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Destroying an Argument in Favor of Illegal Immigration

In the war of words that dominate the political landscape of American politics, few subjects have been as polarizing as illegal immigration. Likewise, this issue is wrought with lies and misnomers. One of the most famous of the arguments in favor of illegal immigration is that it should be allowed because no one other than immigrants would do specific menial tasks, such as picking crops. Let me soundly destroy that argument.

Now, those who say that no one will pick the crops run under the belief that it is "below" the average citizen, that only immigrants, illegal or otherwise, would be shameless enough or poor enough to do this. Without saying another word I don't think I need to tell you how prejudiced that is against immigrants. But more, it's a complete misunderstanding of facts.

You see, the people who make these claims are ivory tower individuals with a fat pocket book and/or a large ego who couldn't fathom working on a farm, much less other so-called menial tasks. Coming out of Upstate New York, I know that these people have no grasp of reality.

If farms up here need people to pick crops, or things like cleaning pools, they don't grab the nearest illegal. They do a much more plausible (and prevalent) thing: hire high school and college kids. A farm not ten miles from my house has been doing this for decades. And guess what. That's what they do around the country. They higher college kids or high schoolers or someone looking for a quick buck or someone looking for a second job.

In reality, the ivory tower intellectuals' original argument is flawed. In reality, picking crops is not "below" the American citizen; in fact, farming is fundamental to our nation. Those who have used the "crop picking" argument are simply trying to make their point and put down the United States at the same time.

And just for the heck of it, I'll use some reasoning mumbo-jumbo to also show that the "crop picking" argument is a logical fallacy. In reason, there are dozens of fallacies, one of which is called a "hasty generalization." That occurs when you take a very small sample size and decide that it speaks to the truth of something. So let's say you're in a room and everyone in that room is a brunette, if you do a hasty generalization, you might decide that everyone in the world is a brunette. Got it?

Now those who use this argument in favor of illegal immigration do the same thing. They look at particular farms, particular crops, particular businesses and see that they use illegal immigrants. Without doing research and without a foot in reality, they do a hasty generalization and decide that everyone does the same thing. They are using a logical fallacy.

So there you have it. If you ever hear someone using this argument again, you will know that they did not research their subject, are prejudiced against average immigrants and American farming, and are using a fallacy.


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Comments (30)

My grandfather put himself ... (Below threshold)

My grandfather put himself though College by washing dishes and mowing a golf course. These jobs once paid enough for a person to do this.
With the influx of illegals, Illegal employers are able to escape the payment of taxes and workers comp, and mistreat employees.

Playing Devil's Advocate, M... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Playing Devil's Advocate, Michael, where is your evidence that the advocates are in fact doing what you say they are?

Didn't you just do yourself what you say they do? Give one example and apply it to the whole?

Just sayin', let's not give the LeeWards of the world any reason to be more of what they already are.

Another fallacy, that is al... (Below threshold)

Another fallacy, that is also racist, is that a person that looks hispanic and doing farm labor is an illegal. There are good sized numbers of migrant farm workers, of all ethnic backgrounds, that follow specific crops across the country and provide labor for the harvest. SOme are full citizens, some are green card holders. A few are even second and third generation farm laborers.

The reason many of the corporate farms hire illegals isn't just to save wage paments. They want to avoid the other fees associated with legal employees. The corporations want to avoid employment taxes, workmans comp, benefits etc. Depending on the state, they also want a work force they can dismiss at a moments notice.

In point of fact, historica... (Below threshold)
James H:

In point of fact, historically any number of menial or undesirable jobs have been performed by immigrants.* In the 19th century, for example, Chinese immigrants labored on the rail lines. Their work was accompnied by an anti-immigrant backlashed that targeted the so-called "yellow peril."

Also in the 19th century, you had Irish immigrants serving as laborers on the Erie Canal and other projects.

This isn't an ivory tower theory, mind you. This is a very abbreviated look at history.

* I deliberately leave unanswered whether these historical immigrants were legal or illegal

I deliberately ... (Below threshold)
I deliberately leave unanswered whether these historical immigrants were legal or illegal
Unfortunately, that undermines the relevance of what you have to say there.

