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Alabama’s Immigration Law Examined

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook

Alabama’s got the toughest immigration law in the country. Now, they have to live with it. We’ll go there.

Students sit in the gym at Crossville Elmentary School in Crossville, Ala. Despite being in an almost all-white town, the school's enrollment is about 65 percent Hispanic. Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. (AP)

Students sit in the gym at Crossville Elmentary School in Crossville, Ala. Despite being in an almost all-white town, the school's enrollment is about 65 percent Hispanic. Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. (AP)

Alabama’s strictest-in-the-nation immigration law has been upheld by a Federal judge. The U.S. Justice Department is still fighting, but for now, it’s the law of the land in Alabama –- and it’s having a big impact.

Many immigrants, legal and illegal, are simply leaving the state. Kids aren’t coming to school. And crops are being left to rot as pickers don’t show up to work. Critics call it the law a throwback to Alabama’s Jim Crow past. Supporters say it’s fair, it’s overdue, and it’s got to be done.

This hour, On Point: Alabama’s immigration law and its fallout.

Jane Clayson


Michael Innis-Jimenez, Assistant Professor of American Studies, University of Alambama.

Joey Kennedy, blogger and Pulitzer-winning columnist for the Birmingham News.

Cameron Smith, General counsel for the Alabama Policy Institute.

Kathy Smith, Alabama farmer who is having difficulty finding workers to harvest her 90 acres of vegetables.

From The Reading List

Press Register “Many of the leaders from agencies across southwest Alabama walked away from a Thursday afternoon meeting with the state Department of Homeland Security shaking their heads.”

Al.com “The fill-in workers were brought to the farm near Steele by Grow Alabama, a Birmingham-based network that works with farmers from around the state to market locally-grown produce. Just a few days after launching the temporary assistance program, it’s been overwhelmed, Grow Alabama head Jerry Spencer said Thursday.”

Politico “Many Hispanic students and workers have stayed home in response to Alabama’s tough new immigration law — and that’s the whole point of the measure, Rep. Mo Brooks said on Thursday.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/etoile Eliot Walter

    Considering it’s Columbus day maybe we should remember the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek tribes that, 181 years ago, we forcibly removed from that region. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2959.html The hispanics that Alabama’s immigration laws are targeting, generally are genetically mostly native american.  
    My father is Australian; I’ll have to tell him to avoid Alabama.

    • Tina

      Thank you for this remembrance, and thank you for the link.  Part of my own ancestry is Native American, farther east toward the coast, so I’ll just add, let’s remember all the tribes today, including those that were lost completely thru disease, war, politics.  

  • JL

    On Point has completely mis-characterized the issue.

    The state of Alabama is cracking down against illegal immigration (which is a crime), not legal immigration, there is a big difference.

    By the way, when is On Point ever going to cover Operation ‘Fast and Furious’, which Atty. General Eric Holder and the White House have completely stone-walled on.

    • Cory

      Is that the issue about the missing firearms?

      • JL

        It’s the issue dealing with Atty. General Eric Holder authorizing the A.T.F. to sell thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels, who in turn used those guns to kill three U.S.Border Patrol agents.

  • Yar

    Can America pull itself out of debt without immigration?  It is difficult to get to the truth about the labor contributed by undocumented workers.  We are hypocritical as a society in how we treat those who do manual labor.  What is a living wage, and do all workers deserve to earn a living wage?  How do we discuss exploitation and racism without people withdrawing into dogma and mentally shutting down?  
    For example, take 99 cent per pound chicken breasts sold at the supermarket.  How much would the price increase if no undocumented workers are involved?  What does it actually cost to produce the food we eat?  What are we currently paying for the labor? 
    The H2A visa program is not set up to allow workers to bring their families when they come work.  We should fix our immigration laws on a national basis, selectively enforcing laws hurts families and promotes exploitation of workers.  Slavery still exists in America, is Alabama creating a system that encourages slavery?  I am for citizenship for all workers and living wage.  I believe the undocumented worker is exploited and laws that drive workers further underground increases exploitation.  In the end it may even cause more outright slavery, if you don’t believe me read the book Tomatoland.

    If you have eaten a fresh tomato in the winter, you probably have eaten tomatoes picked by slave labor.

  • Hidan

    Gotta crack down on illegals since,

    -Illegal immigration is at it’s  lowest in years
    -Obama has deported more in his first term than bush in two.
    -People should always check someone legal status before giving them a ride. Esp if your coming back for your child sports event
    -Children born from illegals in the U.S. are legal for “now” that’s why Alabama must start tacking little kids now so when white god fearing Americans change the 14th the schools can be the first place to deport kids.(hey guys where going on a field trip to mexico)
    - It’s only logical to give more power to corrupt policeman cause we all know there’s no proof police will abuse there powers(except of course there’s ton)

    Well there’s one good part about the law it allows the police to hold someone for days(if not longer) without charging them until someone can prove there Americans and when the person is proved to be a American they still get charged for a lesser crime.

    • Tina

      Hidan, I had not heard before what you spell out in your final paragraph.  It is beyond chilling!  Due to recent events in my own life, I’ve missed whole days of news broadcasts lately, but do you feel that there has been enough exposure by the media of this feature of the law?

  • Hidan

    Folks this is why one should be careful who they vote for,if one votes in an bunch of xenophobic,racist and often bigoted teabaggers and republicans don’t be surprise when they start racial profiling, passing laws that discriminate and demonize the minorities of the country and find ways to disenfranchises blacks, Latinos.

    Not all republicans are racist but many racist are republicans. Just look at the laws passed in majority controlled republican states. Just look at the Jim Crow laws passed in the past(mind you many americans are still alive when these laws where in place)


    By careful if your Latinos our righty right republicans will keep trying to disenfranchise you until your voting power is weaken enough not to matter.

    Alabama’s History With Jim Crow Revisited


    • Tom

      I haven’t met a RepublicanT in the South who is not a racist. Maybe there are little cesspools of them elsewhere in the nation who are not racist bigots, but donw here in Dixie, RepublicanT = Racist (among other wholly undesirable traits).

      Oh, and it’s called “Juan Crow” now…

  • Markus

    If you don’t enforce our laws and if you encourage more
    illegals to come here through tuition breaks, under the table jobs, health
    care, housing, the 14 million that are here today will be dwarfed by tens of
    millions more. Give them amnesty like Regan did and you’ve just send a message
    to the billions of poor in the world, to come here, work, have children who
    will be taken care of, and eventually you’ll be a citizen.

    I appreciate that On Point was about to find a potato farmer
    who fit their agenda, although I wonder how much this would change over a year
    or two. Why not get someone from the hotel industry, construction, fast food,
    lawn care – it’s not all that challenging to find industries that are dominated
    by illegal workers. My cousin has to hire illegals for his high end
    construction business or his bids become noncompetitive. All of his competitors
    use them.

    Progressive’s care deeply about unemployed Americans, until
    a tough decision on controlling our borders has to be made. Easy to say you
    care, I suppose.

    • Tom

      Your cousin IS the problem by hiring illegals. All he has to do is hire LEGALS. Oh, wait, he can’t exploit legals like he can illegals. Cousin Vinny should be held accountable by the Law, and his employees should be paid a fair wage and not punished for the CRIME being committed by your cousin. Period.

  • Hidan
    • Tom

      Wow, South Park somehow bused in very accurate representatives of the average Alabamian in for that episode.

  • Hidan

    As one small business republican explain it in cali a few years ago,who in public claims to be anti-immigration but in private the opposite

    If one were to deport all illegals, expect a large jump in milk and all prices relating to any food goods. If all those illegals were deported and all Americans took there jobs “not changing the standard of work or pay” Than those 14 million Americans still would not be able to make it.

    Say all those illegal jobs where taken by Americans and both wages and conditions were to change to a decent salary and no under the table going on prices would naturally sky rocket.

    I love for someone to show how goods would be cheaper if one deported all illegals and americans would fair better (now remember these are the same people against minimal wages)

    • Terry Tree Tree

      HYPOCRACY IS RAMPANT on this issue!

    • Tom

      Just ask Alabammer’s illustrious Senators [sic], Jefferson Beauregard Sessions and Dick Shelby. They’ll be glad to open their pie holes and lie ad nauseum about how killing jobs in Alabammer equates to creating jobs for Teabagger trash here.

  • JL

    In this rotten economy (courtesy of Wall Street and the privately owned – Federal Reserve), there are plenty of Americans who will go out in the fields and harvest crops,
    but the farmers would rather hire illegal aliens since they’ll work for a lot less than Americans will.

    • jbr

      “there are plenty of Americans who will go out in the fields and harvest crops”

      That statement has already been proven inaccurate given the rotting crops in the fields in Alabama. Farmers are reaching out through social media sites to find people to work their fields and can find few. I live here. I’ve seen the lack of interest in doing the work these immigrants, illegal or otherwise do. Americans feel an entitlement which deems jobs like these, i.e. construction and agriculture, as beneath them. But this is not just a problem in Alabama. This is something that will affect the rest of the United States, especially when the cost of produce begins to rise.

    • Tom

      I live in Alabama where this idiotic RACIST law was backfiring against the Republicans before it was even signed by our state physician, er, governor. Produce is rotting in the fields, dirty dishes in restaurants are piling up, lawns are going to seed, utility upgrades are being delayed, etc. etc. (You would think that Alabama would have taken a long look at our neighbor, Georgia, before they steamrolled this legislation through the Klown Mobile in Montgomery; then again, Republicans are *always* right, never wrong.) This law is distinctly racist in that (1) it was written solely by our whitebread, European illegal immigrant descendants, like Scotty Beason*, and (2) it ignored the houses and whole denominations of religious nutcases here, and (3) ignored Law Enforcement and schools’ adamant and persistent opposition that cited a plethora of logical reasons.  Even the LEGAL immigrants are fleeing to our neighboring states in DROVES because they are way smarter and deductive than the morons in charge here. If you live here, you may know what I am talking about. If you do not live here, you may want to reserve your opinions before you are proved wrong.

      • Tom

        Oh yeah…. * Scotty Beason was called out last week for referring to the mostly black population in an area that frequented bingo halls as “aborigines”. He didn’t learn the meaning of that word…another example of how RepublicanTs co-opt the English language and re-write the dictionary?  I digress…Beason was recorded while he was excitedly wearing a wire tap in order to sting the evil gambling house owners, but million$ of tax dollars later, ALL of the defendants in those gambling cases were ACQUITTED—yet another spend-what-you-ain’t-got for the Corporate RepublicanT Machine.

        Update: there are very few if any Teabaggers lining up to do the jobs that the “Mexicans” were doing before they fled for their lives from Dr. Goobernor Bentley’s Police ICE State.  Instead, the Teabaggers are still mourning the demise of their Lord and Savior Glenn Beck and rending their overalls over Sarah Palin’s tail tuck from futilely running for office.  If the Teabaggers would simply get off their stained sofas and turn off Faux Noise, they could simulate this state’s laughable economy. To the Teabaggers in Alabama: get a job!

        What a sad and completely avoidable stupid episode in Alabama His-story.

