 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:01:43 PM EST
    but the author's.  He lives in Iowa City.  In my opinion, he accurately describes what is occurring in this country, and Iowa in particular.

    Do you dispute the facts of incarceration in Iowa?


    So... (none / 0) (#39)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:13:12 PM EST
    "In my opinion, he accurately describes what is occurring in this country, and Iowa in particular."

    ...you base your entire assessment of Iowa on the opinion of one person in one small Iowa town.  Very nice.  I lived in IC and I will tell that she/he is full of you-know-what.

    The facts?  I'm not going to read your "facts" because they don't reflect reality.  You can make the numbers say anything you want.  I doubt that whoever came up with these "facts" considered the fact that the AA population is so small that it can be easily skewed from a sampling and reporting aspect.

    Now, being the white, hard working, latte drinking, racist, creative-class elitist that I'm am, I am going to enjoy a beautiful Rocky Mountain day.


    The incarceration facts? (none / 0) (#40)
    by citizen53 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:24:38 PM EST
    The point is that you cannot have a post-racial society when the underlying issue of institutional racism remains.

    I'll take what this author says above your own experience.

    Here is a summary about the author:

    Currently an independent policy researcher, historian, and journalist based in Iowa City, Paul Street was the Director of Research and Vice President for Research and Planning at the Chicago Urban League from 2000 to 2005. He is the author of three previous books: Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis: A Living Black Chicago History (New York: Rowman & Littlefield 2007); Segregated Schools: Educational Apartheid in the Post-Civil Rights Era (New York: Routledge 2005); and Empire and Inequality: America and the World since 9/11 (Boulder: Paradigm 2004). Street has published a large number of articles, essays, reviews, and editorials in numerous outlets, including the Chicago Tribune; Journal of American Ethnic History; Journal of Social History; Mid-America; Chicago History; Review of Education; Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies; Studies in History and Politics; History of Education Quarterly; In These Time; Dissent; Capital City Times; Z Magazine; Black Commentator; Black Agenda Report; ZNet; AlterNet; Tom's Dispatch; History News Network; and Monthly Review. Street has a doctorate in U.S. History from Binghamton University.


    So what are your qualifications?


    See the summary below... (none / 0) (#41)
    by citizen53 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:26:22 PM EST
    that was intended for you.

    Because the "black and white stuff" (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by FlaDemFem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:56:55 PM EST
    is how Obama sells himself to the voters. It is HIS platform. He claims unity is in his DNA, for crying out loud, because his father was black and his mother was white. If Obama didn't want this election to be about race, he shouldn't have brought it up. And Wright, his pastor and mentor of 20 years, didn't help. So if you are going to accuse people of using race, go talk to Obama. He is the one using race in this election. Do tell him to shut the hell up, will you?? Please?? Thanxkbye!!

    What % of blacks vote (none / 0) (#92)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:40:01 PM EST
    to the left of the thugs no matter whose running?

    Speaking of "the issues".


    Read the anonymous comments (none / 0) (#76)
    by JSN on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:02:35 PM EST
    to articles in the Iowa City Press Citizen for a week and it
    will become clear what the state of racism is in Iowa City.

    New Topic.
    The problem with computing the relative probability of admission to prison is that it depends on age, gender, race/ethnicity and degree of educational attainment.

    The probability of anyone 60 or older being admitted to an Iowa prison is near zero and the white population is much older than the Blacks and Hispanics. Gender is important because the females have a different offense profiles than males. There are very large differences between educational attainment for prisoners by both gender and race/ethnicity and all of them differer greatly from folks outside.

    In Johnson County (where Iowa City is located) relative to all races Blacks are

    1. Five times as likely to be arrested and booked into jail
    2. 1.7 times as likely to be detained in jail for more than a week
    3. Twice as likely to be charged with a felony
    4. Twice as likely to be booked into jail four or more times in a year
    5. Nine times as likely to be committed to prison (about 80% as the result of a guilty plea)

    The offense profile for Blacks is significantly different from that of Whites. For public order offenses there is no racial disparity in Johnson County.

    There are counties in Iowa were 50% of the prison commitments are minorities and there are no counties in Iowa with a minority population that large.

    The Iowa Criminal Justice System is in denial about this state of affairs. The good news is that the Governor and some members of the legislature are embarrassed by this state of affairs.