This issue is not about immigration, it's about illegality. Applying the word "illegal" to "immigrant" doesn't change the meaning of the adjective.

We have been in the menial ... (Below threshold)

We have been in the menial jobs business of home construction here for 30 years. Now there is little work to be done because of Obama's economy. The little work there is goes to illegals who do it for such a low price we cannot compete. We pay taxes and buy licenses and insurance, they do not. Our six figure income has been cut to almost zero. All of our employees and most from other like businesses are on extended unemployment. We, the self-employed, do not qualify, nor do we want to.

Kinda blows a hole in that "no American will do these menial jobs" argument, doesn't it?

Those of us who actually live on the income of "menial jobs" know the truth but I don't see any of us being invited to a "jobs summit" anytime soon.

During college I worked sum... (Below threshold)
Jeff G.:

During college I worked summers painting for the local school department. One of the custodians at an elementery school used to proudly tell the children that cleaning toilets allowed him to have his prized Corvette that many of the youngsters would ogle on the way in from the bus. He was not an illegal immigrant.

Imagine if the Yankees deci... (Below threshold)

Imagine if the Yankees decided not to select who they wanted in the draft, but just accepted whoever broke into the stadium that night?

This entire blog entry is a... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

This entire blog entry is a non-sequitur.

I am a big fan of the show ... (Below threshold)

I am a big fan of the show "Dirty Jobs". if anything debunks the theory that only illegals are able to do those meanial jobs... this show is it.

Imagine if the Yankees d... (Below threshold)

Imagine if the Yankees decided not to select who they wanted in the draft, but just accepted whoever broke into the stadium that night?

Hmmm, maybe it would improve their line up and get them to the world series?

"Without doing research and... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Without doing research and without a foot in reality"

A perfect description of Lee Ward, Jim X, Indiec, and BryanD.

When I was in the Air Force... (Below threshold)

When I was in the Air Force in Caribou, Maine oh so many years ago, there wasn't much to do. GI's could make extra money picking potatoes. Like you say, the High schoolers and the Airmen made a few bucks.
When I was stationed in Ohio, I washed cars.
But then again, that was BEFORE I had to compete with illegals. (sarc)

There are "dirty jobs" like... (Below threshold)

There are "dirty jobs" like septic tank pumpers and then there are "jobs made dirty" by the jobholder. We have such a dirty doer of the highest job in the land right now.

I respect way more the worker who actually produce's something of use like a new roof, house or whatever as compared to politicians who take from one and give to themselves all the while bloviating and creating a lot of hot air while producing nothing but methane.

914, excellent!... (Below threshold)

914, excellent!

The following joke comes to... (Below threshold)

The following joke comes to my mind: An engineer, a physicist and a mathematician take a train ride through the Scottish countryside. Suddenly they see a sheep outside in a meadow. The engineer says: "Wow, in Scotland all sheep are black!" The physicist replies: "Not really; there is at least one black sheep in Scotland!" - The mathematician smiles and replies: "There is at least one sheep in Scotland with at least one black side."

That was one thing that REA... (Below threshold)

That was one thing that REALLY pissed me off about Bush. "Doing jobs Americans won't do!"

1st off, I worked with Bracero's in the fields between my Jr and Senior years of high school. Good way to pick up street Spanish. When my current home was built 20 years ago, it was the 2nd phase of a project. The wife and I walked the 1st phase as it was being built, watching HOW it was being build. Plenty of obvious union labor, and American music being played on the job site. Fast forward, 2nd phase being built. Suddenly it's all Hispanic workers and Hispanic music playing. Asked the general contractor what happened. His reply - "It's a way to cut costs". My reply - "Funny, NO ONE CUT THE COST OF MY HOME!"

Couple of years ago, stopped a van. Found it loaded with illegals. BP came and processed them. One had a Bolivian passport he tried to dump. He spoke very good English. Occupation - back home he was an airline pilot. Tell me he was going to pick yams or clean toilets here.

Recently a local electronics assembly plant was raided. Several female illegals were arrested. Yep, they only do housework.

Have no idea why the Bracero program was terminated. Caesar Chavez organized field workers. Farmers complained it would raise prices. Americans didn't seem to mind. Today, you check out some of the crap the United Farm Workers poll - you'd swear you were dealing with the unions in Detroit. And we all know how well that worked.