  • Brett

    I’ve heard Clayson sub on other NPR programs, and she doesn’t do that bad a job; however, she just isn’t a good fit for On Point. This could be an interesting discussion with a lot of meat to chew on, but it probably won’t be. Hopefully, the guests themselves can direct the flow of dialogue toward a little depth and examination. I was just reading the preview remarks on both topics (by Clayson)…discussions don’t get very far by reducing them to “point-counterpoint.” (And what’s up with that punctuation, Jane?)

    • Originalname37

      I like Jane Clayson.  It’s always hard to come in on short notice, but when she’s had time to prepare, she can roll with the best of them.

      • Sam, Buffalo, NY

        I don’t like Jane Clayson, and it was a downer hearing she’s covering today. Both topics interest me, but I am lowering my expectations because she is on.

        Nothing personal to her as a person, but I just don’t like her style and abrasiveness, and seemingly “stuffy” attitude.

      • Brett

        I’ll agree that being a substitute for the usual host is a tough job, and I’ll bet she has little time to prepare.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Conservatives want the illegals, for the cheap labor, so they can abuse someone, to drive DOWN wages across the board, except the board-room, and to give them more POWER!!

    Liberals want the illegals, to improve the lot of people that are bad off, to show compassion, for a broader voter base, and to make themselves feel good!

    Workiing-class U.S. Citizens (NON-corporation) want the jobs that the illegals are doing, at the price and conditions that those board-room-executives would STILL NOT DO THE WORK  FOR!!

    Since BOTH major parties have reasons to want the illegals, it will be hard to reasonably resolve this problem.

    Remember, it was illegal aliens, that the conservatives blame for the 9/11 attacks!!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Some of the Native Americans welcomed immigrants 500 years ago!  I am the results of both.
      The good and bad of both concepts, immigration and restriction, each has merits, and bad consequences!

    ACTUAL consideration of MOST aspects of this problem SHOULD be the priority, then an ACTUAL solution, that benefits the most.

  • Ldstirling

    There was a news story out of Colorado where a farmer hired more local workers to pick his crop this year instead of migrant workers and the majority of the locals quit within one day!  How can this law not hurt the economy of Alabama?  It does simply seem that there are jobs that Americans just won’t do.

  • Bill

    The wide use of illegal labor is the only thing holding up the farming and livestock industries – without it farming will outsource just like factory work has.

  • Long time On Point Listener

    Jane Clayson is an excellent guest host.  I always look forward to listening to On Point when she is filling in for Tom.

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/onanov Donald Baxter

    It’s a difficult time to be a native of Alabama for me. I sure can’t live there anymore.

  • Cityworker

    The real issue is that all over this country employers use undocumented workers to avoid paying taxes, social security and medicare.  This effectively shifts the cost of schools, healthcare, law enforcement, and other government services to tax payers. When these workers are hurt or disabled the cost is shifted to other citizens.
    The NY Times ran an article last Sunday about an undocumented patient who stayed in a hospital’s care for over a year costing over a million dollars that the hospital had to absorb.   

    • Cory

      How much would it cost if we had to pay farm labor and other traditional illegaly held jobs minimum wage or better?  $5 for a head of lettuce anyone?

  • Bill

    Criminals are going to have a field day in Alabama – they now have a large group of victims who can’t go to the police for protection.

    Even legal immigrants and citizens who don’t have proper id (often stolen during muggings or theft) will be hesitant to call the police.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1251882786 Michael Hüby

    The immigration problem is a typical hypocryte one. Everybody gets their house built, lawn mowed, house kept by illegal immigrants. But no one wants them around in the community.
    We have over 10% unemployment, but no one wants to work for the wages immigrants accept.
    We complain about the mexican drug wars, yet America is the biggest drug consumer nation.
    Wake up, America and start cleaning your own act up!!!

    Having that said: If you are here in this country illegally, you commit a federal crime. Face the consequences!

  • Bill

    The sad thing about this law is that if you look or sound foreign you will be assumed guilty until you prove otherwise over and over and over again.

    • Margaret in Omaha

      The sad thing is that only Mexican and South American heritage in focus of this law which is racially profiling. I am sure a Canadian waiter’s children are not being asked for verification or pulled out of school.
      In Fremont NE their laws are directed at packing house workers. The laws are being written by a National organization for States and promoted by one party politically.
      When prices in stores go up and people can not find employees and workers they will blame the administration rather then their own prejudices.
      Low wages for immigrant and undocumented is the issue.
      The other issue is they are not field and manufacturing jobs it will be the economics in the home when childcare and home in the house and outside maintenance.
      Until minimum wages, woke cards or path to legal status are created, criminal elements will take advantage both of the undocumented and the cities and states they work.
      I applaud the President who focus on criminal undocumented

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Let the guys that wrote and enforce the new law pick the crops, clean the room, babysit the kids.

    • Cory


      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        They already have jobs.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    What should come out of this is a national immigration policy that works–zero tolerance for illegals, but a rational system for letting in legitimate workers, and a means of allowing permanent immigration for those who are willing to adopt our culture and values.

  • Kristina S.

    I agree that the current argument in the US against immigration is reminiscent of Nazi Germany blaming the Jews for their social troubles. 

    As long as there is demand for cheap labor that only illegal immigrants are willing to do, and profit by the corporations for hiring these people, then nothing will change.  If you want a cheap hotel to stay at, and you want cheaper taxes limiting the state and local budgets for services like garbage pick-up etc, Cheap construction costs, agriculture, etc., then you want illegal immigrants in this country.  Our society is designed to run using these people to get the work done.  And most of the pay taxes but will not be able to collect social security or disability insurance etc.  So we either demand the politicians to change the laws, demand enforcement of those laws, pay the rightful wages for these jobs or we embrace these people with the respect they deserve for cleaning up our crap… literally.

  • Chasmagvt

    Please do not call these people “illegal”  –  no one is illegal.  They are undocumented immigrants and they support the economy of this country in jobs that local people refuse to do.  I am a Vermonter, a small state with approximately 2,000 undocumented immigrants who help our farmers produce milk for the northeast U.S.  I am appalled that Alabama would subject its children to this discriminatory law.

    • Anonymous

      NO, they are illegal immigrants!

      There are only two types of immigrants, legal and illegal.  We want more of the LEGAL type!

      • Cory

        You avoid the issue of the dirt cheap labor they provide.

    • MJ

      Undocumented is one of those politically correct terms but in fact we are talking about people who are in this country illegally.  No one is saying they are not hard workers, or not helping to support the economy.  They have simply broken a law and like any law that someone breaks, there are consequences. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If they haven’t done the requirements to enter the U.S., they are ILLEGAL!!  If they overstay their Green Card, Visa, or other obligation, they are ILLEGAL!!   Undocumented is ILLEGAL, if the documents allow them to be here!!

    • Cory

      Six of one, half a dozen of another.  You are getting caught up in semantics.

  • Anonymous

    Should actions have consequences?  If so, isn’t the this problem caused by the illegals, not the US.  We didn’t change the rules, they have always been illegal.  There are good illegal’s and bad illegals, and it is our governments responsibility to sort through them as they enter the country and since the illegals skipped the line, they are not the best people to have in the US since they aren’t even capable of following the first rules of the US they encountered.

    • TFRX

      And what steps do you personally take to make sure their tainted, exploited labor doesn’t benefit you at, say, the supermarket?

      Y’know, you sorta blow it out of the water by saying “there are good ones and bad ones” but immediately add “they aren’t even capable of following the first rules”. Which one is it that you’re sticking to?

    • Cory

      It’s not as simple as you’d like it to be.  Republicans and democrats both want them here.  Businesses like the wage supression created by an underpaid and non benefit illegal pool.  Democrats like the voting demographic.  We all enjoy cheap products and services that come from illegal labor.  Please deny it, Brandstad.

  • Don

    It isn’t only illegal immigrants who are not welcome in Alabama. Legal immigrants and U.S. citizens from certain other parts of our country are not wanted either. As I heard many years ago, “If your grandmother ain’t buried in our graveyard you don’t belong here.”

  • Ashley Elisabeth

    I am from Alabama, living in Boston – and I am just embarrassed and can’t do anything but apologize for the stupidity of my home state.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    Many of their children are legal residents of this country. I think those that wrote this law thought that the parents would get deported and take their kids with them. However, the parents are making plans for others to keep their kids in the US with friends and relatives. This is going to bite the Right in the ass when these kids come of voting age and start voting and running for office.

    Law enforcement has no training, so anyone having Latino features risks getting harassed. That will come to a swift halt the first time they decide to pull over a Latino politician or big businessman.  Maybe George Lopez should go cruise around in Birmingham in a hooptie with a hidden cam on him?

  • Anonymous

    It seems like on this topic, each side talks past the other quite a bit. I understand JL’s insistence on the illegality. One can be sympathetic toward the circumstances facing illegal immigrants in their home country, but that doesn’t mean we can just pick and choose which laws to enforce. At the same time, the enforcement of those laws has to be legal on the state level and constitutional; and it seems like a few cases have stepped over the line. 

    And then there is the entirely separate issue of the logic behind our immigration policy; why is it that so many choose to immigrate illegally rather than legally? Are we assuming that they never considered legal immigration? Alabama is cracking down on illegal immigration, not legal. But isn’t that effectively the same thing, given that the legal option seems so unworkable for these migrants? Is there something wrong with our legal immigration system? What are the “rules” that they should be playing by? And what, ultimately, is the virtue or benefit of regulating immigration at all? (It certainly isn’t a mark of a so-called Christian nation). National security would seem only a minor benefit. Is this primarily about setting and regulating quotas? What would those folks who so passionately care about cracking down on illegal immigration think about making legal immigration radically more open and efficient? What if all the same people, in the same numbers, were coming here by an entirely legal route? Everything would be hunky dory? What is really the bottom line in this debate?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      GOOD Questions!!  Keep thinking!   Keep asking!!  The answers aren’t always easy.

    • Kristina S.

      Right, so there is a reason behind illegal imigration…

      It allows us to keep a form of slavery, (an underpaid group of workers).  Our society is designed to incorporate people willing to work for so little money without social benefits.  If we brought them here legally, they would cost more in government benefits and services.

      • BHA in Vermont

        Probably less. Pay them legal wages and they will be better able to pay their own way. I suspect most illegals use fewer government services because they are afraid of being deported.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Is it lost on these families that the parents came illegally. They knew they were illegal, they knew they could be deported. THEY took the chance, they have stayed illegally for decades.

    Now when a state decides they want to enforce the laws that the Federal government has not enforced, it is unfair to break up the families?

    We REALLY do need a REAL guest worker program. It is about the only thing GWB ever said that I agree with.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      We HAVE a guest-worker program, in effect for decades!!  ‘We don’t need no stinking Green Cards!’, is an indication of one aspect.

  • Witterquick

    Corporate America is almost exclusively interested in cheap labor.  That is why jobs and manufacturing is shipped overseas and the majority of the products used by Americans in imported from developing countries.  To accommodate jobs that can’t be outsourced, they (corporate America) flood the domestic market with local cheap labor, the illegal immigrants. 
    The 12 million undocumented further drive down middle class wages and put a heavy burden on local, state, and national domestic programs by adding tremendous volume to those seeking education, law enforcement, and health care who have not paid taxes to support these programs.   
    The argument of low paying jobs not wanted by regular citizens is a joke.  They are low paying jobs because there are 12million non citizens driving these wages down (to the enjoyment of the “job creators”).

