Can Ignorance Be Stopped?

The Denver Post has some great photos of yesterday's rally against Arizona's SB 1070.

The one that says "Stop Ignorance" got me thinking. How do we do that? Usually the answer is education. Can that work with the prejudice against immigrants? It may be too late for adults, but can we reduce their success rate in passing their bigoted views onto the next generation? Should schools include in their curriculum, starting in kindergarten, classes and presentations that extol the contributions immigrants have made to this country and promote diversity? Something has to counter-balance what kids are hearing at the dinner table from ignorant parents.

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    Um, unfortunately, no. Some people don't want (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Angel on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:13:04 AM EST
    to learn, they really and truly get off thinking that they're always right, that they're better than others, that they deserve more than some other particular set of people, that they are more worthy, that their problems are always someone else's fault, etc., etc.  Nope, some people like being ignorant because it makes them feel better about themselves. You can't save these people.

    I swear, you (3.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:53:42 AM EST
    just described democrat voters to a tee.

    spelling? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by christinep on Mon May 03, 2010 at 11:55:22 AM EST
    Only party-line republicans say "democrat" rather than "democratic" as an adjective. Always a tip-off.

    Stop ignorance? Stop funding charter (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by observed on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:15:17 AM EST
    schools and vouchers. Beyond that, your suggestions are good.

    right, (none / 0) (#22)
    by bocajeff on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:01:45 PM EST
    because public schools have been doing such a bang up job educating kids and keeping them in school...ignorance is found all over the place...

    Three reasons, to start with (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by observed on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:19:51 PM EST
    First, Charter schools don't perform better than public schools. If anything, they  may do worse, since they don't take the worst students, yet their test scores are no better than public school students.

    Second, one of the purposes of the charter school/voucher movement is to gut public school funding. The aim is ideological, not educational, which leads to..

    Third, the aim of many charter/voucher supporters is to get government funding for parochial schools. It's definitely one of the aims to stop being required to teach kids facts like evolution and other sciences.


    Hate ignorance vs education (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Saul on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:21:49 AM EST
    Some of the most educated people are bigoted.  Just look at some of your congressman and senators.

    Ever since Obama took office all the hate groups that have been quite came out of the woods and with pride expressed their hate.

    To me the tea party if full of hate groups. Lots of educated people in those groups.

    The view of American today looks like in the 1800  The north vs the south.

    The definition of education (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by christinep on Sun May 02, 2010 at 11:51:10 AM EST
    I think that it is important to state your point, Saul, over and over. One of my dad's favorite sayings (usually uttered in this kind of situation): "For a smart man, he sure is dumb."
    Another memory--from a musical(South Pacific): "You've got to be taught...to hate other people...you've got to be carefully taught."

    Um, one of my favorite sayings is "Education (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Angel on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:46:35 PM EST
    doesn't equal intelligence."  Too many people to list who qualify under that category.  But we could begin with Dubya.

    Um, not just any education. (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Cream City on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:21:16 PM EST
    The suggestion in this post is coursework specific to immigration history -- a great field (one of my areas, so natch, I think so) but fairly recent as a focus, and long specific to only some campuses, so unlikely to have been part of the education of many of today's leaders.

    And of course, Arizona -- in a lesser-noted action the next day -- essentially outlawed a lot of the sort of courses that evolve in the field, i.e., ethnic studies specific to some groups, so as to be able to go in depth into useful research queries (vs. the generalized history survey courses, the sort that most of today's history teachers have taken, owing to the problems of "social studies" broad-field majors vs. history majors).

    So the need is to have better and more focused education -- and to not proscribe entire and emerging, exciting areas of study, as Arizona has done.  Mamas, don't let your children grow up to go to school in Arizona and other such states that promote the history taught 100 years ago.  


    So how about Immigrant History Month? (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Cream City on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:25:31 PM EST
    It's great that more students have been learning African American history.  But it seems to have stopped there. . . .

