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The New Colonialism

(Note: one of the greatest things about writing for Wizbang is the audience. This site has a truly amazing collection of commenters, whose contribution to Wizbang cannot be understated. I've often used comments to build whole pieces around, when something just strikes me right. Usually, it's to smack around some twit who ought to have their keyboard taken away before they hurt themselves.

And sometimes someone says something that is just so profound, so right, so insightful, that it sends me off in a furious "why the hell didn't I think of that before?" writing. This is one of those pieces. Thanks, epador.)

I've been giving a lot of thought to the illegal alien problem, and I think I might have to reconsider my stance. In retrospect, I don't believe that illegal immigrants are quite the threat that I've said they are.

My problem isn't with immigrants at all. It's with colonists.

Traditionally, people who leave their homeland to live elsewhere fall into two categories: immigrants and colonists.

Immigrants leave behind their native culture and society to join another. They might bring pieces of it, but their main motivation is to be a part of that society, perhaps improve it a bit with parts of their own, but the mainly intend to assimilate. They see something better for them, and want to be a part of it.

Colonists, though, intend to extend their homeland. They feel an obligation ("white man's burden") to bring the benefits of "civilization" to a new land. They come bearing all the baggage from home that immigrants leave behind, determined to recreate the best parts of home. And if there happen to be people already there, why then they must be made to share the blessings of liberty.

Colonialism has a rather spotty history. In the United States, it served us quite well, until it chafed too much and we went our own way. In Africa, it was a disaster, and that continent is still bleeding from the wounds. In India, it seems to have been just about right -- the Indians got just enough of Western civilization, then tossed out their Colonial masters and now are one of the most successful nations on Earth.

Nowadays, in America, we are being colonized again. We have groups coming in and establishing their own little ghettos and havens, where their own language, customs, and beliefs reign supreme. In one town in southern Texas, the local government passed an ordinanace proclaiming Spanish as their official language.

It's happening in Europe, too. Parts of many European cities -- such as Paris -- have Muslim enclaves, where the laws of the nation simply don't apply. They handle their own matters, have their own system of "justice," and woe unto any outsiders who wander into the wrong place.

We are, indeed, a nation of immigrants -- but we weren't established by immigrants. The first Westerners here were colonists. It wasn't until after our colonial days ended that we became a destination for immigrants, and grew so rapidly and prospered so well.

Colonists are not necessarily bad things. Should we ever manage to establish a presence off the Earth, we will need those hardy people to lead the way. But colonists have a very bad history of conflicting with established societies -- just ask either type of Indian, for example.

We need to welcome the immigrants, but we need to stand up and defeat the colonists. We're doing pretty good as we are; we don't need to be "civilized."


Comments (36)

Wow. The New Colonists, hu... (Below threshold)

Wow. The New Colonists, huh? When viewed from that angle, it adds an element of humanism to the whole illegal alien debate. And adding humanism to any debate always complicates things just a tad, ya think?

And where does that place American businesses who are very enthusiastic about hiring the colonists? They are helping them grab a foothold in America. Very interesting is an understatement.

Great piece Jay. Very insi... (Below threshold)
Dwight P:

Great piece Jay. Very insightful.

Jay,I have to agre... (Below threshold)

Jay,

I have to agree with you. Here in Atlanta I see Mexicans working harder than any other people. They work Sundays plying trades such as brick layer, carpenter and concrete paving.

I would like to see you paper pushing typists manager types try to work one day in their trades and see if you have what it takes to work a real job.

It's an old story. O... (Below threshold)

It's an old story.
One day in Heaven, a soul became bored with all the fluffy cloudiness, the eternal harp playing, the reflections off all the halos and asked St. Peter if he could see what Hell was like. St. Peter, saying that it was a free Heaven, couldn't stop him though he did caution against it.
Nonetheless, the soul descended to the Gates of Hell where Lucifer met him, pressed a drink into his hand and ushered him into the grandest party he'd ever seen. Impressed, he went back to Heaven, packed his things and rushed right back down to Hell.
This time though the Devil grabbed him, yanked him into Hell, stuck a pitchfork in his nethers and threw him into a burning lake of fire. "What happened?" wailed the poor soul, "When i was here before it was wonderful!"
The Devil turned to him and said, "Then, you were a tourist. Now, you're an immigrant."