    • Kristina S.

      It’s not just Corporate America, we also don’t want to pay higher taxes for government services such as trash removal, road construction, police, fire, education, etc. to pay decent wages and benefits to those workers.  Everyone is trying to get more for less.

  • Bill

    Let’s see if the other shoe drops in Alabama – now that there are lots of jobs out there, the right will push the obvious reason that people aren’t working is because they are lazy and living off the government.

    Expect a big push to lower entitlements to the poor to basically starve them into taking these jobs.

    • TFRX

      No small number of leaders on the right were already telling us that the unemployed (of all classes and education levels) are lazy because they’re not taking jobs that don’t even exist.

      Why should they change their message now?

  • Anonymous

    Any changes to US immigration law must be done at the national level.  States should be free to enforce any federal law on the book even if the feds choose not to.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Once in a while I agree with you!  This is one of them.

  • Anonymous

    Well said.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Did those protestors say that this is what democracy is all about?  Excuse me, but the voters of Alabama and their elected representatives chose this law.  Citizens get to vote.

    • Cory

      Agreed.  They must also face the consequences alone.

  • Someone Sensible

    There is 10% (official) unemployment in Alabama. Its probably higher than that since people have givne up. The nerve of people who say these are jobs “Americans don’t want”. Yes – they don’t want below minimum wage employment provided by crooked companies who hire illegal immigrants. If we get rid of this undocumented underclass there will be more jobs for Americans and legal immigrants to this country.

    • Cory

      But what happens to prices when you have to pay American level wages and bennies for work traditionally done on the super cheap?

      • Steve T

        It was tried a Farmer was paying a min, of $10.50 hr All the locals left after 4 to 6 hours and never returned, The migrants kept working! He had to hire more migrant workers from Mexico to get his crops in. Americans are Lazy and above menial labor, local teachers only get $11 hr. I personally believe in hard work, and know it wont hurt you.
         But some of us Americans would rather stand out on a street corner with a sign begging for a hand out. I stopped and asked a homeless person to dinner, I wouldn’t give him any money but buy him a meal,(not fast food) he accepted, he told me he didn’t make as much as that meal in a day or some times two. After eating I offered him a job working for me at my home, the pay was $10 hr for eight hours, cutting grass, cleaning windows etc. He turned me down.

    • Anonymous

      Not true. Americans do not want to the back breaking work of harvesting crops. Ask any farmer in Alabama that depends on immigrant workers to get their crops in. I doubt any American, including Sensible here, would last more than a day in a field in 90 to 100 degree heat picking melons.  

  • E. Newman Phillips

    Immigration laws in the United States have always been linked to racism. The Chinese Exclusion Act is one of the many such immigration laws. The Alabama law is just another example.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      So?  Does a nation get to decide its own policy?  Are immigrants required to immigrate?

    • Cory

      If that is true, it should be struck down by some court somewhere.  I think it might be difficult to substantiate your opinion, even if it happens to be true.

  • Wjkinson

    The main reason why employers hire illegal aliens, is that they pay them under the minimum wage; no benefits; probably no fica; and no overtime pay.  Then the taxpayers of Alabama can subsidize the business owners with taxpayers funds.  Emergency room visits for their health care, free education for the children grades K-12, use of public transportation, the benefits of taxpayer funded roads, libraries etc. 

    It is time the business class who are abusing the taxpayers and undocumented workers pony up and pay a fare wage and do their bit for society as a whole. 

  • Lisa in Dedham

    The issue of immigration has heated up since 9/11.  It seems motivated by fear of those who don’t look like Americans.  Laws like the new one in Alabama sanction fear and hatred of minorities.  So much of our country has been built by immigrant labor, we are hurting ourselves by making people feel unwelcome here.

  • JJ

    this is terrible, nobody should be stop by the police because he or she look Hispanic, is it right to stop white people because they are white and all white killed the Indians? No, that racial profile and it is racist!

    • Dsilva

      Read the law. They can only be asked if they are stopped for another crime.

      • TFRX

        How many people in the South do you need to ask about “another crime” being trivial or non-existant lawbreaking, especially while operating a motor vehicle?

        “I saw the officer break my tallight!” isn’t the incredibly effective defense it sounds like.

  • Snowbird

    Just when I thought Alabama was coming out of the specture of Jim Crow!

    Stopped going to Arizona in the Winter because of SB 1070, went to Alabama in March — won’t be going back this winter.

    The fall out of this goes much farther than the Alabama Lawmakers understand.

    A traveling northener  

  • Chrissy

    I think undocumented workers should not be here.  We have an unemployment rate over 9%.  Put them (the unemployed) to work, have their wages TAXED, and put the money back into the system rather than taking it out to support people who really shouldn’t be here to begin with!  Why should I work 40+ hours a week to support people on state aid because they don’t want the jobs that the undocumented workers currently take?  If you want to be in the states go through the channels…..

    • Sam, Buffalo, NY

      I wonder HOW you will put those who collect state and federal aid to work on the fields.

      I see you, standing with a whip, slashing all them lazy people collecting food stamps, picking apples.

      Too funny!

      Just as an example. My ex is in construction industry, and he wouldn’t take a job that is under $20/hr. Why you would say?
      Because he can sit on his bum, collect unemployment at $10/hr, doing nothing. Why should he go and take a low paying job?
      He is too good for that.

      It’s a mentality. Try changing that.
      You know where that starts? The changing mentality part.
      In school, in home, in families and communities.
      It starts with teaching humility, hard work, ethics, values, morals, honesty, etc.

      If kids aren’t being taught that in home, then it should be taught in school and communities.
      Too many people saying “it’s not my problem”. Too many people sitting around, pointing fingers, running their mouths, doing nothing of value and importance.
      Too many people hating on others because they think that somehow illegals are making their lives worse off, or gay people infringe on their rights, or women making decisions that go against their beliefs.

      Live and let live.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Humility is a bad thing to value.  What about teaching pride in accomplishment?

        • Sam, Buffalo, NY

          Why not both?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Humility is a deficit of pride.

          • BHA in Vermont

            And pride cometh before the fall.

            There is NOTHING wrong with pride AND humility.
            Humility means modest and respectful. One can be modest and still take pride in their accomplishments. Puffing up your chest and saying LOOK at ME, I’m SO GOOD isn’t likely to improve peoples’ opinion of you.  In fact, the opposite is true.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Pride and humility cannot exist together.  What you described as chest puffing is boasting, an excess.  I don’t advocate for unsupported boasting.

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            Pride and humility cannot exist together?

            I respectfully disagree.
            I believe they can.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            How?  They are contradictory terms.

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            Humility: A modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.

            Pride: A feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired

            You don’t have to display your pride, but you can still feel it and enjoy it.
            Hence being humble and yet still proud in your achievements.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            How can I take a low view of something that I’m satisfied in?

          • Steve T

            Some good rules of Life Be humble Love with compassion Pray with faith Teach with truth Have unconditional forgiveness By understanding through patience and wisdom Give thanksgiving with your sou.

            I’m sorry if you don’t get it.

          • BHA in Vermont

            Sorry, we disagree on this one.

            My daughter has a friend who graduated high school last year, top of the class, GPA well over 4.0, highest honors every quarter. Perhaps 3 or 4 kids a year graduate managing that, it means 4 As and 3 A+ EVERY quarter. I can’t even list all the other accomplishments she managed while maintaining that academic level.

            So many scholarships and awards, she is making money going to college. She is proud of her accomplishments but she is the picture of humility at the same time.

            Pride CAN be hubris but is NOT necessarily so.
            Pride and humility CAN coexist.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            This is a Christian view of things, while I take a Hellenist or Norse view.

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            There is a difference between taking pride in your accomplishments, and boasting.

            You can take pride in your accomplishments, with humility. Just like Joel, on hour 2 of this program, that I am sure you are listening to now. :)

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            Humility is BAD?

            We will never see eye to eye on many many things, because humility is a core value and belief that makes people who they are.

            Living in a world filled with people without humility, compassion and empathy is a scary place to be and I hope it will never come to pass.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’m referring to Aristotle’s golden mean here.  Humility is a deficit; boasting is an excess, while pride is the mean.  Pride comes from genuine achievement, not self-esteem programs.

            Humility argues that I’m not worthy in myself.  That’s a slave mentality.

          • Anonymous

            If you were literally a “know-it-all” but didn’t choose to constantly broadcast it, even in the face of others disseminating inaccurate information, what trait would you be exhibiting?  I think a lot of people would call it humility.

  • JL

    Overall, illegal aliens have got it pretty good in the U.S., but I know that the “Professional Left” has made it fashionable to hate America.

    If you want to talk about injustice, then talk about what is being done to the Palestinians in the worlds largest outdoor concentration camp, the Gaza Strip.

    Funny how the “professional Left” never mention the crimes being committed against the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, but won’t hesistate to bring up the ‘injustice’ of illegal immigration in this country, which is a crime.

  • Sam, Buffalo, NY

    I wonder, if the Native Americans had laws against illegal immigrants coming in and taking over their lands … and killing them, and infecting them with diseases and taking their jobs!

    Live and let live.

    My heart goes out to all those families and children who are being harassed because of their status.
    All I see is a little kid, sitting there alone, being bullied by some fat white American dude, yelling at him, threatening and demanding to know his parent’s status.

    Shame on you people.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The period of colonialization was a different time.  Today, we are a nation of laws under a constitution.  Do we have the right to enforce our laws?

      • Les

        Were your ancestors documented? Can you prove it?

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          I was born here.

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            He was asking about your ancestors. :)

            How far back can you trace back your family tree? Did your ancestors come in the time of colonization and should be excused because there were no written immigration laws?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            That’s irrelevant.  Under U.S. law, a person born here is a citizen.

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            So, did you miss the part where many of those children are born here and are legal?

            So you advocate we send their illegal parents back?
            And put these kids to orphanages?
            I know what you say, don’t let them people into the country in the first place, so they are not able to give birth here.

            I applaud you.
            You solved the problem.

            Your citizenship status is not irrelevant. If your ancestors came here illegally as well, then you’re enjoying the benefits of living in America illegally and should probably be deported.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I was born in the United States after the ratification of our constitution.  That makes me a legal citizen.

            As I said before, I do think that we need general reform of our immigration system.  It is certainly a problem that we have children who are citizens, while their parents aren’t.  That may require an emergency program to give legal status to the parents.  In the future, though, we shouldn’t let in more illegals.

          • http://www.fibrowitch.net Jan Dumas

            Got to correct you there. Prior to 1777 all emigration to what would become the USA was controlled by England. When the USA became a country one of the first laws was a control on Immigration in 1790. You had to be literate, have a needed skill and prove you would not become a burden on society.  Oh and I can trace my family tree back pretty far, but I still know about Immigration laws

      • Sam, Buffalo, NY

        You have a right to do whatever you want.