    Immigrant arrests (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by Arabella Trefoil on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:25:53 PM EST
    Great post, jeralyn. The immigration issue is unbelievably complex. The meat processing industry relies heavily on immigrant workers. Businesses suffer when immigrants are arrested and hauled away. There are plants that have to close because they don't have enought workers.

    There is an imoact on the local economies as well. In small towns mom and pop convenience stores who sell food, beverages etc. are struggling to get by. The immigrants spend money in these stores.

    That's in fly-over/hill billy country though, so let's not mind it. The immigrants are killing animals for human consumption. They are buying beer and cigarettes (!) in the local stores. They even by Lotto tickets. These people are not worthy of our concern.

    If the immigrants can't get jobs making tofu patties, they should get jobs raising free range chickens. They should learn to live on unprocessed foods. They shouldn't drink or smoke either.

    Obama has no understanding of how regular people live. McCain is more understanding.

    Facts be (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:38:47 PM EST
    The immigration issue is unbelievably complex. The meat processing industry relies heavily on immigrant workers

    At one time the industry was highly unionized and was highly paid.

    The availability of cheap illegal alien labor has destroyed the unions and depressed the wages, just as it has in the construction industry.


    Pick up a U.S (none / 0) (#95)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:22:33 PM EST
    history book: the goal has always been to undermine organized labor, and it wasnt your feared, swarthy ones who've been actively pursuing that project for the last 100+ years,

    You're taking the same tack that ones who pitted poor whites against blacks in the South pursued. And it's still b.s.


    The facts be facts (1.00 / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 19, 2008 at 09:59:31 PM EST
    And of course industry doesn't want unions.

    But it took illegal aliens for them to get their wish.

    As for poor whites vs poor blacks... the issue was cultural, not economic. Remember. I lived it.


    The facts be (none / 0) (#99)
    by jondee on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:07:38 PM EST
    union membership began it's marked decline in the seventies, as did, not suprisingly, the great wage stagnation. The trend has continued ever since.

    When did illegals start coming to the U.S? 1850?

    Close the borders to your pal Dubya's "have and have more" outsourcers I say. Then go after their offshore tax shelters. And, who knows, maybe Scalia might have something to say about those in the U.S who profit from promoting the use of child labor overseas.

    Btw, I heard Hannity say the other night acid rain is caused by that stuff in illegal's hair evaporating into the atmosphere. Get right on it and pass the word.


    The issue was divide and (none / 0) (#100)
    by jondee on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:11:01 PM EST
    conquer in the South.

    You didnt see it then and you dont see it now, but that dosnt mean that wasnt what was occuring.


    McCain is more undrestanding (none / 0) (#101)
    by jondee on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:21:16 PM EST
    how does pursuing the same path that brought us unprecedented food and fuel prices, foreclosures, 4,000 dead and God knows how many maimed and traumatized, exhibit an "understanding of how ordinary people live"??

    I get it: he understands, he just dosnt give a sh*t.


    Do You Actually Think The Jewish Community (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:51:25 PM EST
    will be so easily appeased?  Do you really think they can't see past the shallowness of all things obama?  bho, the modern day Lon Chaney aka The Man Of A Thousand Faces.

    I can nail it down (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Robert Oak on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:41:39 PM EST
    I happen to watch immigration in detail because the US Chamber of Commerce, Bill Gates and other corporate lobbyists try to put in massive guest worker Visas such as the H-1B in these bills as well as try to turn our entire university system (please note, many Americans cannot even get in, never mind pay for it currently), into a glorified employer sponsored green card system.  H-1B especially has been proven as a wage arbitrage vehicle and also a method to offshore outsource jobs and technology transfer out of the country.

    All three have voted for US Chamber of Commerce written bills.  McCain especially pushes for everything the corporate lobbyists want.

    Hillary is now recognizing the labor economic realities in her speeches.  

    Obama does not, he claims everything is immigrant bashing.

    Neither Hillary or Obama have signed onto Dick Durbin's S.1035, which would reform the H-1B and L-1 guest worker Visas to close these loopholes by which US professional workers are displaced.

    All three have promised NASSCOM, the US Chamber of Commerce to give them their global labor arbitrage vehicles.

    Of the three I would say the only one even giving any acknowledgment of the labor economic realities on immigration is Hillary but none of them are willing to go against the massive special interests and corporate cheap labor lobby agenda.