Now wait a minute, though. ... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

Now wait a minute, though. What about immigrants who simply want to preserve their native culture in their families?

What about immigrants who form tight-knit communities, preserving their own customs among themselves, cleaving to each other becuase they have little in common with the Americans around them?

What about immigrants who maintain their own culture for their generation, but allwo the next generation of their families to freely integrate into the American culture?

--|PW|--

In response to PW,... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

In response to PW,

Preserving culture is one thing, but having large numbers of people who's first loyalty is to another country (or people) is something different.

That's why we have immigration quotas across many different nations. You can tolerate those things when the numbers of the individial nations are kept reasonably low. Diversity in our immigration allows the greatest number of people to immigrate here. You can wait for a generation or two for them to have the US as their first loyalty.

However, when we see the numbers of immigrants from primarily one source, we will see the formation of colonies that will keep their loyatly to Mexico for several generations, if not forever.

Pennywit asks a reasonable ... (Below threshold)

Pennywit asks a reasonable question. And there's a reasonable answer.

The "Neo-Neo-Colonialists" (NCC) that Jay is describing are those who wish to keep cultural values in preference to and in a position superior to the prevailing culture. They are, in fact, refusing to assimilate into the melting pot/conglomeration/stew pot/whatever that actually defines the US.

We correctly tend to see the US as greater than the sum of its ethnic parts. Immigrants who assimilate are down with that. They will add their flavors to the mix, although some of their habits, traditions, even values may become diluted in the process.

The NCC are down with it. They wish to maintain themselves as an insoluble, immiscible bolus, immune to mixing. They preferrentially hold their habits, traditions, values as superior to those of the population outside the group.

This may be an okay thing in some circumstances, but not a good thing for the commonwealth.

People who immigrate to the US--whether NCCs or your standard immigrants--are leaving a situation that has failed them on political, social, economic, or religious grounds.

Trying to recreate the conditions which they left is exactly missing the point. It's an example of "having one's cake and eating it too." The US doesn't work like the US if it's a recreated Pakistan or Colombia; it works like Pakistan or Colombia.

Immigrants have to decide which parts of their cultures they need to keep; they can't keep it all. The general American culture accommodates parts; it doesn't well accommodate alien cultures trying to exist as separate identies.

Immigration is a voluntary ... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Immigration is a voluntary act and part of the process of joining a new society is the departure of your old one. One of the ways an immigrant demonstrates allegiance to his new country is to renouce his citizenship in his old country and to adopt the language and customs of his new one.

Interesting. What is the r... (Below threshold)
pennywti:

Interesting. What is the reaction, then, to these phenomena?

1) The import of Salvadoran street gangs like MS-13. (Note: I fully expect negative reaction here. I'm just establishing a baseline.)

2) In the Rodney King riots, when Korean business owners banded together (with guns!) to protect their businesses. They did so partly because of a shared cultural identity.

3) The development of businesses that cater to one group of immigrants or another; examples include Brighton Beach in New York, where nearly everybody speaks Russian, the better to sell products to the Russian community there.

4) The continued existence of San Francisco's Chinatown, which has its own language, zoning, school system, and neighborhood government.

5) (Related to #3) Unofficial ethnic neighborhoods, where the language of the mother country is used more often than English, if for no other reason than because older immigrants are more comfortable with it.

--|PW|--

Hmmm.There is an a... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

There is an alternative view.

Opening:
America has 330 million people and climbing. Mexico has 100 million people, who are mostly moving to America. A recent poll of people living in Mexico City resulted in 50%+ admitting that they would immediately move to America if allowed to legally. 35% would move even if it were illegal.

So who is colonizing whom?

I'm still very much against illegal immigration. I think it's wrong from a national security standpoint. I also think it's an undue burden on American taxpayers who have to fund the myriad programs these illegals end up using. It's an even harder burden on the elderly and married couples who bear a great burden in property taxes, which is the most common means of funding education for the children of illegal aliens.