        But you have to decide who you are and what kind of a person you are.

        Are you a human first or an American first.

        As an American, I believe you should be pissed off and upset that all them people come here and take over your crappy jobs.

        As a human, I believe, you should be pissed off that all those people are being treated inhumanely.

        It is my belief and my opinion. And it’s ok that you have a different view. I still respect your view and opinion, even if we disagree.

        Yes, that was a different time – period of colonization. And different time.
        But are we not still people?

        So because Indians didn’t have written laws that stated that this land was theirs, it was ok to take it? It was ok to kill them? Because they didn’t agree with the immigrants?
        Because Indians didn’t have an immigration law, all the Europeans could not be called illegal?

        Good luck to you.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Social norms were different during the Age of Colonization.  We’ve learned a beter moral philosophy since then, but we can’t move all of us back to our lands of origin–we’d end up in Africa, ultimately, anyway.

          In modern terms, we can’t absorb everyone.  I’m arguing that people need to come here legally, if they come at all.  What would be better is if they were to remain in their home countries and make those worth living in.

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            Spoken as a true person who has never visited a third world country.

            If you think that it is easier to “make” all those countries better, than coming to America illegally and working here, you might want to travel a bit. See for yourself. Live in Mexico for a few months, maybe India? Pakistan? How about South America? Should be grand vacation for you.

            Why don’t you share a plan on how to make Mexico a country worth living in, from which people wouldn’t want to leave.
            Maybe you’ll get a Nobel prize for your peacemaking ways.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            It’s not my problem.  Do you think that the United States was a First World society when it started?

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            Did you live in the United States then?
            I was talking about you, you in particular Mr Camp, having experience first hand, seeing what it is like to live in one of those countries.

            And please see my earlier post on the “it is not my problem” problem. :)

            And might I just say, it is always a pleasure to discuss views and opinions with you on these boards. We hold opposing views, but being respectful towards each other is important, and I do appreciate it.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Glad to participate.  What I’m saying is that people have a duty to improve their own countries.  Look at Libya.  That’s exactly what should be done.

            Mexico has a lot of potential in people and resources.  It’s the responsibility of Mexican citizens to make their country work.

          • Sam, Buffalo, NY

            And it is our responsibility to make our country work, including establishing laws that are humane and just.

            Unjust law is not a law?

            All the slaves were brought here … illegally? And it took years and a war and even more years to give them the same status as the rest of the people already here.

          • Hidan


            Is this the same Greg Camp that attempted to justify colonizations of Palestine cause the Americans did it to the Indians?

            How does your “better” moral philosophy fit in to your statement now as opposed to a few weeks ago?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    People have a right to an education?  How about say that citizens and legal residents have a right?

  • Guest

    I’d bet the US workers WOULD take those jobs if they were no longer getting government handouts.

    • Kristina S.

      Exactly, legal citizens can make more money staying at home than workers in the fields.  We are creating a system of incentives that causes this situation.  So we have to revise our incentives.

  • Anonymous

    Cameron Smith said it, there is the ‘impression’ of illegal immigrants diverting resources from the rest of the society.  That it nonsense.  The vast majority of undocumented immigrants pay more into the economy than they draw from it.  This impression is being fanned by demagogues who want the people of Alabama to overlook their state’s miserable record of unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, infant mortality, high school dropouts, not to mention obesity and access to health care.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many years does the illegal have to work, to pay back a week’s  stay in a hospital?  How many months, for one Emergency Room visit?  How many decades to pay for a year’s elementary school education? 
          FAR more to consider!  Keep thinking!!

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    The wages aren’t really paltry.  Farmers can’t get American citizens to do the back breaking work of gathering crops in blistering heat all day.  There are countless studies and experiments by researchers, schools, and the media that show that most people, even the jobless and poor, won’t do this work. Most of them don’t even make it past noon!

    I will say that some of the conditions that migrant workers have to live in is absolute squalor.  I think we’d be better served having agencies bothering the bad-actor farmers (not all, but there are many) where their workers are little more than slaves, or indentured servants at best.

    It would be nice to see schools refuse to uphold the laws. Now THAT would be civil disobedience, seeing our civil servant teachers and school administrators refusing to help this agenda.

    These people came here looking for a better life. Unless you’re 100% American Indian, then your ancestors did that same thing. I wonder how many were here illegally? Texas was started by a bunch of illegal aliens that decided to move to Mexico.

    • Chrissy

      My grandparents came here legally…. why should I support someone who thinks they are above those rules?  Why did I have to take out thousands in financial aid, and work to get through college when it seems like if my parents had come here illiegally I could have had it all paid for? 

      • TFRX

        Let’s see how much you know: What is your impression of the finanicial advantages being given or proposed to these college-bound teens, a la Texas?

        • Scott B, Jamestown NY

          Those students are probably technically US citizens, or see themselves as American and not immigrants. Even if there are illegal, I’d rather have educated illegals than uneducated ones, as they will fight the prejudice and deliberate ignorance of those that seek to see them disenfranchised. 

      • Anonymous

        That a college-educated person would post your comment, which I assume came after some thought, makes me hope you didn’t spend too much on the degree.

      • TFRX

        A popular “can’t be bothered to get it right” point among our media overlords is “they’re getting into college for free”.

        How well-informed are you when you say “they were getting it all paid for”?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Some more aspects to consider!

  • Beatrice

    Representatives of the agriculture industry on your show have said that they are losing a reliable workforce because of the new law. We need to ask, how is it that the illegal immigrant workforce is so reliable? It is because there are networks that employers work with that supply illegal workers. I am glad to hear employers admitting that they rely on this illegal labor force, rather than blaming everything on the illegal immigrants themselves. If the jobs were not available and waiting for illegal immigrants, they would not risk their lives and fortunes to come to the US. This all points to the larger issue. Our economic system does not work. It doesn’t pay fair wages to American citizens and it blames illegal immigrants for coming in and taking the low-wage jobs offered. Making $4 an hour in the US is better than making $4 a day in El Salvador. It’s another reason to question the structure of our worldwide economic system.

  • Richard

    The immigration conundrum here indeed is difficult. When you migrate to another country without getting citizenship and then have babies there you are taking the huge risk that you will be separated from your family.    Are our country’s grunt jobs undesirable because the wages are unfairly low?

    • BHA in Vermont

      How many other countries have “born here” citizenship?
      Few, if any, I would guess but I don’t know how to find out.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Many countries base default citizenship on belonging to that country’s ethnic group.

        • BHA in Vermont

          Not the same. If a female American citizen of whatever ethnic background gives birth in another country, is the child automatically a citizen of that country? That is how it works here thanks to the 14th amendment.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            In Germany, for example, there is no equivalent of the Fourteenth Amendment.  But what other countries do is their choice.  We’re talking about American law.

  • Lynne

    Why don’t you talk about how difficult it is to become legal?  It is expensive and cumbersome?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Should it be otherwise?  We can’t absorb the whole world.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XJMNTQ6EKSBKA6SHI3WZNRUKFI ChristyS

    This is a rich vs. poor issue.  If maids are exempt, that’s because the rich don’t want to be inconvenienced to lose their help.  But the rich don’t care if they have to pay more for vegetables because they can afford it.  The law discriminates against the poor farmers. There aren’t enough Americans who have the work ethic and the strength to work in the fields day after day.  Go to any unemployment line and ask how many people want to work in the fields.

  • Bill

    There will be one of two outcomes going forward:

    - laws will be changed to create a legal “guest worker” who receive substandard wages, little worker protections and no right to unionize

    - laws to recreate the migrant workers of the previous century – citizens who receive substandard wages, little worker protections and no right to unionize

    • BHA in Vermont

      What is wrong with option #3??
      Create a robust legal guest worker policy where they are paid fairly? You can’t get anyone local to take the job? Instant “Guest Worker” green card. But you DO have to advertize that job to see if there ARE local people or others here legally but living in another part of the country who want it.

      People claim that some jobs done by illegals are those which “Americans” will not do.  I bet a lot of legal “guest” workers would be happy to make $8/hr doing those jobs instead of the paltry wages most are apparently paid now while they lay low to avoid being deported.

      And I bet a LOT of those carpentry jobs currently being done by illegals on the cheap would be welcomed by skilled legal residents for real wages.

  • Allert Brown-Gort

    While many of those responding to this law speak about legal immigration, the reality is that the system of immigration that we have crafted does not permit the immigration by people who take this kind of jobs.

    We understand that this is an economic proposition, but we keep speaking about supply, and not about demand. However, economics 101 says supply and demand must be in balance. We have created a system that has been good for everyone (government, business, consumers), but when the music stops, it is only the immigrant that is on the hook.More to the point, why do Americans not take these jobs? Are Americans too pampered? It has less to do with salaries (as implied by the General Counsel), but by the lack of benefits. As long as only some jobs have health benefits, we are going to see few Americans choosing these types of jobs.What we have now is a system in which we demand labor, but are shocked, shocked when we get poor Mexicans. So, we want the work, but want to demonize the workers. We cannot have it both ways. If we need the labor, let us honor the laborer, if not, let us understand the price we have to pay, and do so.The reality is that we have an integrated job market. If we decide to change it, we need to understand how different of a system we will need to craft… higher wages, national health care. This is a system that we created. It is up to us to fix it, not demonize those people with the least amount of social capital.

  • Sam, Buffalo, NY

    I think we should all relax. The problem will soon fix itself.
    America will not be the great country that it once was (I believe because of your heartless laws and nasty, mean, angry people, who feel it is their right to treat others inhumanely).

    Maybe all these immigrants will try to go to China to work. :)

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Millions of people going to a country with Billions of people, trying to find work?  And people complain how the U.S. treats them!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Of course it’s difficult to come here.  We already have more people than can get jobs at the moment.  Anyone new needs to bring a skill that we require.

    • Kristina S.

      I think the difficulty is only because we are not willing to pay livable wages to people to survive here.  There are lots of jobs that need to be done here, that are being done by illegals, because our society is not willing to pay them the standard of living we wish for ourselves. 

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        To be sure, and I don’t see how we can solve that problem, so long as we allow an underclass to take the lousy jobs.

        • Kristina S.

          We have to control the businesses.  To do this we need:

          1. The majority of citizens to agree that we reject the employment of illegal immigrants, even though the cost of everything will increase.
          2. Create the necessary laws to change our employment system.
          3. Create punishments for businesses that break these laws.

          I don’t have high hopes for this reality.

      • Anonymous

        Isn’t it true that the presence of illegals has depressed the pay level of the jobs that they take.  If they were not here, wages in these industries would have to go up to a level that an american would do them.

  • Les

    I am not being completely disengenuous when I suggest that all Alabamans should have to prove their citizenship. e recently discovered that our grandfather entered the US in the 1800′s and never received documentation…he was English, white, fit into society, opened a business and became a staunch Republican, upstanding member of the community. He was an “illegal”. This is the history of so many in the US today, their ancestors didn’t follow the system and get legal entry.
    So, everyone, prove your citizenship before attacking the status of others.