    Bear in mind we have in the United States, right now, horror stories of outright slavery and human trafficking and they often use guest worker Visas to do it.  So, trying to claim that's Pro immigrant to set up a system that is guaranteed to further erode wages by flooding the system with cheap labor is not my idea at least of humanitarian agenda.  It's opposite of what you would think it would be intuitively.

    Hillary has repeatedly mentioned starting programs, esp. S of the border to increase their opportunities, middle classes, those nation's worker rights so it curtails those fleeing their homeland because they are economic refugees.

    I've never heard Obama or McCain mention those economic truths either.

    Obama is probably the worst of the bunch because he refuses to even acknowledge these economic realities and in philosophy seems to have some sort of all immigration is good, globalist agenda.

    Like it or not, goes against your own personal grain or not, immigration is a major factor in wage levels, labor supply and demand and having pretty much no enforcement or any immigration policy at all, which is in effect those comprehensive immigration bills and many of all of their positions will further erode wages, displace US workers, erode career stability and put globalization in a steroid induced acceleration mode.  

    They can get it for you wholesale (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:47:51 PM EST
    Neither Hillary or Obama have signed onto Dick Durbin's S.1035, which would reform the H-1B and L-1 guest worker Visas to close these loopholes by which US professional workers are displaced.

    In the real world when you let in a worker, be the worker a hotel maid or a software engineer who will work cheaper than the existing worker, wages and working conditions will go down.

    The answer is to keep them out or severely limit the numbers.


    exactly (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Robert Oak on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:03:47 PM EST
    and there is no better topic where the race card is played than on immigration.  Somehow I don't think protecting people who trade in human beings, i.e. traffickers is too good of a thing.  But the issue of raids, well, at some point those workers will lose those jobs because they are illegal workers and that fact doesn't seem to be acceptable so often.  Take the raid in Oregon Del Monte plant.  What you do not hear about are the incredible, unsafe, god awful working conditions there and you also do not hear about the employment agencies set up dealing exclusively with illegal workers.  Now that was no humanitarian anything, those employment agencies were making a killing in human trafficking, they were peddling illegal workers to avoid any sorts of worker safety as well as to lower wages and on top of it, they were taking a cut off the top.  That's not good esp. for US workers and it's not good to allow this in the United States.  

    You go Robert! (1.00 / 0) (#81)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:36:00 PM EST
    But it all starts by FIRST closing the border.

    When you stop the supply the demand will cause the whole structure to start to do what is right.

    Until then it won't.

    And the Left's continual cry for open borders just extends the problems.


    over on EP (none / 0) (#84)
    by Robert Oak on Mon May 19, 2008 at 01:03:07 AM EST
    Talking about immigration in terms of labor economics is ok.  (The Economic Populist) and one of the reasons is ok is firstly it is an economics issue and secondly there is pretty much no place that's strongly left leaning where objective analysis can occur.

    This is (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:06:20 PM EST
    why I really don't care whether we win this election if Obama's at the helm. Neither McCain nor Obama have any basic understanding of what you are talking about.

    Reading article on immigration (none / 0) (#17)
    by MichaelGale on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:00:41 PM EST
    We need immigration reform!  That article has every dynamic of immigration abuse possible: the Agriprocessors plant CEO; the town's conflict; the labor of children; the trauma of families pulled apart; the desperation of immigrants; the failed policy of the Bush administration.

    If I were a candidate I would just say, it is a Bush failed policy. I wouldn't comment on it too much. It's too complex.

    Clinton appears to be more conservative than either McCain or Obama. McCain does not want to go after the corporations.


    why can't the companies (none / 0) (#19)
    by Josey on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:04:34 PM EST
    be held responsible and accountable for assisting their illegal work force to become citizens?  Paying the costs for them to learn English, take the test, etc.

    Because... (none / 0) (#26)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:19:34 PM EST
    ...it would decrease the bottom line.  You don't get labor to work at $5 an hour and then turn around and raise your costs by teaching them English or providing benefits.  

    Probably also can't get labor to work (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:05:18 PM EST
    for $5/hour w/o benefits once the labor force achieves U.S. citizenship.

    And this is the whole point ... (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Robot Porter on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:35:12 PM EST
    for all intents and purposes the issue has already been settled.  The society seems to want a "sub-class" of citizens who are paid less than legally allowed, and don't have a variety of rights.