    And actually, we need Migrant History Month -- to understand that many Hispanic Americans are not immigrants (even college students have difficulty grasping just which groups are which).

    Not that I'm a great fan of such "months," as that can give permission to ignore groups for the rest of the year.  But the event orientation seems to assist K12 teachers in finding a focus, resources, etc.


    If Virginia can have Confederate History Month, (none / 0) (#43)
    by Jack E Lope on Mon May 03, 2010 at 08:16:17 AM EST
    ...celebrating a treasonous movement, I'd think that a month celebrating the ancestors of nearly everyone in the US should not be very controversial.  (There might be some Native Americans who feel left out.)

    No one likes to feel like they are (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Anne on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:17:28 PM EST
    at the bottom of the pecking order, and history has shown that the only way to make sure one isn't is to make sure there are those that are; immigrants, both legal-and-brown, and illegal-and-brown are the current buffer that allow people to feel "better than" and avoid being the target of so much disdain and discrimination and outright hatred.

    But every group has its "buffer."  There's gender: men have been making themselves feel they are better than women, by keeping women in positions of economic and social subservience.  There's race, of course, which is an ongoing problem.  There's ethnicity, there's religion: God forbid one is brown and Middle Eastern and Muslim.

    We condescend on economic terms: the rich not only think they are better, but they have the money and the power to make sure no one knocks them off the top of the heap.

    So much of this is human nature, and I don't know how you change that.  Yes, you can educate about the contributions made across the spectrum, and ideally, what we learn should inspire people to aspire to a better life, but sometimes, looking up the ladder at those who are better off, and looking at the barriers between where we are and where we want to be, is so demoralizing that looking down the ladder is where we turn when we want to feel "better than" someone, anyone.

    This country needs an immigration policy that works, but something also needs to be done about the countries whose citizens are finding any and every way to come here hoping for a better life; I don't believe we will begin to solve our immigration problem until we solve both sides of it.

    If we had full employment in this country, I don't think things would be at the fever-pitch they are; when you have a job, and everyone you know has a job, there's no sense of there being jobs taken from you by someone who isn't here legally.

    And that means we have to address our own economic issues - something that seems to have been on the back burner and allowed to fester for far too long.  There is a growing acceptance of some level of permanent unemployment in this country, and it is being talked about by some of the alleged experts, and this has to stop.  It's helping to fuel the "uh-oh, we really need to cut entitlements" movement and anyone who thinks this is going to make things better for the underclass needs to understand that this is all about "How to Create a Third World Environment in the Wealthiest Nation in the World," which is subtitled, "Cut at the Bottom so There's More Money for Those of Us at the Top."

    Meanwhile, so much frustration and anger is being channeled into the anti-immigrant movement that one could start to believe it's being encouraged as a means of distracting us from the real issues.  

    Just a little comment (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by christinep on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:01:45 PM EST
    Agree with most of the comment. One add on:Concerning "as a means of distracting us from the real issues," I would strongly urge that the immigration issue--and all that it means and portends--is per se a very real issue.

    Yes, immigration is a real issue, (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Anne on Sun May 02, 2010 at 04:15:10 PM EST
    but the larger issue has to do with our economy; I maintain that there would not be this huge push to close borders if we were at or close to full employment.

    Efforts to address the economy have been weak, and I don't see anything on the horizon from Obama or Congress that looks like it's going to make a difference.

    So a great deal of anger will continue to be directed at the undocumented, instead of at those responsible for economic policies that seem to be headed for accepting permanent unemployment.


    Good point (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 02, 2010 at 02:26:58 PM EST
    This country needs an immigration policy that works, but something also needs to be done about the countries whose citizens are finding any and every way to come here hoping for a better life; I don't believe we will begin to solve our immigration problem until we solve both sides of it.

    Closing the borders and quit being the safety value for Mexico would be a good start.