And it's wrong because it leaves illegal aliens as a group of second class people unable to stand for themselves and which makes them ripe for manipulation and exploitation.

But.

There are also secondary effects that, at best, are the literal exposition of the Law of Unintended Consequences and at worst puts things into a different light.

Summary:
While many pro-Mexican nationals believe that colonizing America will result in a massive demographic shift that will eventually allow the southwest to seceed and then rejoin Mexico, the opposite might actually be true. Currently 10% to 20% of Mexico's population live and work in America. Many more *have* lived and worked in America and experienced and adopted first-hand many of the beliefs and attitudes that are the core of American ideals. And many many more intend to come to America to live and work, and thereby also become innoculated with America's culture. Additionally it is widely recognized that American culture is one of the most corrosive in the world and, while America adopts cultural elements from other nations, many more nations base their culture on what is perceived to be in America.

In effect any colonizing mechanism is at worst a two-edged sword and at best one where Mexico becomes colonized by America.

The Mechanism:

This is because the primary goal of many Mexican illegals isn't to live in America as Americans, but to earn money to live in Mexico as wealthy Mexicans. Yet you cannot live and work in a nation for decades without adopting some essential aspects of that culture. And it's this adoption of culture *and* the return of said workers to Mexico that offers a means of reverse colonization whereby Mexico becomes more like America. What cultural aspects could or would be adopted? A severe dislike of corruption, a demand for adequate services and a distrust of governments is a good start. Perhaps an adoption of an overarching whininess is another. :)

But in any event what we're seeing is perhaps the first wave of this effect. Each year more and more Mexicans come to America. They get jobs, have their children taught in schools, etc. In the interim they experience what life as an American is like. It's difficult to imagine that anybody who has spent twenty or more years living in America would't adopt many American viewpoints. And this effect would cascade through the Mexican population as the number of illegals increases and as the necessary time passes to allow these illegals to return to Mexico to retire there.

Guest Workers:
Frankly I think most guest worker programs are utter crap. In just about every case the guest workers get treated like crap, and they end up being an open sore in the native society. Many of France and Germany's problems are due to residual guest workers that didn't leave.

But having a guest worker program would massively accelerate this process. By importing millions of workers directly from Mexico, it would be simpler and faster to innoculate them with American ideals.

The Annexation:
Many pro-Mexican nationals think that Mexico will eventually regain the American southwest. Frankly I think America will eventually absorb Mexico.

This is because the Mexican government is frankly incapable of offering the lifestyle that it's residents and citizens will demand. As the best and brightest leave to work in America, they're innoculated with American ideals. Once they return they'll be confronted with an entrenched government and culture that is incapable of maintaining the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed. It's possible that the government and culture could be reformed sufficiently, but I frankly doubt it because a culture based on corruption is one of the most difficult things to reform.

And remember that 50% of Mexico's citizens *want* to be Americans right now. As time passes this percentage will increase steadily, gradually or perhaps not steadily or gradually at all. At what point does a populace disaffected with their native government, and experience living in a neighboring host country, consider annexation?

IMHO I could be full of crap here, but it's a viewpoint that struck me a couple nights ago and I've been wrestling with it ever since. As a staunch conservative and utterly opposed to illegal immigration *AND* guest worker programs, this concept is really giving me a lot of headaches.

Any opinions?

Why do they want to come he... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Why do they want to come here? I thought the whole world hates us because of President Bush!

The problem is one of assim... (Below threshold)
frankr:

The problem is one of assimilation. There is no incentive for mexican illegals to assimilate into the American culture. This is left for their children to do. Their children learn english and serve as their interpreters. This way, their parents can avail themselves of the necessary goods and services. I do believe that what illegals put into the system is equal to what they get out, especially for the first generation illegals. This is less true of their children, as they are now citizens, if they are born in the USA. However, Illegals are much less likely to avail themselves of social services, due to the fear of deportation or exploitation. The common rubric is that we spend more money on medical and social services for illegals that they put back into the economy. I do not believe this to be true. I also do not believe that a majority of illegals want to move back to mexico to live as rich mexicans. What they do is to provide money to relatives in mexico, in order to raise their standard of living. They do this by working two, sometimes three jobs. I know this because I am mexican-american, and have lived among these hard working individuals most of my younger life. These are the people that do the jobs that Americans do not want to do, as well as some jobs that we do want to do.