    Of course, this entirely against our constitution, so it cannot be the official law of the land.  But it is the tacit law of the land.

    And to varying degrees we're all complicit in this.


    My neighbor opined she (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 06:09:11 PM EST
    certainly hoped her gardener was not hiring undocumented workers (they worked on a Sat. to be able to participate in the immigrant rights march on Monday).  I suggested my neighbor consider how much the gardening service would charge if all its workers were legally working in the U.S.  

    Once you make it (none / 0) (#102)
    by jondee on Tue May 20, 2008 at 01:26:51 PM EST
    "legally allowable" to pay a wage almost no one can live on, what the f*cks the difference?

    I understand the 'bottom line' argument (none / 0) (#47)
    by Josey on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:04:45 PM EST
    but how are these companies being penalized for breaking U.S. law?

    Another small demographic heard from (none / 0) (#20)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:08:31 PM EST
    Southern born and bred university administrator (PR) who is a Baptist (not the Southern variety)--"Obama good speaker, but unqualified; Hillary--smartest of the Clintons, very qualified.

    Does that sound racist to you?  (BTW, my friend had not listened to the debates, so I told him the "good speaker" was only good in certain situations.)

    More on T--a raid was made on an employer (food industry also, I think) near here maybe 2 years ago--raised havoc among hispanics, especially since some of the people threatened with deportation were legal.  People were enraged about the effect on the children.  I think the gov't had egg on its face.

    Obama is reassuring Jews in the U.S. (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 01:01:49 PM EST
    and Israel that, if elected, he will, in fact, be a strong supporter of Israel.  So I expect he will include in his remarks in IA some reference to the fact the INS round-up in Postville involved the largest U.S. exporter of Kosher meat.  Of course, the company is also agro-business at its finest, but that will not be his point.  

    Is Postville on one of the Great Lakes? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Kathy on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:27:09 PM EST
    O has certainly shown a penchant for knowing the facts on the ground.  I'm sure he'll mention it and use it as a way to draw attention to his progressive stance on immigration reform, and shout a call to arms to all the peoples of the world to embrace diversity through unity for the common good of mankind.

    Or, maybe he'll just ask for more donations.


    Postville is quite close to the southern (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:47:06 PM EST
    border of Minnesota.  Hope Obama campaign shares Google map or Mapquest w/him before his latest speech.

    Blacks voted 88% for Kerry (none / 0) (#49)
    by dem08 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:16:00 PM EST
    It is hardly proof that blacks are "racist" if they vote for Obama 92%.

    I wish I knew a way to change the way we are speaking about the primary and the election.

    Obama did not run for the presidency saying, "Vote for me or you are racist." (As someone above said.)

    Obama did not make an issue that small town Americans "are bitter and cling to guns and religion". He said it once. It is not fair to say Hillary separated Americans into "hard working Americans, white Americans" based on one mention and it is unfair to look into Obama's heart and say that remark "changed things forever".

    I don't know why Hillary trails in the delegate totals, but I don't see how anyone can say I am for Hillary or McCain any more than I can see how anyone can say I am for Obama or McCain.

    I have come to dislike Hillary, but if the Super Delegates nominate her, even if their reason is that they think Obama has no chance with a segment of white voters, I will vote for her.

    I know many Hillary supporters here on Talk Left say they won't vote for Obama. That is fine. But all the "unity Pony" and "Bitter/Cling Gate" and "Obama would nominate Roberts and Scalia ;ile SCOTUS Justices" is sad.

    Czeslaw Milosz said "Irony is the freedom of slaves." Well so is rage and bitterness.

    Nothing (1.00 / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:33:25 PM EST
    Blacks have voted Democratic in the 90% range for years and years. Many argue that is because blacks believe Demos represent them better.

    OK fine.

    But the issue here is that you have two Demos running against each other, yet the percentages remain the same. 90% for the black.

    What does that tell you?

    And yes, Obama is clearly saying that he should be voted for because of his race. See his two Rev Wright speeches. Especially the "typical white person" remark about his white grandmother who helped raise him after his black father abandoned him and went back to Kenya.

    And if you say things like "look into his heart" I have to believe you have a religious figure not a candidate.


    I am tempted to say this (none / 0) (#77)
    by dem08 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 07:23:33 PM EST
    remark is typical of Hillary supporters:

    "Especially the 'typical white person' remark about his white grandmother who helped raise him after his black father abandoned him and went back to Kenya."