  • Sscooley

    One of your callers commented on farmers raising prices so that they could then pay a fair wage to farm workers (and then more workers would want to do this kind of work).  Farmers are not the typical model like a small business…deciding prices and charging consumers accordingly.  The federal government sets farm milk prices for example.  So don’t expect the farmers to “take charge” and change this situation.  It is not their choice.

  • Jean Smith

    Alabama is a higher than average unemployment state. They count the unemployed just like other states. What kind of flood of workers did the orchard that complained about the need for workers get?

  • Bob hager

    I would think more would be allowed in legally, if fewer came in illegally.

  • http://www.facebook.com/granddaughterofshepotovka Julie A Katz

    and your guests need to be addressing the comparisons between yellow
    stars in nazi germany and jim crow here. regardless of the rationale
    behind these horribly inhumane practices, the effects are the same. I am
    appalled and frightened to hear that children are being interrogated at
    school, and we are not rushing to protect them…

  • Jemiman

    Oh my God, tell that guy with the German wife that the difference between Germans/Germany and Mexicans/Mexico can be simply summed up in one word: economy.

    In Germany, one can go to college pretty much for free.  That guy’s wife grew up in a country where people can still get good jobs and are taken care of by the social system held up by the German gov’t.  The same canNOT be said for Mexico.

    I’m not sure how to solve all this, but a narrow point of view like that is just plain ignorant.  How can that guy not understand the difference between the States or most of western Europe and countries from which people are fleeing?  Or to put it another way, there’s a reason people from Europe aren’t beating down our walls to get in: they don’t need to!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      All right, so why doesn’t Mexico create a society that people want to live in?

      • Lrj

        Countries don’t exist in vacuums. The idea that the state of things in Mexico is in no way tied to history it has with the US is unreasonable. We have a long shared history and you should look into before you assure yourself that you, and your country, have no responsibility. Maybe a thank you is more appropriate than telling them to find their bootstraps. Also I’m sure you realize that  “creating a society that people want to live in” is obviously a easier said than done.

  • Cory

     My heart says build a big wall with barb wire and machine guns and deport every alien who is discovered.  Its a little xenophobia mixed with insecurity and the pipe dream that Americans could do these jobs and be paid decently.

    My brain says there is no way to make it work, it would damage our economy, and no political affiliation on the left or right would ever do it.

    Result…  Illegal immigration will continue until wages equalize globally and there is no longer a reason to come here to work.

  • Scott B, Jamestown NY

    The German illegal probably isn’t going to get pulled out of a crowd, pulled over, pulled out of line, etc, because he has Latino features or accent. The German guy looks like a white-bread American.  I have a few friends that look Latino and have zero Latin blood in them and when they go certain places they get bothered in some way – Comments, asked for ID, questioned… I know one guy that’s Italian and gave up trying to fly because every time he tries he gets “randomly chosen” from the line for closer inspection, because they think he’s Middle-Eastern.

    Meanwhile, I went to school with a girl that is 100% Puerto Rican and looks like she just stepped out of a Swedish tourism pamphlet!

    Those in opposition of this law should get about a million US born people, Latinos, and those that look Latino, and go wander around Birmingham and Huntsville for a long while taking up valuable time and energy from the cops and various agencies, while they check their papers and IDs, and start dealing with the lawsuits from false charges, harassment, and racial profiling.

    • Karen

      I was screamed at by a Southern woman who told me to go back my country because I had a New Mexico license plate.  My father has been told the same.  In fact he was told to show his passport at the airport since he was going to New Mexico. The craziest part of it is that my father’s ancestors have lived here for over 2000 years.
      We are Apache.  My father has a PhD and I am college educated.  Not everyone is racist or prejudice but spend some time in our shoes and you will experience what I consider outright ignorance.

      • Scott B, Jamestown NY

        Where’s Mark Twain when we need him? We’re ugly Americans wherever we go, especially in our own country. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Sorry, Karen.  You just can’t fix STUPID, or chosen ignorance!!  I must admit I got quite a laugh, about someone wanting you to go back to your country (New Mexico!) !!  That’s one for SNL, or other comedians!!
             My Cherokee ancestry does not show in my features, but I sympathize and empathize with people that have this kind of problems.

  • Dsilva

    I am from Alabama and have mixed feelings about the law. My fater-in-law  was an emigrant and very strongly objected to people coming here illegally. I would like to say that much has been made in the media about the schools. I know of at least 1 that called all the Mexican children in to a meeting to explain the law, calm the children’s fear and answer their questions. I think this is the norm. Lets not forget if the Feds did their jobs since the Regan admin. gave amnesty to illegals many years ago we would not have this problem.

    • BHA in Vermont

      The only part that was wrong was calling in “all the Mexican” children. It SHOULD have been a WHOLE school assembly. The entire community needs to understand the law whether or not any given individual agrees with it.

      If nothing else, imagine the fear those poor kids felt when they saw that ONLY they were herded into a meeting. How many were really listening and how many were thinking a bus was going to show up at the back door any minute to take them all away?

      • Sam, Buffalo, NY

        Hear hear!

  • JL

    When the U.S., Mexico and Canada are all merged into one nation under the North American Union, illegal immigration will become a thing of the past and borders will be erased.

    We can thank Globalization and the New World Order for that, loss of our  sovereignty, identity, and our borders. 

    • TFRX

      You capitalized “New World Order”.

      You think the Black Helicopters are coming to get you? SRSLY?

      • JL

        Yeah, and you probably believed Bush when he said Saddam Hussein was involved in 9-11 and had W.MD.’s.

        • Gregg

          Just to be precise, Bush never said Hussein was involved in 9/11 and everybody and their brother said he had WMD.

          Other than that, you’re all over it.

          • JL

            You are completely incorrect.

            Leading up to the invasion of Iraq, G.W. Bush stated that Hussein was involved with 9-11, and that Hussein had W.M.D.’s.

            4,000 plus dead U.S. troops and $2 trillion dollars spent, we now know that G.W. Bush lied to get us into invading Iraq.

          • Gregg

            I’m sorry you interjected Iraq into an immigration thread. I have a hard time not correcting the record, it’s my nature. You will not and cannot provide a quote of Bush saying Iraq was involved with 9/11. Cheney came closer but you will not and cannot provide that quote either. It didn’t happen.

            As far as WMD goes, as I said:





            Just keeping it honest. I’m with you on immigration.

          • JL

            No, you’re into the swallowing the Bush lies even after it’s been proven that Bush lied into taking us into war with Iraq. 

            Happy swallowing, Gregg.

          • Gregg

            I gave you a wealth of evidence and you gave me nothing. Give me the quote.

            By definition, it is impossible to lie without knowing you are lying. Bush did not lie. If your definition of a lie is that skewed then at the very least you must admit all those Democrats I linked lied too. I don’t believe they did.

          • JL

            OK, I’ll buy your argument that Bush didn’t lie (even though he did),

            either way, Bush and Cheney are war criminals who are responsible for the deaths of at least 100,000 innocent Iraqi citizens.

          • Gregg

            yadda yadda

        • TFRX

          I don’t know what else we disagree on, but I can assure you that I was thisclose to being labelled “agin us” because in 2002 I opened my yap about the absolute non-connection between Iraq and 9/11, and all the other stuff faked about it.

      • JL

        It was Bush Sr. who called for the implementation of the ‘New world Order’ shortly after the first Gulf War.

        • TFRX

          I always wanted to know what would happen if someone took a 15 to 20 year nap while being sleep-fed the right wing’s most prominent radio, such as Rush, Hannity, Beck and Weiner.

    • Sam, Buffalo, NY

      I liked the first part of your post.
      But not the second.

      I think it’s ok if we merge with Canada and Mexico and I don’t think we would loose our identity and sovereignty and borders. I think they will change. And it’s ok for things to change.

      It’s another question of being able to accept such change, and speaks of your mindset and character.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        I’ll only accept merger with Canada and Mexico if they adopt our system–a constitution that protects individual rights, the rule of law, and the prosecution of corruption.

      • JL

        You’ll accept a loss of U.S. sovereignty because you are a traitor.

  • Julia

    20% of kindergartners in the United States are Latino children. We are allowing a generation to grow up under a cloud of fear, and under the reality that their families are being torn apart. For every 2 adults who are deported, a child is left behind.

    President Obama has deported more people than George W. Bush – over a million. He has created half a million virtual orphans.

    The fact is that people come here without visas not because they like “sneaking across the border.” They make this dangerous journey – thousands have died during this journey – because they are poor, and because poor people never get visas to work here.

    The children know this. They know their parents are not criminals. They know their parents came here without visas, and are working as hard as they possibly can, because of love for them.

    • VinceD

      What part of illegal do you not understand The parents ARE criminals. They come illegally, they forge documents, the work illegally, many drive. Sorry, but they ARE criminals by any standard.

      The children of non-citizens should not be granted citizenship by birth, this is being abused severely.

      Don’t punish the children you say? Refusing to reward the children of illegals for the crimes of their parents is not punishment. The children of citizens and legal residents are being punished, educational resources are being taken from them to give to the children of illegals.

      Sorry, we should not even be having this conversation, deport them all and they can take their kids with them.

  • Gary2

    I am a liberal progressive who thinks all illegals need to be sent home-what part of illegal don’t people understand?

    We need to have our border with Mexico like the border between North and South Korea.  We need to apply the corporate death sentence to scum bag employers who keep employing illegals.

    Mexico is a third world basket case.  Open border with Canada would be fine as their standard of living is probably better than ours.

    There are many of us progressives who hate the illegal immigration and would send them packing tomorrow.  Clearly every illegal that is here working is taking a job from an American.  This is so obvious we do not need to discuss it.

    • Bea

      so why the farmers cant find laborers ? It does not seem that in this case jobs are being taken from northamericans.

      • Anonymous

        I would guess because the illegals pushed the wages down too low for a US born person to do the work.  That is what happened to my aunt after working in a meat packing plant for 15 years.

        • Steve T

          How does a person drive down wages who needs a job? Your aunt and me and a whole lot of others are victim’s of greed by the owners of company’s that do business this way. They could have offered the same salary as everybody else. Instead we git the boot. If you get close to retirement watch out. 

      • Gary2

        Here is the rest of the sentence.  Businesses say “There are jobs we can not get Americans to do”

        What they leave out is the last part which would be “at the poverty low wages we want to pay”

        We used to de-tassel corn when I was a kid and the money was pretty good and their was always a waiting line of American teens wanting these de-tasseling jobs. (in Southern WI)  When illegals came and did the work for less THEN they could not find Americans to do the hard work at the extremely low wages. Funny how the price did not go down to reflect the savings they got from the low pay illegal workers. You can say what you want about me hating, however, I saw this with my own eyes and these illegals do take jobs from American workers and do drive down wages.  For every PHD we may loose there are thousands of unskilled dead weight we also loose which is a good trade off.

        Send them home!

    • Laura

      You are not a progressive but a hater – as you yourself clearly say.

    • AngelicaS

      It’s a fallacy that ONLY the right-wing fringe wants our immigration laws forced— Americans across the political spectrum (including this progressive Democrat) are DEMANDING ENFORCEMENT OF OUR LAWS!