It usually takes two or three generations to completely americanize a mexican american.

I and my children are prime examples of this phenomenon. My children have a hispanic surname, but don't speak any spanish at all. My grandmother spoke very little english, and my great grandmother spoke no english at all. My mom speaks mostly english, and some spanish, but that is because she is mostly around english-speaking people.

My feeling is that our government allows illegals to cross the border because that is good for our economy. If this were an issue from a security or economic standpoint, the problem would have been solved. We tend to only fix problems when they are perceived as problems, or when the negatives outweigh the positives.

1) The import of Salvado... (Below threshold)

1) The import of Salvadoran street gangs like MS-13. (Note: I fully expect negative reaction here. I'm just establishing a baseline.)

Street gangs are a bad thing regardless of the culture from which its members originate. Purely American red-white-and-blue street gangs are no better than MS-13.

2) In the Rodney King riots, when Korean business owners banded together (with guns!) to protect their businesses. They did so partly because of a shared cultural identity.

Nothing wrong with that. The thing to bear in mind is that immigrants themselves may be hard to distinguish from colonists at first glance. It's in the subsequent generations that the difference becomes most obvious -- did those merchants' children still subscribe primarily to Korean culture, or did they consider themselves Americans of Korean heritage?

3) The development of businesses that cater to one group of immigrants or another; examples include Brighton Beach in New York, where nearly everybody speaks Russian, the better to sell products to the Russian community there.

Do they refuse to do business with people who don't speak Russian?

4) The continued existence of San Francisco's Chinatown, which has its own language, zoning, school system, and neighborhood government.

That's not a community, it's a theme park.

5) (Related to #3) Unofficial ethnic neighborhoods, where the language of the mother country is used more often than English, if for no other reason than because older immigrants are more comfortable with it.

The operative phrase in your question is "older immigrants. See my answer to #2.

colony |ˈkälənē| noun ( pl.... (Below threshold)
Herbavida:

colony |ˈkälənē| noun ( pl. -nies) 1 a country or area under the full or partial political control of another country, typically a distant one, and occupied by settlers from that country.

Immigrants = colonists? Are you kidding me? This is the most intellectually dishonest and idiotic analogy I have heard in a while. Colonists establish and project their own power structures (often using force) over a pre-existing community. How does this at all describe what is going on with today's immigrants? Colonists HAVE and WEILD political power. The illegal immigrants arriving here HAVE NONE! Does Vicente Fox have "full or partial political control" over the US? I didn't think so.

The difference between an immigrant and a colonist is one of power. Conflating the two serves only to mask xenophobia.

Hmmm.The ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

The difference between an immigrant and a colonist is one of power. Conflating the two serves only to mask xenophobia.

The difference between an immigrant and a colonist isn't the *HAVING* of power. It is the *EXERCISE* of power.

I.e. American nationals moved to Hawaii and became immigrants there until they decided they preferred annexation and then exercised their power to overthrow the reigning monarch.

I.e. the American immigrants into Texas decided upon the ideal of secession from Mexico and exercised their power to do so.

I.e. Chinese nationals have moved into Siberia and are replacing Russian nationals. This is due to the negative demographics in Russia and the difficult living and working conditions. So far they are illegal aliens there, but they could convert their status into one of colonists at any time.

I.e. The Visigoths were invited by the Roman Empire to immigrate into the Empire and become citizens. After a few decades the Visigoths instead became colonists and sacked Rome.

So it's entirely reasonable to infer that immigrants do in fact have the power to become colonists if they choose that path at any time.

Illegal immigration has bee... (Below threshold)
gadfly:

Illegal immigration has been a problem in this country for centuries. Just ask any Native American his or her opinion on the topic -- if you can find one to talk to (this can be a challenge since European settlers killed most of them). Did your ancestors behave like immigrants to North America, or like colonists?