    I think experience matters more than education (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by esmense on Sun May 02, 2010 at 02:32:07 PM EST
    in terms of overcoming bigotry. You can enjoy a very elite education and still have extremely limited experience of people of different classes, races, etc. At the same time, you can have little formal education and yet have life experiences that provide you with experience of people from a broad range of classes, ethnicities, etc.

    But the problem in Arizona, I think, doesn't have much to do with either education or experience. Many of the very conservative people who retire to Arizona from other places, and influence its politics, are relatively well educated and affluent.

    Plus, Hispanic history in Arizona is long (longer than that of the Gringos), the state has long enjoyed a very substantial Hispanic population, and the border between Arizona and Mexico has ALWAYS been extremely permeable -- a state of affairs that, as it certainly didn't when I lived in Arizona in the 70s, has not caused much anxiety in the past.

    So the problem isn't ignorance, nor is it a lack of experience with Hispanics and Hispanic culture -- in Arizona that culture is both all around you and one of the more attractive things about the state. Furthermore, the problem isn't, I think, that Hispanics are suddenly pouring over the border in such substantially larger numbers. (If they are, it is because the opportunities for work has substantially increased.)

    I think the problem is that over the last 30 years Gringos have been pouring into the state in historically unprecedented numbers -- a great many of them elderly, cheap and soon to be ill -- and in the process making ever greater demands on the state in terms of very expensive services.

    These people are afraid that, unless measures are taken to check their political power and freedom, Arizona's more Hispanic younger, population will, naturally enough, both demand more services for themselves and their children and demand that these recently arrived retirees and entreprenuers, for whom Arizona's low wages and taxes have been such an attraction, help pay for them.

    Young Hispanics want to enjoy the legitimate fruits of the bustling, modern economy rapid population growth has contributed to in Arizona.

    But older whites still want the low wage low tax benefits Arizona offered them when it was a (low population) economic backwater.

    But that is a state of affairs that simply can't endure.

    Good grief (none / 0) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 02, 2010 at 02:51:39 PM EST
    Do you actually believe that?

    Have you actually paid any attention to the crime and other problems that have been becoming worse and worse while the Feds didn't respond?

    Close the border to stop the influx, pass out green cards to the ones here to get them into the legal system, crack down on crime and the problem will disappear.


    Bigger economy, bigger problems (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by esmense on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:09:08 PM EST
    You certainly don't think there weren't lots of drugs and people coming across the border in the 70s do you? That Arizona's economy didn't depend on illegal labor!?!

    Yes, I do believe that what we are seeing is the result of people, many of them relative newcomers to the region, refusing to accept change and failing to adequately address the demands of growth.

    It's easy to place all the blame on the poorer, younger newcomers to the state -- but the older ones, with affluent but FIXED incomes, and the entreprenuers who hope to serve them by exploiting the cheap labor neighboring Mexico can provide, are the other part, and just as important a part, of the problem.

    If you could deport every illegal and close the border, Arizona's economy would collapse. That's the reality you don't want to address.


    This sentence really made me laugh, (none / 0) (#26)
    by esmense on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:27:47 PM EST
    "crack down on crime and the problem will disappear."

    Many of the people supporting this bill routinely use illegal labor -- to fix their cars, mend their fences, dig their swimming pools, add additions to their houses, etc., etc.

    Think we should crack down on that crime, too?

    I can't wait to see all those retired accountants, insurance execs and military brass in Arpaio's pink undies.


    The problem will disappear (none / 0) (#53)
    by jondee on Mon May 03, 2010 at 11:25:42 AM EST
    Poof. Just like magic.

    No more demand for illegal drugs, no more graft, no more demand for dirt cheap labor..

    As if all those things just stemmed from some exotic virus only brought here by foreigners.


    A "belief" is merely (none / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:56:46 PM EST
    bias wrapped around a view.

    The INCREASING crime, etc., is well documented.