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/RTL2V7AQJICUHDP4N66JWRRYGE Squashd

    I live in Costa Rica (as a legal resident) where you are always supposed to carry your documentation papers with you.  As a gringo, I’ve never been harassed by local police. However, I’ve heard from several Nicaraguans in this country (Costa Rica’s version of illegal Mexican immigrants – used for housekeeping, construction labor at lower than legal rates) who have been seriously harassed by police, blackmailed, threaten to be thrown into jail for being illegal, thrown in jail (later exported), etc. 

    My suspicion is that most countries in Latin America treat their “less wanted” immigrants (Argentina -> Bolivians, Mexico -> Guatemalans, etc), as a law or policy, in the same poor fashion. So on one hand I find it ironic that these new harsher anti-illegal-immigrant laws are probably no worse than the countries than many of these illegal Latino immigrants come from. And then on the other hand, I know that we shouldn’t be holding up immigration laws and policies from Latin American countries as a model for the US to imitate. 

  • Irvine Thomas Freeman

    I’ve spent many hours with National Public Radio, usually with great pleasure, but the “On Point” interview with psychology professor Drew Westen on August 11, 2011, concerned me deeply. Did you hear it? Two months later I’m still thinking about it.
    It’s very troubling to me that “On Point” didn’t give listeners a chance to hear from another psychologist with a different perspective during the discussion of Westen’s controversial “New York Times” opinion essay about Barack Obama. Tom Ashbrook identified Westen as a “practicing clinical psychiatrist,” and Westen didn’t correct that statement, though his biographical materials on the Internet do not indicate that he has an M.D. as required for the title of psychiatrist.
    If Westen’s credentials were misstated, it is much to be regretted that “On Point” didn’t do its research more thoroughly. On air he was then given a VIP pass through all journalistic checkpoints. What about Westen’s own motivations and psychology? No questions asked. Ashbrook directed no personal scrutiny toward Westen at all. With no other psychologist to offer a different perspective, “On Point” didn’t treat psychology as a discipline but as a platform of unexamined authority. This would be disturbing even if Westen worked fulltime in healthcare and education. But he doesn’t. He’s an active Democratic political consultant. He wasn’t even asked if he is working with a client in his critique of Obama.
    “On Point” promoted and dramatized rather than analyzed his ideas, reducing them to near-cartoon-like simplicity. Bam! Pow! “He’s no two-fisted FDR!” The program ran a sequence of side-by-side sound clips to support Westen’s almost exclusive focus on Franklin D. Roosevelt as a yardstick to measure Obama but no recordings or reenactments of other presidential speeches to help listeners get outside Westen’s frame of reference and test his thesis. Jonathan Chait of “The New Republic” was allowed a brief rebuttal, which was quite valuable, but he was playing against the house, it was clear. Furthermore, not being a psychologist he challenged on the grounds of historical and political facts, while the more visceral content of Westen’s psychological critique free-floated.
    “You know, if I had him on the couch I’d have a better answer for you,” Westen said at one point, depicting the president in a subordinate, supine position with respect to his own authority, lying on a couch seeking help. The misstatement of Westen’s credentials launched a very subjective assessment of the president as someone who will do “anything he can” to avoid standing up to opposition. Though a psychologist acting in his or her professional capacity is expected to show respect for the dignity of all people, according to the professional ethics code of the American Psychological Association, Westen made ridiculing remarks about the president that did not contribute to the substance of his criticism. He described Obama “cowering in the corner” in the White House. “He has blinked every time he’s had a chance to blink. I don’t know whether there’s something in his contact lenses, but he has blinked,” he said. For all the build-up about his academic and clinical expertise, his criticism was couched in street talk and simple truisms.
    Westen didn’t claim to have supporting evidence that Obama compromises because he’s afraid not to: no confidential sources who heard the president expressing fearful sentiments, no leaked notes from a therapist working with him to deal with this peculiar syndrome of weaknesses and failings Westen alleges, no way of actually supporting the claim that Obama is fearful. It is important to notice that the case for Obama’s fearfulness rested on no objective, supporting evidence at all.
    I believe “On Point” should have taken a harder look at the ideas that underlie Westen’s critique of Obama and asked some tougher questions. Westen’s recent work in psychology focuses on how politicians can push our buttons more effectively once they understand how easily our emotions overrun our capacity to make reasoned political decisions. Democrats have been talking to the wrong side of voters’ brains, he argues, the rational side instead of the emotional side. It only stands to reason he would put his theories to work in his own essay. If you bear that likelihood in mind, and read or reread the essay, I think you’ll see that he does.
    He tailors the essay to liberals and crafts a highly emotional, illogical argument that is the op-ed equivalent of an attack ad against Obama. “In times of uncertainty, the last thing voters want to see in their leaders is fear,” Westen wrote in his book “The Political Brain.” The essay homes in on the entirely speculative theory that Obama is scared. The essay, in other words, goes for the political jugular vein. The weak logic is just a temporarily plausible delivery system for emotions that blow logic out of the water anyway, according to Westen’s imaging studies of how our brains process political content. His research finds that political partisans, in particular, ignore contradictions and inconsistencies and believe what they want to believe. Emotion-driven thinking is actually more, not less, characteristic of more sophisticated voters, he writes.
    The essay is a warren of circular arguments, false dichotomies, and overly simplistic analogies mapped onto complex realities for their emotional punch (“analogical mapping”), dotted with trigger words and phrases that activate subliminal networks of associations.
    Ashbrook didn’t question Westen at all on the darker implications of a concept central to his critique of Obama, the concept that the human brain needs and expects villains. We’re likely to be persuaded by political speech that fits the key in our cognitive locks. But Obama hasn’t delivered. His speeches lack villains, according to Westen. Westen’s essay, on the other hand, takes the form he recommends. It’s a villain narrative targeted to liberals with taproots right down into irrationalism and superstition.
    If our brains are predisposed to lock onto villain narratives, as Westen suggests, shouldn’t we be wary of them, knowing we’re easily swayed? I think Westen’s own thesis should make us skeptical of the story he’s telling.
    If you would like to read the full text of this commentary and the rest of my concerns about the program, please go to: http://freemanspeaks.blogspot.com/
    Irvine Thomas Freeman

    • Scott B, Jamestown NY

      Wear hoodies and sunglasses while hanging out in your remote cabin much?

  • Tom O’Brien

    Conservative love to talk about the market as if it was perfect.  The universal fix is supply and demand.  How come it doesn’t apply here?  If farmers can’t find workers to harvest their crops, what’s the solution within our economic system?  A smart phone manufacturer who couldn’t sell his product because the price was too high wouldn’t get an interview on this or any radio show because the solution is obvious.  Can’t producers invite a guest who will argue that if there is a shortage of labor, farmers should pay more.  They should offer a living wage to their workers inctead of paying shamefully low hourly rates without the benefit of even bathrooms in the field.  Someone from the United Farm Workers may be of help on this topic.

    My heart goes out to the poor people — the immigrants — caught in the middle of this crisis.  Many conservatives will look the other way because, worse than illegal immigration for them are situations where employers must pay workers more (let alone a wage that sustains a family). 

    • notafeminista

      Define “living wage”.  Are we talking about something that affords us the basics such as food, clothing and shelter, or are we talking about a wage that affords us the lifestyle in which we are used to being kept? 


    • Wm. James from Missouri

      You are right on target. Denial of (non rigged ) market wages is rampant in this country. If this were not the case the “real “ wages of working Americans would not have been on the downslide they have been for the last 35 plus years ! Take note: these are the facts !

  • Brett

    I’ll admit, I’m ambivalent about this issue. The solutions to our illegal immigration problem are complex and messy. 

    When I hear about new laws being implemented, I am more interested in how well they might really be able to work and if their implementation means law enforcement agencies are spread too thin/the laws might promote police harassment. The man with the German wife failed to mention that if she has white skin she probably won’t be harassed to the extent a Hispanic-looking person might. 

    Some valuable data from this law (and from other states, such as Arizona) could give us a lot of useful information and help us craft better laws/enforcement of those laws. The problem is that we live in such an age of spin that the data will be lost/manipulated to promote whatever political agenda works for our various political candidates /elected officials.

    In any case, I would rather have a society replete with educated illegals than uneducated illegals.   

  • James51

    Let Alabama do what it wants, but kick it out of the USA.  Let the CSA do what it wants.  Then us in the US can kick out the CSA illegals, and fixed the US.

  • Pc

    This is more than an illegal immigration issue.  This involves race, class and structural divisiveness.  That we build prisons based on the kindergarten enrollment of black male children, refuse to adequately educate the citizen poor and brown people, then import “brain” workers from overseas via work visas, speaks to a much larger systemic problem in this country.  However, if one broke a law to get in, then attached to or produced a legal resident faces the “break-up” of a family – so be it. Bye.

  • Jim978

    Yesterday I covered more than 200 miles on interstate highways.  The speed limit was typically 65, so I set my cruise control on 70.  I passed some cars on my drive, but was passed by many more … even though I was already dirving over the speed limit.

    Why is it that no one is demanding that our traffic laws be strictly enforced?  After all, if immigration laws ought to be enforced, why not traffic laws?  Would people who support immigration legislation like that passed in Alabama also argue that every car going over 65 should be pulled over?  I doubt it.

    If one is selective about which laws should be enforced and which should not, then clearly support for the rule of law is not the real agenda, is it?

    • Anonymous

      I would agree with you if the US Constitution, its preamble, or amendments referred to speed limits as a fundamental chore of the Federal Government. 

      Since the preamble does say “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure Domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” It is pretty clear that “in order to provide for the common defense” not only refers to foreign wars, but domestic invaders and it is our Federal Governments job to regulate who gets the privilege of being a US citizen.  We are a country and every country HAS to have boarders and rules to decide who is lucky enough to become a citizen.  

      • Jim978

        You say that, “It is pretty clear that “in order to provide for the common defense” not only refers to foreign wars, but domestic invaders”

        For many years the common defense also included military actions against Native Americans.  I doubt you would defend the wars that were waged on this country’s indigenous population, so to what should the phrase “common defense” apply?  That seems to depend on one’s political beliefs, and that (to me, at least) seems to equate politics and justice.  I don’t think they are the same.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      Your comparison is nonsense.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    So, with fruit rotting in the fields, calling the current manifestation of the Tea Party “economic terrorists” really isn’t too far off.

    • Carl

      The fruit will be collected. Pay what is required.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    Perhaps we could create more jobs for people who process citizenship applications, and just let everyone who is living here already sign up. I don’t think the process is as easy or accessible as the one caller thought.

  • Shaka zulu



    1. Onpoint.ore! Alabama SC has is right with problem of illegal emigration and all of the US should follow its example! Here is the reason why:

    A. Mexico is the 3d riches country is the world, so why today they have jobs problems in their Country? There is no reason they should have this problem

    B. The Syrian, Libyans and Egyptian people choose the fight and die as a people of one to be like America!

    C. What type of Terumi is the Mexican people running away from in their Country? The people, Government, Drugs Runners, and the President are one in their Country problems

    D. Why don’t you talk about all of this comparison of Mexico problems to the rest of the world?

    F. The Mexican people Agenda is to make the US boarder States apart of Mexico! Think about it! Over the years not one Mexican child broth here or born here illegally has resin up to go back Mexico and fight for its people to have a better way of life like Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks!