    Hillary said "Hard working Americans, white Americans..." So What? She isn't a racist and neither is Obama. Here is a news report of what Obama said:

    "Obama told Cataldi that 'The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know (pause) there's a reaction in her that doesn't go away and it comes out in the wrong way.'"

    Obama said his grandmother was afraid when she saw a person she didn't know coming towards her, and that she expressed that fear in the wrong way. A friend of mine was on Jury Duty with two older women who asked each other "Is that the guy who did it?" And then when they were excused said, "I thought he was going to jump across the table and kill me, too!" People are afraid of crime and they express that fear in ways that "come out the wrong way," as Obama said.

    Obama's problem with some people isn't that he is a religious figure, but rather that he is a human being. If a person is for one candidate they study everything the candidate says and keep repeating a scattered remark here and there to prove that the other candidate and her followers are all bad people.

    Any one-sided, self-fulfilling study makes us less intelligent.


    Guess again (1.00 / 0) (#80)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:32:32 PM EST
    I am not a Hillary supporter and Obama said what he said. If you put those comments in context with the lack of praise for his Grandmother/Mother in his book vs the huge praise directed towards his father and then his San Fran comments about the blue collar folks you see a distinct and undeniable pattern.

    And even if you just throw all of that out as "mispeaks," a President can not afford such errors.


    You originally said (none / 0) (#85)
    by dem08 on Mon May 19, 2008 at 05:59:10 AM EST
    Obama says, "Vote for me or you are a racist." Then you construct a convoluted case based on "close reading" of a scattered texts here and there.

    That is not an argument.


    You're arguing with (5.00 / 0) (#97)
    by jondee on Mon May 19, 2008 at 06:16:22 PM EST
    a guy who posted about five Swift Boat links a day here four years ago. Forget it.

    Perhaps you would be (1.00 / 0) (#86)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 19, 2008 at 09:26:11 AM EST
    happier if I said Obama's message was "Vote for me or you are a racist."

    Now, go read what I noted.


    Anyone else getting tired of 'sad'? (none / 0) (#63)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sun May 18, 2008 at 03:23:21 PM EST
    Immigrant Vote (none / 0) (#54)
    by waldenpond on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:28:10 PM EST
    This might be more appropriate to an open thread, but I thought it was relevant.  

    The discussion around citizenship involves positioning for votes.  To get the vote of hispanics doesn't the party need to take in to account the percent that practice religion and are pro-life?  I have seen statistics that hispanics lean Catholic and are more often pro-life and I seem to be seeing more pro-life Dems.  This article is telling Obama how to get the Casey Dem vote.

    Is this the direction this party is going? Not the Party Faithful Anymore
    [The bottom line is clear: The party must woo Casey Democrats in Rust Belt and border states -- Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky. To win them over, it won't be enough for Democrats to hammer the GOP over the economy and the war in Iraq, as Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards, did in 2004, or merely to use inclusive language and support partial-birth abortion, as Obama and Clinton have done. Instead, Democrats must address voters' real concerns about protecting families and human life, as Gov. Casey did. "Catholic voters have emerged more pro-life," pollster Greenberg wrote in a 2005 memo, "but they are very responsive to a broad initiative to reduce unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions."

    As the front-runner for his party's nomination, Obama can start to win over Casey Democrats by endorsing the Pregnant Women Support Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Casey. This legislation would, among other things, provide adoption information to pregnant women, give lower-income women free sonograms and require abortion clinics to obtain informed consent from women seeking to end a pregnancy.]

    Funny Clinton Did Not Have To Endorse The (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:59:31 PM EST
    Pregnant Women Support Act to get Hispanics or PA voters to vote for her.

    If Obama goes this route, why would I trust him on SCOTUS?

    There is a slim possibility that the Dems would find the courage to block McCain's nominations but don't think they would do anything at all to block an Obama pro-life nominee.


    Won't work (none / 0) (#58)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:43:03 PM EST
    The 24 hour news cycle, the channel news networks and the Internet have eliminated the ability of candidates to tell one group one thing and another group something else.

    See Obama's comments to his San Fran buds and what happened in PA.

    Just a comment here (none / 0) (#68)
    by camellia on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:12:37 PM EST
    "be held responsible and accountable for assisting their illegal work force to become citizens?  Paying the costs for them to learn English, take the test, etc."