I like this myth about ille... (Below threshold)
gabacho:

I like this myth about illegal immigrants using up all of the US's resources without contributing anything. Remember that illegals have to get a social security number in order to work in most places. To satisfy this requirement they either take a dead person's number or just make one up. The majority of them pay social security, FICA, and medicare but don't take any benefits out of the system. And of course they all pay sales tax on everything they buy here. Vehicle license fees, etc... Yes, it's true that their kids go to school here and that sometimes they end up at the hospital with no money to pay the bill. But so do lots of poor American citizens. Sometimes we have to pay to help the less fortunate, that's the price of living in a safe, modern country like the US.

Ask yourself this question -- do I want to pay $2.99 a pound for strawberries or $19.99 a pound? If you answered $2.99, then guess what -- you support illegal immigration.

If you answered $2.99, t... (Below threshold)

If you answered $2.99, then guess what -- you support illegal immigration.

Or maybe I support growing my own damn strawberries.

Hmmm.1. <blockquot... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

1.

Remember that illegals have to get a social security number in order to work in most places. To satisfy this requirement they either take a dead person's number or just make one up. The majority of them pay social security, FICA, and medicare but don't take any benefits out of the system.

Completely and utterly false beyond all description.

Illegal aliens use massive amounts of Medicaid, emergency health services, Section 8 housing services, welfare and etc. Also the mere stealing of another person's SSN or creation of a false SSN doesn't abrogate the illegal's *right* to Social Security, Medicare or Worker's Compensation. And that doesn't include the added expenses for educating their kids.

That's right. An illegal alien who steals someone's SSN or fabricates an SSN is still eligible to draw Social Security even if he remains an illegal alien right up until he *retires* back to Mexico! The US government is paying Social Security payments to Mexican citizens retired in Mexico, who have never been American citizens or have ever been legal to live or work in America.

So I'd suggest you do some reading up on this subject prior to any further commenting. Ignorance is a bitch.

2.

And of course they all pay sales tax on everything they buy here.

Congratulations! You've found the Holy Grail argument for allowing illegal aliens. They pay sales tax.

Whooo!

3.

Vehicle license fees, etc...

Really? Funny how I've never heard of an illegal alien that got into a car accident and who actually HAD both insurance and proper registration and licenses.

However I've read plenty of stories of undocumented and uninsured illegals who routinely run people over.

4.

Yes, it's true that their kids go to school here and that sometimes they end up at the hospital with no money to pay the bill.

As I live in New Jersey the average yearly cost to educate kids in this state is around $14,000 per year, per child. Now show me an illegal alien who's annual earnings actually covers that amount.

And don't kid yourself. Each and *every* single illegal alien will end up in emergency services at some point. So who ends up footing the bill? You and I. So who suffers? You and I. You and I suffer because we're stuck behind a backlog of 50 illegals all waiting in line ahead of us. So you and I get to wait 3-4 hours, or more, until our problem is addressed.

5.

But so do lots of poor American citizens.

Yeah well they're *American citizens*. There is a difference there.

6.

Sometimes we have to pay to help the less fortunate, that's the price of living in a safe, modern country like the US.

Well great then! Since I don't want to pay and you do, give me all of your money right the hell now. I figure you owe me about 30 years worth so get started on writing that check.

Hmmm.Ille... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Illegal immigration has been a problem in this country for centuries. Just ask any Native American his or her opinion on the topic -- if you can find one to talk to (this can be a challenge since European settlers killed most of them). Did your ancestors behave like immigrants to North America, or like colonists?

Who gives a rat's ass?

I'm a first generation immigrant from South Korea who came over around 1969. So like why the hell should I feel bad for a bunch of people who lived for tens of thousands of years on unimaginable resources and who managed to do little or nothing with it?

Frankly a lot of people view American Indians with some sort of halo around their heads. I don't so don't try that schtick with me. If some idiot wants to run around with feathers in his hair, then that's his problem. Not mine.

Colonists HAVE and WEILD... (Below threshold)
TLB:

Colonists HAVE and WEILD political power. The illegal immigrants arriving here HAVE NONE!