    And you didn't read what I said when I wrote that we should issue them green cards and get them into the legal system.

    To busy being right, eh?


    Dramatic population growth brings increases (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by esmense on Mon May 03, 2010 at 08:54:41 AM EST
    in social problems -- there's nothing unexpected about that. Even less so in an economy that's historically tolerated, long depended on, and in large part has fueled and supported its growth with illegal activity.

    I'm not suggesting that crime hasn't increased. To the contrary, Arizona's rapid development over the last 30 years has brought more demand for drugs and illegal labor, more and more people living on inadequate wages, more smuggling, more crime and social problems, and created overwhelming stress on the state's social services and civil infrastructure.

    My point is that this measure, doesn't do anything to effectively address those problems (which, by suggesting a host of things that aren't being done) you apparently concede.

    What it does do is put every Hispanic in the state, citizen or not, legal immigrant or not, no matter how many centuries their family may have lived in the state, on notice as second class citizens.


    Question Jim: (none / 0) (#27)
    by Raskolnikov on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:41:27 PM EST
    First, I agree with you about the blanket amnesty and getting undocumented members of our society into our legal and entitlements system for those currently here (if thats what you mean by "pass out green cards to the ones here").  But when you say close the border, do you mean merely completing the border fence along our 2000 mile border and increasing enforcement efforts or do you mean actually stopping any and all immigration legal or otherwise?  

    If Arizona's conservatives wanted to "pass (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by esmense on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:52:00 PM EST
    out green cards" and take other measures to normalize and account for the flow of labor across the border, they wouldn't have passed the measure they did.

    This is not an attempt to get on top of the real problems created by a large, undocumented work force. This is an attempt to terrorize and control that work force -- and deny political power to their children.


    I don't think AZ has the power (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 02, 2010 at 04:03:08 PM EST
    to issue a green card.

    And what have they don't to deserve political power?


    Whether those immigrants are legal or not, their (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by esmense on Sun May 02, 2010 at 06:00:13 PM EST
    children, born here, are citizens.

    That's the real problem in Arizona -- two large groups of newcomers with competitive economic interests and social needs. An older, affluent group coming from other parts of this country, seeking a low cost of living and cheap social services combined with low taxes, and another, younger, group arriving from Mexico, hoping to earn their living and raise and educate their children (into the middle class), by satisfying the increased labor demand created by the first group. The older group is really afraid of the potential political and economic clout that could potentially be wielded by younger, US born Hispanics.

    Dramatic stories about drugs and crime cartels make a nice rationale -- and I don't doubt that there is very ugly stuff going on. But we have as big a drug smuggling problem on our Canadian border without the hysteria. That unprotected border would, I'm sure, be much more of a problem, and an encouragement to much escalated and bloodier hostilities on the part of both smugglers and authorities, if the economies of our Northern border states were extremely dependent on cheap, illegal Canadian labor.  


    Good lord, please give links (none / 0) (#38)
    by Cream City on Mon May 03, 2010 at 12:48:16 AM EST
    as I'm near that Canadian border and never have heard that the drug smuggling here is as bad as on the border with Mexico!  I'm amazed that our media here have not reported this.  Please, point to links.

    Ahem, CC...it's more coastal... (none / 0) (#39)
    by oldpro on Mon May 03, 2010 at 01:35:40 AM EST
    No links but I'm a Washington State native and the coast, the straits between WA and BC are marine highways of drug access when it comes by boat and have been since the 60s (save the bales!)...you've heard of BC bud?  Then, too, our entire northern border leaks like a sieve...a 3,000 mile sieve, so opportunity awaits options for the determined, I suppose.

    The border patrol has an increased presence here in our state and seek undocumented workers in the woods and on the farms of eastern and central Washington.


    I live in Washington state. As oldpro points out (none / 0) (#44)
    by esmense on Mon May 03, 2010 at 08:19:07 AM EST
    it comes in over the waterways. But we have miles of only lightly policied wilderness at the border that creates an opportunity for illegal activity inland too (my ex-husband was a Ranger on the border in the North Cascades National Park during the first years after it opened).