    E. Not one has even tried to establish a radio station or a nonprofit group to the cause of making life better in Mexico! They just join to getter to accept their way of life which is deplorable!

    G. The Mexicans are not ignorant people in such they play to the US being blind to what they readily want. They constructed an under ground tunnel from the Mexico broader to and through the US boarder of such brilliant to the point of it’s being studied

    2. Thank you very much. POC for this action is shaka Zulu at 336 210-9811


    Shaka Zulu
    Biltmore Who’s Who

    • FVR

      This must be a joke. Please say that this is a joke.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    To the guy who asked “What if they just enforced the law”, what if they just changed the law to better reflect reality. Laws should be much easier to change than all the effort it takes for all of these folks to move and for their employers to replace them.

    I also wonder what his wife will think of his comments, since most Germans aren’t fans of folks who ask them to show their papers all the time.

  • SteveV

    I can only relate how, in the past, apple orchards throughout New England brought
    in Jamaicans to harvest the crop. They were provided housing, food and a good
    wage. At the end of the season they went home. When I was a kid I worked alongside them (in the
    50′s) and they were nice hard working people. Why we can’t do this with other
    agricultural crops I don’t understand. It would be a win/win situation.

  • david

    The reality and truth about the problem with immigration.
    Watch these two videos about immigration, they are based on reality and numbers, they will show you by the numbers the disaster we are headed into with our current immigration policies.


    If these videos did not open your eyes to the reality of this problem, then you are part of the problem and not the solution!
    Alabama is trying to do something about it, the govt. will not!
    It is not heartless or cold to limit immigrates, especially illegals, it is a matter of economic survival.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      It is a matter of national survival. No nation can simply absorb anyone from anywhere and expect to survive. This is PC gone wild…sheer madness.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Militarize the border, this illegal immigration talk is such nonsense. Why do people feel that the US has no right to national sovereignty? 

    What nerve and audacity it takes to violate a nation’s law…openly disregard them…then have the temerity to denounce its citizens as racist. There is no organization more racist than La Raza.

    • david

      A sane voice amongst insanity!!
      Check this site out to see that our Nation has been invaded and looted to boot!

      • Hidan

        A example as why such website is bull.

        the country millions of tax dollars are being used to build and
        maintain new, elaborate, full service subsidized housing communities
        where illegal alien adults are allowed to live.”There proof is because the website is in partly  Spanish, but futher review will show or a google of Kevin McCormack aka McCormack Baron (http://www.corporationwiki.com/Missouri/Saint-Louis/kevin-j-mccormack-P5549196.aspx) it’s afforable housing and does not state at all that it’s for illegals

        Here’s the website of McCormack

        McCormack Baron Salazar is a leader in promoting urban revitalization
        through the development of mixed-income and affordable communities with
        public-private partnerships. MBS has been in the forefront in the
        creative blending of Federal, State and community subsidies with
        conventional debt and equity to provide quality urban development.

      • Hidan

        Another story on the site,
        – Arizona rancher fights San Francisco judge’s order to pay $90,000 to
        illegal aliens stopped on his private property and apprehended by Border
        Patrol. “It links to this,http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/02/09/arizona-rancher-fight-court-ruling-ordering-pay-damages-undocument-immigrants/But the story that it link’s to states, “he U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week upheld a lower court
        verdict ordering Barnett to pay the damages for the 2004 incident, in
        which the plaintiffs claimed that he approached them with his dog and
        said he’d shoot them if they tried to leave.”

        The court said that an Arizona law permitted a person to threaten to
        use – or actually use – physical force against someone else when that
        person believes it is necessary for protection “against the other’s use
        or attempted use of unlawful physical force.”

        But the court said that Barnett held them at gunpoint even after
        becoming aware that no one in the group of 16 men and women was armed,
        and so he could not use the argument of self-defense.”

        As a lawful citizen what say you on this man breaking the law?

      • Hidan

        The site you link even goes so far as to blame Mexican illegal immigrants for 9/11

        “Remember 9-11, A Tribute Video. Never
        forget that three of the terrorists could have been stopped by the same
        police/ICE coordination that Arizona tried to enact Video Here. Nine years later large gaps in
        police/ICE coordination still exists due to left-wing legal wrangling and political gaming. 96% of all law enforcement
        is local, local and federal law enforcement must work together.”

  • William

    This is a good law and will help stop human trafficking.

  • Angela Sherrill

    Where to begin with all of the dishonest assertions and implications in this discussion?!?!?!!!! 


    As a life-long Democrat, I assure you the elimination of ILLEGAL immigration is not just a Republican issue. Rather, Americans across the political spectrum are DEMANDING ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS FROM THEIR LEADERS! Enforcing our MOST GENEROUS IMMIGRATION POLICIES IN THE WORLD will be far LESS COSTLY that continuing to provide ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS social welfare services. Further, OF COURSE (duh?!!) the LAWBREAKING U.S. BUSINESS PROFITEERS who employ ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS are LOBBYING HARD to prevent enforcement of the law because they are THE ONLY TRUE beneficiaries of the poverty level wages and no benefits paid to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. These lawbreaking businesses profit while the wages of American citizens and LEGAL immigrants are DEVASTATED! WE (BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS) do not and will not accept ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. It is catastrophic to our country! Not only do these LAWBREAKING BUSINESS PROFITEERS/THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE reap enormous profits by devastating wages, they also receive a form of corporate welfare because the U.S. taxpayer is left with the bill for all of the social welfare services consumed by ILLEGAL immigrants because these disgusting businesses pay them no benefits and, as a result, they resort to seeking free healthcare at U.S. hospitals. An example:For Example— On February 14, 2010, the Miami Herald Editorial Board advised, and I quote: “Caring for undocumented residents cost Jackson [Memorial Hospital] $150 million last year, about as much as it received from the voter approved half-penny sales tax.” Disturbingly, this means that virtually the ENTIRETY of the additional tax paid by Miamians is consumed by healthcare for ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS who have no permission to come, be, work, or remain in the United States of America. Is there any doubt why Jackson Memorial Hospital is broke. Consequently, the healthcare system for LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and AMERICAN CITIZENS in Miami-Dade County is devastated!

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    Why not ask the Mexican President to adopt the American Constitution ? Why not ask all world leaders to adopt the American Constitution ? Why not ask all world leaders to adopt all American Laws ?Why not ask all world leaders to put it to a vote of their people ?Why not ask all world leaders one by one in a public forum, in front of the press ?

  • Jason

    I love how this entire situation flies in the face of everything that Republicans claim to believe in. Where’s your Christianity in this situation? Where’s your limited government in this situation?

    • Carl

      Totally agree. As Christians who abide by the law,
      employers need to self-police who they employ ensuring that a deserving
      American has been afforded the opportunity to apply for the position at the
      statutory rate. Likewise enforcers of statutes who decide not to perform their
      duties need to be replaced by effective personnel.
      Government should be limited, effective border control would render the question moot.

    • notafeminista

      I love how this entire situation flies in the face of everything the left claims to believe in.  “Save our jobs”  “keep jobs in America” ..where’s your collective unity now?  Where’s your giving jobs to Americans in this situation?

      • Jason

        I merely noted the republicans because the governor of Alabama happens to be one, not because I don’t agree with you also. My point is just this. If you’re going to tie yourself to a platform based on your political association don’t deviate from it. If you do, change your affiliation to something that better represents your personal beliefs. There’s too much political chatter based on an official being democrat or republican.

  • Sehedw

    I am shocked.Why don,t we discuss the inequality in visa issuing between persons of industrialized versus third world countries. That is where we should start to fix the problem. It is too easy to get visas from industrialize nations compared to third world countries indipendent of skill sets.
    Charlotte, NC

  • Dave

    why not look at eliminating income tax and look at a Value Added Tax (VAT) to alleviate “THE ENORMOUS FINANCIAL IMPOSITIONS OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION UPON THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER SERVICES, the depressed wages, the lost job opportunities for American Citizens and LEGAL IMMIGRANTS” 

  • Wm. James from Missouri

    Look at the history of the world, in particular the history of labor. It is no secret that as the price of labor goes up management ( in this case land owners ) will look for clever ways to control cost. This increases the productivity of a nation and thereby its’ per capita wealth. If you haven’t been watching what is going on in robotics and factories in general, you must be living in a cave of your own making. If wages for “ pickers” become too high, human labor will be replaced by automated systems. Yes I am talking about Robots. They are here now and are getting better all of the time. No human will be able to work at a low enough wage, in the not too distant future, to compete with the coming machines. These mobile intelligent machines will surpass the wealth created by the industrial revolution. The “illegal immigration” argument should not be about the increased cost to farmers. The question should be folded into much larger issues that all on this planet will soon be facing.

  • Lidsfunk

    As a small business owner of a family business of immagrants [italian] law is extreme. First off everyone should read working in the shadow; the jobs this population does for this country no ‘american’wants 2 do. Owning a restaurant its impossible 2 find anyone who even wants 2 work in our kitchen ! We have tried to focus hiring college students and other segments in our communitty and the most stable employees are the mexican population. We haveincreased the entry wages and other perks. No one wants 2 do these jobs. Its hard work . Where does this leave the small business owner?

    • AngelicaS

      If you can’t run your business without participating in the blackmarket labor pool, then you should not be in business. 

      Do you pay your employees benefits like healthcare?  If not, who do you think funds the healthcare services for your illegal labor force?  Let me tell you— THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER!  Businesses that pay low wages (not a true market wage whereby all the actors must play by the same set of rules a/k/a a fair and level playing field) and no benefits are obtaining de facto corporate welfare from the American taxpayer, as when they do not pay living wages and benefits, the American taxpayer picks up the tab for healthcare and a whole host of other social services granted to your ILLEGAL labor force! 

      And I don’t know what you’re talking about— there are plenty of Americans who work in retaurants!  Why do you have a sense of entitlement to violate U.S. law and gain competitive advantage against lawabiding businesses that adhere to the rule of law????  African American unemployment (particularly teenagers) is stratospheric—- ARE YOU SAYING AFRICAN AMERICANS WILL NOT WORK FOR AN HONEST, LIVING WAGE?

      • Ilonasilva10

        remember that illegal immigrants are tax payers too. The IRS issues no questions asked, an ITIN number for all those that with out a social security number would like to contribute together with the ‘american’ tax payer. So in fact there are many non-american tax payers contributing as well. unfortunately it is not all black or white.

        • AngelicaS

          While I certainly do agree with you that some ILLEGAL immigrants pay taxes, it is also clear that as a group (of mostly low-paid wage workers with no benefits) that they consume FAR MORE in social welfare servicesl than they contribute to the tax system.

          Were you not privy to the report that came out in September 2011 that stated: 

          “The Internal Revenue Service allowed undocumented workers to collect $4.2 billion in refundable tax credits last year, a new audit says, almost quadruple the sum five years ago. . . . Their data showed that 72 percent of returns filed with taxpayer identification numbers claimed the child tax credit.” 