Illegal aliens count towards congressional representation, and clearly people like CA's Gil Cedillo represent illegal aliens. Even Nancy Pelosi refers to illegal aliens as her "constituents".

Does Vicente Fox have "full or partial political control" over the US? I didn't think so.

Our supposed American president sure seems to do anything Fox wants. Why, former MX prez Zedillo was even congratulated by Gray Davis, Antonio Villaraigosa, and the L.A. Times for helping to quash Prop 187. And, an IL state senator wants to also serve on a committee that advises the Mexican Senate.

And, when you send millions of your citizens into another country, that gives you a certain amount of power.

For instance, how much would it cost us if Mexico agitated its people into rioting?

As for the tired old strawberries argument, no one would buy $20 strawberries. Therefore, the industry would have to adapt: move offshore or mechanize. Say, wouldn't mechanizing be better than importing serf labor from a hostile foreign government? I think that's the better bargain that worrying about strawberry prices.

I have stated this comment ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

I have stated this comment before, if Mexicans want to come to the US fine. Have Mexico give up its soverngity become part of the United States and then together we (the collective we) can divide up Mexico into a series of workable states and start improving their government, economy and better utilize their resources. This way they will be grandfathered in as citizens and will start contributing to the benefit of their local economy. Manifest Destiny fulfilled.

Hmmm.... ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

... Say, wouldn't mechanizing be better than importing serf labor from a hostile foreign government? ...

Actually I read an article on this very subject. That in the 1960's a company spent millions developing an automated lettuce harvester only to see it's investment die as cheap illegal migrant workers took over.

Frankly in an age of highly advanced robotics I think it's rather bizzare that we're still employing manual labor to pick fruit.

> Nowadays, in America, we ... (Below threshold)
john:

> Nowadays, in America, we are being
> colonized again. We have groups coming
> in and establishing their own little ghettos
> and havens, where their own language,
> customs, and beliefs reign supreme.

...as opposed to the seamless integration of immigrants who arrived at Boston or New York in the 1840s?

"The New Colonialism"... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

"The New Colonialism"

Jay must be psychic since his topic goes perfectly with this article

Mexico Retaliates for Border Wall Plan

Yeah, this country would be... (Below threshold)
Caleb B.:

Yeah, this country would be such a better place had the Mexicans, Italians, Irish, Norwegians, Germans, Japanese, French, Africans, English colonialists, and transcontinental asiatic nomads never arrived to this pure land with a static, never changing culture.... wow you must be a radical environmentalist if I follow your reasoning to its conclusion.

oh yeah. change happens. its a good thing. In fact, America is great because of the diverse cultures we have accumulated - and yes - assimilated over time.

I guess someone missed the ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I guess someone missed the whole immigration v. colonialism point of the article.

I support baby Georgie.<br ... (Below threshold)

I support baby Georgie.
Merry christmassacredholiday

Who is 'us'? Is this being... (Below threshold)
Railroad Stone:

Who is 'us'? Is this being written from an Indian perspective? Could anybody argue that native americans have done well out of being colonized?

If they have prospered, why can't today's americans prosper as well during this new colonization?

If pilgrims came to America with the right to colonize, then surely anybody coming to America now has that same right.

Re gabacho.If all th... (Below threshold)

Re gabacho.
If all that tax money is being collected, where the hell is it going? Schools in California, Arizona, New Mexico,Texas are becoming, or are already over crowded. Social services are being strained and drained, many hospitals are financially broke or going broke for rendering services to illegals that they don't get paid for, and the list goes on and on. Like that character in the movie said, show me the money.

Hmmmm.If ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

If pilgrims came to America with the right to colonize, then surely anybody coming to America now has that same right.

Please post your home address so I can come and colonize your living room and refrigerator.

"I claim this big screen tv with HDTV, satellite and NFL channel in the name of .... ME!"

And if you object to my colonizing your living room and refrigerator, then you know why that was a silly thing to write.

Wow.Never has a po... (Below threshold)

Wow.

Never has a point rang so true. It's posts like this that should make people take notice of EXACTLY what is going on instead of slapping a fast, sloppy label on it.

I say again, wow.