    Unfortunately for this plan, it would be necessary for the companies to first make sure that their illegal work force workers are all LEGAL residents.  Illegal immigrants cannot become citizens.  Period.  No exceptions.  So ..if they take on that (almost impossible) task, they would then lose the advantage of employing illegal workers who work for less because they have no choice but to accept what is offered them--one of the reasons they are employed by these companies in the first place.  

    And, if I can figure out how to post a link I will post one to the WashPost's excellent and terrible series on immigrants and their relations with ICE--a four-part series last week.

    And -- I forgot ... (none / 0) (#69)
    by camellia on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:14:28 PM EST
    unless you have some really unusual extenuating circumstances, it takes five years of residence here in order to become a citizen.  Kind of a long planning horizon for the corporations.

    Close the borders, ha ! (none / 0) (#70)
    by gandy007 on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:15:02 PM EST

    I stand to be corrected, but I would be shocked if you lived in a state in close proximity to the border.  It seems that the farther that people live from the border and contact with illegals, the harder they scream.

    Maybe you should go see "A Day Without the Mexicans."

    I'm a lifelong Texan and while there is some minimal wage depression (but the main problem for all workers is a strong nonunion mentality) and job competition, the truth is that most times, illegals are doing jobs that have few takers otherwise.  In fact, in Texas, Hispanics illegal or otherwise, are starting to dominate minimum wage jobs as in the fast food industry, where actually there has been job growth to which Bush so proudly points.  Also  you hardly see a county or city road crew that is not mostly Mexicans or Mexican Americans.  

    Absent putting up barbed wire and machine gun nests, the flow is going to be pretty hard to stop.

    This is a complex problem which has a facet that is hardly, if ever, discussed.  That is that the main problem is not with USA policies, but with policies and economic conditions that are solely Mexican.  Whatever the rhetoric, the Mexican government sees the flight to the US as a pressure  release valve that lowers domestic discontent and
    does away with any need for internal reform in what is still basically a corrupt political system. About "Insist that Mexico and CA countries work to provide safety nets and other societal benefits ...", good luck.  Insisting about anything is sorely resented and any pressuring is great fodder for local politicians against Ugly Americans. Just saying, it's not any easy sell w/o
    a sincere internal desire for reform.  

    There are so many competing interests and emotional considerations, including ethnic hate, that the problem is complex and difficult to solve.  Unfortunately, the debate has transcended reason on the one hand and compassion on the other.

    I lived in CO for 17 years (1.00 / 0) (#82)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 18, 2008 at 09:50:38 PM EST
    and now live in a town in which 90% of the construction and farm jobs are held by immigrants, of which 99% I believe are illegal. I also spend a great deal of time in Southern CA. So I think I have a real up close and personal view of the problem.

    Try driving around the Commerce area in east LA.

    Let's look at what you are saying.

    If you get rid of the illegals the antiunion and wage depression goes with them.

    The resulting labor shortage will improve wages and working conditions.

    Please note that I said we should have a guest worker program for some.

    It is BS that the border can't be closed. Of course it can. It just takes the political will to do so.

    I noted that Mexico must improve conditions and agree that it would be difficult. But it must be done. Closing the border removes the safety valve and forces the issue.

    As for "complex," to a point. But too many times that is merely an excuse to do nothing.


    I used to buy the argument (none / 0) (#83)
    by denise on Sun May 18, 2008 at 10:25:32 PM EST
    that immigrants only took jobs citizens wouldn't do, but that was back when the jobs in question were seasonal migrant farm work.

    But that was when citizens filled the construction jobs, hotel jobs, janitorial jobs, meatpacking and landscaping jobs. Now we're told Americans won't do those jobs, or there aren't enough to fill them. I just don't believe that. Black unemployment is very high. Black & white citizens used to do these jobs, not very long ago.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#87)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 19, 2008 at 09:33:35 AM EST
    Well said.

    A link to the Post series (none / 0) (#71)
    by camellia on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:17:48 PM EST
    Here is a link to one of the Post's excellent and informative recent articles on this topic:


    Well, (none / 0) (#72)
    by Addison on Sun May 18, 2008 at 04:51:49 PM EST
    With the respect that is deserved from running a competent blog 24/7: if you believe that Hillary still has a chance at the nomination, it should be paramount that she differentiate herself from the other candidates on immigration. This seems like misdirection to me.