    Drug smuggling across the border, and illegal people smuggling (arriving from Asia) are long standing problems here.


    Oh, if it's more coastal (none / 0) (#48)
    by Cream City on Mon May 03, 2010 at 09:22:38 AM EST
    then that may be -- but some of my family is from Washington State, with many still there, and I had not heard of this.

    However, that does not seem to be evidence to support that the problem exists along all 3,000 miles.  Sorry; I'm not a fan of sweeping overgeneralizations, of exaggeration of problems, as they do not help to win support to solve them.


    The problem isn't as well policed or as well (none / 0) (#52)
    by esmense on Mon May 03, 2010 at 11:04:30 AM EST
    tracked on the Canadian border. It is a much larger border than the one we share with Mexico, and, as you point out, a great deal of that border is wilderness, on both sides. Naturally enough, smugglers are going to mostly smuggle illegal goods at points convenient to larger population centers -- where the demand is. But some people seem to equate "wilderness" with innocence. I know many people, and for many years was married to someone, who have worked with various agencies along the border. Mostly in the Park and Forest Services. Believe me, all kinds of illegal stuff goes on in the "wilderness."  

    It's not hard to find information on smuggling on the Canadian border. Google it.

    There is an entirely different set of economic and social problems created by a long history of, and the state's dependence on, illegal labor in Arizona -- and people who want to focus on the drug trade are entirely missing that point.


    Here's a link to a very recent article about (none / 0) (#49)
    by esmense on Mon May 03, 2010 at 09:40:08 AM EST
    Sen. Schumer's concerns about smuggling across the Canadian border:

    It's a lot more than just pot and not just Washington State (according to this article, Canada is our largest supplier of Ectasy, who knew?).

    Here in Washington, the first discovery of a tunnel used to bring drugs in from Canada was made just a few years ago. Like drug smuggling elsewhere, when you increase policing one area (like the coastal waterways), another area opens up.


    Chuck is outta touch... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Mon May 03, 2010 at 09:57:09 AM EST
    we love that Canadian grown here amongst your constituency Chuckie...stfu will ya?

    Yes two groups (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 03, 2010 at 12:18:20 PM EST
    One group is US citizens.

    One group is not.

    Why should we favor our citizens?



    First, close the border (none / 0) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 02, 2010 at 04:00:35 PM EST
    with Mexico, issue green cards and then figure out how many "legal" immigrants we want into the country.

    That doesn't mean that we change anything on the legal side until we have the illegal immigrants problem solved.


    People Have A Right To Be Ignorant (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by john horse on Sun May 02, 2010 at 09:30:42 PM EST
    I have no problem with Arizonans choosing to be ignorant or stupid or racist.  My problem is when they pass laws that discrimate against others.  

    Schools should not be teaching people what to think.  What schools schools should do is to teach people to think critically.  

    So that is why I believe it is more important to overturn the law than to rely on schools to change ignorance.

    In the South there was a belief among conservatives that prejudice was so ingrained in Southern society that it could only be changed gradually.  What progressives believed instead was that the focus should be on changing the Jim Crow laws.  Prejudice finds support when it is codified into law.  But even if you don't change hearts and minds,those who have been subjected to discrimination will tell you that it is less important what someone believes than what someone does.  Actions are more important than thoughts.


    And good education can help to end (none / 0) (#9)
    by Cream City on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:37:18 PM EST
    the success of the divide-and-conquer tactic that has so worked so well for the dominant group -- and has worked against so many groups in U.S. history.  

    Here's one of several interesting takes on Arizona's idiocy that I have read from African Americans -- concerned that others of their heritage are not seeing the need to side with Hispanic Americans.  

    E pluribus unum.