You guys don't know much ab... (Below threshold)
gabacho:

You guys don't know much about strawberries, do you? They can't be picked by a machine because they're much too fragile. Picking strawberries is detailed and demanding work. And good luck growing your own year-round if you live anywhere but a few select locations in the US. You could import them from another country but strawberries spoil quickly so the border controls would have to be loosened even further to keep the trucks and rail cars moving quickly enough. Guess what that means -- more illegals.

I love the guy from New Jersey complaining about illegals from Mexico! Dude, come down to Cali if you want to see some illegals. I've lived my entire life in the American Southwest, and I'll tell you man this place would be in big trouble without 'em. They contribute far more than they take out of the economy.

When I was a kid I was a landscaper in Texas and back then gabachos like me were mowing lawns all over the place. I also cleaned toilets at McDonalds and Burger King to earn money for college. Now you only see Mexicans doing this stuff because the gabachos consider themselves too good for that kind of work.

A hundred years ago Mr. New Jersey would have been complaining about the filthy Irish coming over and ruining his neighborhood and working for pennies. A hundred and fifty he would have been complaining about the freedmen coming up from the south after emancipation and taking the textile mill jobs away. Unless of course he was an Irishman or a freedman himself.

The world changes -- get used to it. You're gonna have some brownies in your neighborhood and you might have to learn to eat a taco once in a while. Trust me, it's not so bad...

I didn't mean to imply that... (Below threshold)
gadfly:

I didn't mean to imply that Native Americans were special because our ancestors killed most of them off, I was simply trying to make the point that most of us who complain about illegal immigrants are essentially the descendents of quasi-legal immigrants ourselves. People who came here at any point before the late 1800s came here without applying for a visa. The US government was simply not strong enough to enforce any sort of immigration controls whatsoever. And yes, people complained about immigrants back then, too. Germans, Poles, and Czechs were all looked down upon (and sometimes beaten or even killed) because they took jobs for lower pay than the established descendants of the English. Viewed from a Christian perspective, our illegal immigration problem is a sin of the father visited upon the son.

If the US really wanted to do something about illegal immigration, they'd lift their protectionist agricultural import tariffs to allow cheaper Latin American produce into the country. This would increase demand for manual labor in Mexico, raising the price of farm labor there and making it less attractive to sneak into the US. This won't happen of course because the big agricultural conglomerates don't want to compete with cheap Latin American imports. The Europeans have even more severe tariffs to protect their rich farmers which makes things even harder on Latin American producers.

Just my $0.02. I now return you to your regularly scheduled Rush Limbaugh show...

gabacho....I've live... (Below threshold)

gabacho....
I've lived in Cali all my life and I can still remember the time when crops were harvested by under-educated and unskilled itinerant Americans. That labor force however disappeared following the Johnson Great Society war on poverty programs. Today that labor force goes by the title of Welfare Precipitant, no longer having a need or motivation to work. And yes Mexican farm labor has been part of U.S farming for as long as I can remember, going back to the the days of the bracero program. A program that as I recall worked fairly well in those days. However things are definitely out of control today and it's time for restraints.

What is so special about be... (Below threshold)
PG:

What is so special about being born a US citizen that you should have any special rights over Mexicans? What do you contribute to society? Obviously you dont pay taxes as you are complaining the Mexicans have taken your job. Obviously you are also not a communist that beleives the free market is evil so whats wrong with the jobs being taken by people willing to work harder and cheaper. Once upon a time (in you granddaddy's) generation you could claim you had fought for the country and deserve to be taken care of bt now the army is all volunteer. So what exactly gives you this sense of entitlement? You whine about welfare recipients but you want the government to interfere in the free market to reserve American jobs for American citizens? Why if goods can move freely across borders labour cannot? Readup on the Chapter 4 negotiations of the WTO which are going on currently where in return for poor countries allowing rich countries to sell them goods without tariffs rich countries have to allow workers from poor countries access to their labour markets for short term employment( 6 months and less) Once these negotiations are signed there will be no such thing as an illegal foreign worker. Every government would have to allow unlimited number of guest workers in with automatic approval of visas. So get up your ass and start competing




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