Americans have no problem with immigrants. Hell, it was built by immigrants. They realize this country is a magnet for others. Those who really want to come and set down roots ALSO want to be PART of us.

When La Raza and the ACLU bleat their BS, you'll note that fact is always missing. Nothing about being PART of anything.

Immigrants have always been... (Below threshold)

Immigrants have always been a part of the American mystique. Of course there are always backlashes and Chicken Little proclomations of each succeeding wave, whether it was from Europe, Asia or places in-between, even the early Latino exodus to the U.S. in the 1920's was accepted as a part of America. The unifying factor in all these waves is they were legal and the immigrants soon assimilated into the American culture.

The difference today is that assimilation has become code for "racism" and immigrants are encouraged to keep their own culutre as superior to the racist, homophobic, imperialistic American culture.
Also, being that most is illegal, this encourages many to hide in the shadows, discouraging contact with the rest of the population.

Another factor is the dual edged sword of politics. On one side you have employers who desire cheap labor, evasion of tax and regulatory burdens, that contribute to one party and on the other a group who sees a large potential voting block of ppl who will be dependent on government services and thus keep them in power.

Finally you have the great un-washed middle, who have become complacent, who don't encourage their children to work and like relativly cheap products, only China and the 3rd world produce cheaper products simply b/c they have true slave labor.

Doing jobs Americans won't ... (Below threshold)

Doing jobs Americans won't do? Well there was a time when fast food places closed at 10 b/c teenagers could not work past that time. Crops were harvested annually by students and such, as was pointed out earlier, and homes were cleaned by stay at home moms who opened up their own small businesses.

The solution seems simple, close the FREAKING border, start a guest worker program, clarify the 14th amendment through judicial or legislative means to clarify that ppl born here to legal residents or immigrants or brought against their will are citizens, ending the anchor baby dilema.

This is a start and admitdely can be fine tuned, yet whether or not the American ppl have the will to demand it is another discussion.

Yep, cleaning up the 14th w... (Below threshold)

Yep, cleaning up the 14th would be a start. I know of no other nation that confers an automatic citizenship on those born here of foreign parents.

"Mike Rowe' Barry needs You... (Below threshold)

"Mike Rowe' Barry needs You!!"

Garand Fan. All nations rec... (Below threshold)

Garand Fan. All nations recognize the duality of citizenship.

I honestly cannot u... (Below threshold)

I honestly cannot understand what part of ILLEGAL so many people fail to comprehend.

Immigration, per se, is a definite plus for the country. A simple look back will verify that to be true. An influx of illegal immigrants, though, can only disadvantage us.

There is no need for any "comprehensive reform legislation"--it's already been done, with disastrous results. A far better strategy would be to simply enforce EXISTING law--and then tweak it accordingly.

And at the end of the day, it should be recognized that what we see is the effect, the root cause is in Mexico's inability or unwillingness to work towards improving the living standards of it's citizens. Until and unless this is addressed, the problem will only worsen.

As for what to do with the illegals already here, out with them--period. Enforcement of existing law will, through attrition (plus a very effective grapevine) ease things considerably. I cannot imagine anything more discouraging to a legal immigrant who has followed the system properly than to see a blatant illegal leapfrog him/her. No fairness or justice there, is there?

I could go on a bit more, but this should be sufficient.

"Garand Fan. All nations re... (Below threshold)

"Garand Fan. All nations recognize the duality of citizenship."

Recognizing 'duality' is a really tortuous subject and can bend your mind. India's constitution forbids it. I'm told some countries will grant you citizenship if you have a substantial financial interest in their nation (talk about being flexible).

The Governator of Kalleefornia holds both Austrian and US citizenship. However, an Austrian or German cannot hold dual citizenship between those two countries without filing for such status. The Germans don't really care that much. It's the Austrians that do. Seems they got tied up with the Germans some time back with the help of an ex-army corporal and as a result ended up on the short end of a stick in 1945.

I wonder if we said go ahea... (Below threshold)

I wonder if we said go ahead and make em legal however, they cannot ever vote or hold office if that would speed up closing borders.