    Schools need to stict to the facts - all of them (none / 0) (#10)
    by pluege on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:39:59 PM EST
    its a slippery slope to try to intentionally counterbalance parents. What schools need to do is teach the facts. The nature of American ideals: equality and opportunity for all, and what that means and how so very far short of those ideals, even antagonistic to them the US is, throughout its history and in its current subversive incantation, needs to be taught.

    The republican lies of US purpose to be divisive and oppressive need to be counteracted.

    The corporate media, servant and propagandist of the plutocracy needs to be attacked, broken up, and neutered.

    But trying to intentionally undo, or counteract what parents try do to in the manipulation of their offspring is ill-advised.

    ALL of the facts? (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Cream City on Sun May 02, 2010 at 01:05:15 PM EST
    Good heavens, our kids would be in school until they're 60.  At 60, I'm still in school -- as a teacher -- and still have so many millions of books to read, so many millions of facts to learn. . . .

    And let's not even get into whose "facts" are others' untruths.


    Is ignorance the problem (none / 0) (#11)
    by nyjets on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:43:49 PM EST
    Is ignorance the problem in this case however. I would not dispute the contribution of immigration on this country. However, at this point in time, our economy is tanking. It can not handle our current population, let alone additional immigrants, (whether or not they are in this country legally or illegally) being added to the population.
    It is possible to be opposed to immigration and not be a bigot. For a lot of people, they are opposed to immigration to protect there jobs and there livelihood.

    That's a perfectly reasonable position. (none / 0) (#13)
    by observed on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:47:37 PM EST
    However, we cannot control immigration by physical means. Closing the border is a ridiculous and extremely expensive proposition.
    If it were possible to do so, I'd be completely in favor of it, so that we could have a controlled flow of LEGAL immigrants.

    Of course we can physically close (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 02, 2010 at 02:28:34 PM EST
    the borders. All it takes is will power to spend the resources.

    Would you close it both ways? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by nycstray on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:57:16 PM EST
    No more corps moving down there to pay cheap wages/produce cheap goods?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by nyjets on Sun May 02, 2010 at 04:18:00 PM EST
    That is the second half of the equation that we need to do.

    This would make it much harder (none / 0) (#41)
    by Raskolnikov on Mon May 03, 2010 at 04:49:27 AM EST
    For American companies to compete with European ones, as in Europe they have moved the factories to former Soviet Republics to exploit their cheap labor as we have with Mexico.  The global economy makes this a very complicated situation, there are no "it's as simple as..." solutions.

    There's a great scene in an otherwise mediocre movie, "Outsourced" where one of the newly trained Indian sales reps for an Americana goods company explains how she deals with customers who complain their tacky Americana products aren't made in America.  She responds to them by telling them what the equivalent item costs, sourced from American companies, and because the difference is 10:1 or more, the customer pauses, then agrees to buy the Chinese made goods.  


    10:1 or more.... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Rojas on Mon May 03, 2010 at 06:45:10 AM EST
    What was the product, hand woven baskets?

    Whatever. (none / 0) (#18)
    by observed on Sun May 02, 2010 at 02:41:19 PM EST
    Dream on.

    If you can't dream it (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 02, 2010 at 02:43:38 PM EST
    then it won't be done.

    Ok, open minded smart people, (none / 0) (#24)
    by bocajeff on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:10:21 PM EST
    Would you be as supportive if 500 million Chinese and Indians arrived this year? If not, why? You can't use any reasons such as jobs, public services, laws, housing, etc... as your reason since those opposed to illegal immigration use those reasons and they are bigots and ignorant. And you can't say that's unrealistic since that would be a cop out...

    My view is... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Mon May 03, 2010 at 08:34:19 AM EST
    if you can get here, and make it here, you're welcome here...no matter where you started out.

    If 500 million can get here, and make it here...sun god bless them.


    Missing the Point... (none / 0) (#35)
    by jarober on Sun May 02, 2010 at 05:12:08 PM EST
    Polls show that most people don't want immigration shut down - they want it normalized under the rule of law.  And no, that's not the same thing as "close our eyes to mass waves of illegal entry for years, do an amnesty, rinse, repeat".

    Right now, it's easier for an unskilled person who doesn't speak English to gain entry (and eventual citizenship) than it is for a skilled person from Europe, Asia, or Australia.  That makes no sense, especially given the dearth of low skill jobs available).

    Immigration: good.  What we're doing now: stupid.

    It is my impression that over (none / 0) (#40)
    by oldpro on Mon May 03, 2010 at 01:46:47 AM EST
    the years a huge percentage of the undocumented came here legally, overstayed their visas as visitors or students and simply disappeared into the population at large...not only hispanics but new arrivals from everywhere.

    I remember reading, too, several years ago, that many who arrived in New York without the proper papers were given a court date and turned loose...but never showed up and there was no followup to speak of.  After all, who knew where they went!?

    Can ignorance be stopped? (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Mon May 03, 2010 at 09:04:41 AM EST
    Considering ignorance has been running strong for thousands of years, I'd have to say it can't be stopped, we can only hope to contain it.

    And I can't say I'm big on having teachers basically telling kids that their parents are ignorant arseholes, no matter how true it may be, thats something they need to figure out for themselves. All teachers and the community at large can do is try to lead by example.

    Given all the inaccurate (1.00 / 1) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 03, 2010 at 12:20:40 PM EST
    claims about the law I would say that ignorance has a wide lead....



    Your window for interpretation (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by jondee on Mon May 03, 2010 at 12:59:58 PM EST
    is about as wide as your requirement for signs of life in Terri Schiavo was.

    Recession (none / 0) (#50)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon May 03, 2010 at 09:52:35 AM EST
    I maintain that there would not be this huge push to close borders if we were at or close to full employment.

    Mmmm, there has been fierce anti-immigration sentiment for decades here, even during times of prosperity. Many people have long opposed our immigration policies for the reasons oldpro cites, which I agree with, and a smaller number who oppose expanding our population--whether by births or immigration--as an environmental issue, a view I also agree with. (And of course, our attempts to patrol the border are wreaking horrible environmental damage too.)

    What I would add, though, is a lot of the "anti-illegals" are missing the boat. The real problem with immigration is the rampant abuse by American corporations of H-1B visas, fed by the mythology that there aren't enough skilled American workers to take the tech jobs that are going to these workers.

    In any case, our tanking economy might just take care of the "illegal immigrant" problem by itself.

    The number of illegal immigrants in the United States dropped by nearly 1 million from 2007 to 2009 as the Bush administration ramped up enforcement efforts just as the economy took a dive, according to new figures the Homeland Security Department released Tuesday.

    The drop - which analysts said is unprecedented in modern history - indicates that more illegal immigrants left to go back home, and that fewer illegal immigrants actually tried to cross the border in 2007 and 2008 - data that will play a major role when Congress takes up the immigration issue later this year.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/feb/10/1-million-fewer-illegals-in-us-new-study-says/?feat= home_headlines

    Most researchers agree that no matter the size of the population, which is notoriously hard to measure, the rate of illegal immigration dropped sharply during the recession. They disagree, however, on the causes.

    "The number of new undocumented immigrants coming in has plummeted," Passel said.

    Other researchers conclude the drop is not because fewer illegal immigrants are coming in, but because more are leaving.


    h/to to Center for Immigration Studies

    Here's an article from two years ago saying that some immigrants were going back home because things were no better here:


    It is NEVER about just education. (none / 0) (#58)
    by nyrias on Mon May 03, 2010 at 02:13:43 PM EST
    There are sociological studies that show that people are naturally discriminatory (call the group effect).

    You are asking people to fight their instincts. Of course it is an uphill battle.

    The only way is to redefined "us" as inclusive as possible.