#25It would in a p... (Below threshold)


It would in a perfect world where politicians do not commit fraud to win elections. In the dem & Barry world however, cheat, defraud and vote for the dead out of respect for yourself cause you care and know best is the status quo.

Prairie"I wonder i... (Below threshold)
retired military:


"I wonder if we said go ahead and make em legal however, they cannot ever vote or hold office if that would speed up closing borders."

If they were totally ineligible for any benefits to include health care, public schooling, welfare, social security, food stamps, etc than I may buy into it. It could be deemed punishment for jumping the line ahead of other legal immigrants.

We must send out a resoundi... (Below threshold)

We must send out a resounding message to all pro-amnesty incumbents, that if you are not living up to the standards of your oath of office--YOU'RE OUT! The purge must start on June 6, with the removal of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. His leadership in his anti-sovereignty influence had allowed him and his motley of followers to sacrifice the--REAL DOUBLE FENCING AT OUR NATIONAL BORDER, for a single barrier with large regions of nothing more than old corroded barbed wire. The second interior fence has remained un-built, as funding was cut secretly. So the mixed bag of organized crime dealing drugs and hundreds of thousands of illegal entrants would have been apprehended and detained in the open area between the two high-rise fences topped with razor wire. This mistake has been one of the main causes of Border States, being highly susceptible to the illegal immigrant invasion. We know that 72 percent of the American people want something done and its not--AMNESTY?

This is why Jan Brewer, the Governor of Arizona had to enact the highly controversial policing law. Other Border States including California, branded a 'Sanctuary State" Texas, New Mexico have all been inundated with massive numbers of illegal people, who have wrecked welfare services to legitimate Americans and brought many states to the verge of bankruptcy. When our own government refuses to implement previously assessed immigration laws, such as the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill, then there is no defense at the border or within America itself. Whether it is this year or the next, we as Americans must be ready to stop any--AMNESTY. The costs will be huge including the chain migration of immediate family members. Any amnesty will be a signal to those waiting in foreign lands, that if they illegally cross into our sovereign land, eventually they will be allowed to get citizenship. Learn more at NumbersUSA.

Around 20% of America's far... (Below threshold)

Around 20% of America's farm workers are criminal aliens.

Not unrelated to that number is the fact that 20% of America's farm produce is bought and paid for by way of feral gummint subsidies and the like and by the USDA and sits around in unsaleable multi-million ton mountains of grain until such other of the feral gummint gangsters as those that collect their dole from such machinations as call themselves, for example, USAID, bag the mountains of grain and ship them off to places like Somalia, only one of the many once net-exporters of agricultural products whose entire economy was thus destroyed.

Get rid of the feral gummint's interference in the market place, of "parity pricing" and rid of every other kind of feral gummint farm subsidy and with our ridding it of such wealth redistributing our nation will find it has also disincentivized several million criminal aliens and their welfare-rich employer: the American farmer.

News Item, Thursday, 6/3:<b... (Below threshold)

News Item, Thursday, 6/3:
Several dozen people chanting "justicia" marched at the San Ysidro border crossing Thursday to protest the death of Anastasio Hernandez, a Mexican citizen who died after a scuffle with U.S. border agents.
As evening rush-hour commuters streamed past, the protesters gathered at the southbound pedestrian crossing, just yards from where the incident took place.
"We're touched by the story, the fact that this man was in the United States for so long," said Donna Havrilak, who drove down from Fallbrook. "He was treated inhumanely."
The protest was organized by the Raza Rights Coalition and the American Friends Service Committee. Hernandez, 42, was a longtime resident of Encanto who died after being shot with a Taser gun by a federal officer.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office listed methamphetamine abuse, high blood pressure and the physical altercation with officers as factors that contributed to Hernandez's death.
Hernandez had lived illegally in the United States since entering the country as a teenager. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the San Diego Police Department are investigating the Friday night incident.
According to San Diego police, Hernandez was being returned to Mexico when he started fighting with Border Patrol agents. Hernandez had a heart attack and stopped breathing shortly after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent shot him with a Taser.

Guy has 4 anchor babies in the US.

But the 'open border' crowd is right there!






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