          Incredible, Disturbing, and COMPLETELY UNSUSTAINABLE!

  • Ryan

    I would like to challenge the idea that we have to shield the domestic labor market from the bigger international labor talent pool. These policies are protectionist and would hurt the US competitiveness in the long run. We should allow foreign competition in the US labor market for the same reason we allow foreign cars to enter the US market. In the long run allowing foreign competition would result in improvement of our own labor force. 

    Ryan from Boston

    • Carl

      How do you mean?  If we allow illegal foreign workers into the construction, agriculture and landscaping business in the US and they need medical attention without insurance are you going to pay?  However if you are suggesting that the employers of these folks are going to pay for all costs associated, (education, medical, upkeep, etc.) as the users pay for foreign cars, then maybe you have a point. So to be clear, the users of foreign workers, are like the users of foreign cars?

      • AngelicaS

        No— they rely upon the American taxpayer to subsidize their lawbreaking business enterprises!  “Cheap labor” is NOT actually cheap!

        • Carl

          Thank you Angelica, you explicitly stated what I
          implicitly implied. Touché’! It’s wrong, immoral, and sad.

    • http://profiles.google.com/dont.trust.government Mr Watchingyou

      “We should allow foreign competition in the US labor market for the same reason we allow foreign cars to enter the US market.”

      We should live in tent cities and bring the ol’ Dharavi slum from India to America! WOW. Great idea there Ryan. The race to the bottom is a great idea.

  • Grizzly Bear

    Wait, wait, Joey said: we heard a lot of comments like this ‘what part of illegal you don’t understand’…but it’s really hard to immigrate to this country legally.

    WOW. So the law is just a suggestion. If you can afford to observe it, observe it. If you can’t, break it. People have to make a living first. Heck with fairness. Heck with the business who hire legal workers now losing competitive edge and heck with those who entered this country legally such as myself.

    Are you encouraging homeless and jobless people to rob the banks, to break into other people’s houses because it is hard to make a living legally?

    I am giving my budgeted NPR contribution to http://www.numbersusa.com this year.

    • Carl

      Exactly… I heard the same comment and said: “So what’s your point?”.  A college degree is hard, but it is not given away.  There was another comment about how workers could not be found were it not from illegal workers.  Not true. Read up on economics.  Certainly the workers can be found — advertise, interview and hire.

  • Pam

    I am an natural-born citizen of the United States. For the past 26 years, I have lived in this small college town in Alabama with my husband, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen of Canadian origin. Last week, our daughter and her fiance – both Canadian – were denied a marriage license by our county clerk on the grounds that they could not prove their legal presence in the U.S. (Passports are not generally stamped at the Canadian border.) The big wedding we had arranged for them at our home was almost derailed by this zealous attempt to comply with Alabama’s new immigration law. Fortunately, the clerk in a neighboring county had the sense to issue the license, and the wedding went on as planned. The whole thing was embarrassing, and an insult to my family.

    • Wm. James from Missouri

      About ten years ago I took a trip into Canada. I was asked at the entry point the purpose of my visit. I told them I was on vacation (true) and that I wanted to open a bank account in Canada  (true) ( I saw the future of the American dollar, at that time, due to soaring debt levels, and I also wanted to establish an account for future travel for myself and my children. I wanted my children to know that they have a duty to help our Canadian neighbors if they wish to travel, freely, back and forth. ) Well, that’s is all it took. The border guard pulled me to the side and proceeded to direct the other guards to take my
      (new) car apart ( seats out, clothing etc. (not the actual car) ). Was that fair ?
      Was that embarrassing? Was that necessary ? Even though, the Canadian guards did this, I hold no animosity toward Canada or their laws. If they had known me, personally, I fell sure I could have convinced them that I had nothing but good intentions ! Never did start that account  :(

  • Ilonasilva10

    As a U.S. legal resident and a citizen from Spain what worries me most is the racial profiling that goes as far as not even looks of the brown people, like some pink people like to say, but just because our last name. My daughter was pulled out from her kindergarten class for ESL clases. We are bi-lingual. There was no need for her to be pulled out but her last name gave her away, even though some people would call us white. Unlike our inmigrant ancestors from European countries our Hispanic culture is very much alive and it does not blend or become eliminated but runs parallel to the US culture acquired by our children and by ourselves. I am outraged that some people can boil this very complex issue down to be legal or illegal. While illegal inmigrants do NOT qualify for social services, as many ignorant Americans think they do, it is true that they contribute daily to the economy, not only by buying goods but by starting business and by contributing yearly when they file their taxes. Unlike many people think anyone within the illegal population knows that if eventually you want to be legalized you need to file taxes yearly and so the majority do. I can´t say the same from the big U.S.corporations whose CEO´s and managerial and not so managerial legal staff use in the form of a nanny, fancy restaurants kitchen workers,  cleaners, elderly caregivers, remodeling workers, gardeners and window cleaners the cheap labor provided by the illegal immigrants. The issue is not as easily solved as paying more for your produce!  I suggest everyone who dares to give an opinion gets inform first so they do not look ignorant as most of the world thinks of Americans. By the way Spain is in Europe and helds excellent relationships not only with Latin america but with Africa and Eastern Europe, from which we endure waves of immigration from time to time since the beginning of time. I love this country and all the oportunities that has provided for me but I cringe with the ignorance and racism that it sometimes exudes.

    • AngelicaS

      We who want our MOST-GENEROUS-IN-THE-WORLD immigration laws enforced are NOT the ignorant ones.   Rather, those who advocate granting rewards and special treatment for lawbreakers are both ignorant and unprincipled.

      We agree that we cannot tolerate “profiling”.  However, a specific “race” is not targeted by the enfrocment of our immigration laws.  I would agree that there should be harsh punishment and penalties for anyone who violates our Constitutional right not to be profied.  However, the possiblity that profiling may occur (as with all other laws) does not mean we should not be enforcing or having our MOST-GENEROUS-IN-THE-WORLD immigration laws.   

      Further, you should not be advocating for those of your specific ethnicity (you specifically mention “Hispanic”) to be above the law— IN AMERICA EVERYONE MUST BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME RULES.  D’accord?  Comprendez-vous?

      • Ilonasilva10

        Je compries parfaitement!, I can also say it in Italian, Io comprendo 
        perfectamente! this is besides the piont, Alabama laws are racist. I do not tell you what to do,do not tell me for whom to advocate. This is a free country after all, and the most beautiful thing about it is that the law, when is not enforced may be because it is not working. Many deciding cases come to mind that have shaped the history and law of our country, the US. Injustices are to be denounced not to be quieted. And so the Alabama law is one of such. By the way, my ethnicity is more in compliance with the law in general that many others.

        • AngelicaS

          So, on one hand you advocate for your ethnicity to violate the law and then you state that your ethnicty is “more in compliance”  Let’s be clear— you’re the one who advocates for special treatment for your ethnicity.  You are the one who brought up a particular ethnicity.  I am stating that those from all nationalities must comply with the law. 

          I fully agree that it is within your right to advocate for special treatment for those of your ethnicity— AND IT IS WITHIN MY RIGHT TO EXPOSE YOUR DEMAND FOR SUCH SPECIAL AND UNEQUAL TREATMENT as the despicable point of view that it is!  The First Amendment guarantees your right to make as many asinine statements as you desire.  “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” (attributed to Voltaire). 

          Please recite the provision of the Alabama law that targets a specific race.  Also, please identify the race that you believe the Alabama statute targets!

      • Gregg

        Thank you AngelicaS.

  • Federico, from NJ

    First of all, those who say that being undocumented in the US is a crime are completely wrong; it is a civil violation and therefore one can not be put in jail for that. And instead of chasing people, isn’t it more efficient to punish those who employ the immigrants. This is another example of big companies getting a free pass.

    • AngelicaS

      Well— I certainly do not agree with your flawed legal analysis: 

      (1) When ILLEGALS submit falsified I-9 forms to their lawbreaking employers, they commit a FELONY.

      (2)  When they steal someone’s social security number, they commit a FELONY.

      (3) When they unlawfully enter the U.S. after deportation, they commit a FELONY (as many do— and further, crossing the border sans permission in the first instance is a misdemeanor— also a criminal act).  
      (4)  When they fail to claim all taxes owed, they commit a  FELONY.

      (5)  When they drive sans a valid license, they commit criminal acts. 

      • Federico, from NJ

        They only are able to do that because corporations, which happen to abuse their rights, take advantage of the situation and drive everyone’s wages down, are there to hire them. Same thing for rich people who hire undocumented immigrants for low paying service labor. If you get rid of the source of revenue, they would voluntary leave and you would not need racist laws that hunt people down based on skin color.

        And I am pretty sure that you are not native American, so  your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents probably entered the country without previous paperwork.

      • Ilonasilva10

        Well, who told you that?
        (1) Illegals submit falsified I-9 forms? It is more like this: ‘Do you want to work?, Are you legal?  I pay cash’. No company that actually uses I-9´s properly can afford to have them falsified because they use I-Verify. So, who breaks the law in the first place?(2) Regarding the stolen social security number. They actually buy it from an american that steels it, who commits the felony?(3) Yes, you are right crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor. It is also a misdemeanor to make a business of transporting illegals to the US and promise them papers, usually fake? I would say so. Moreover, the ones who instigate are legal. (4) Who told you that they fail to pay taxes? have you heard of an ITIN Number? according to the IRS: ‘IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have a U.S. filing or reporting requirement under the Internal Revenue Code.’(5) Driving with out a licence is a criminal act, do you have statistics that link it to illegal immigration? I would say that it is more likely to be linked to past offenders,like drunk drivers and teens. Fallacy?
        Like I said, it is a complex issue to be taken issue by issue with veracity supported arguments.

        • Wm. James from Missouri

          All the wrongs in the world, don’t make the next one right !

        • Angelasherrill

          I agree that the lawbreaking employers should be punished too— -BUT THE LAW MUST BE ENFORCED INVOLATE.  What Ilonasilva and Frederico are urging is the continuation of the black market.  I AM CERTAINLY FOR PUNISHING THE LAWBREAKING EMPLOYERS THE MOST SEVERELY (both criminally and civilly).  Agreed?   but the law must also be enforced as against those who utilized self-help to jump to the front of our immigration line! 

          And, I certainly understand that some ILLEGAL immigrants pay some taxes– but as a group— THEY PAY FAR LESS IN TAXES than the taxpayer funded social services they consume (see below)!

  • Anonymous

    The undocumented immigrant issues seems like an attempt to “point the finger somewhere else”  rather than look at the real parasites in our economy.

    How much do UIs costs us compared to what they contribute?  How does that compare to what the financial sector, the insurance sector and property taxes do to the economy?

  • Anon

    Maybe all us citizens are illegal, lets ask the natives.

    • Carl

      In English?

      • Ilonasilva10

        Native – Americans, is that not English?

        • Carl

          When the first settlers arrived, the natives would not
          have understood English, moreover they did not have immigration laws. So the answer is none of the settlers were illegal. My point
          is what good are laws if they are not enforced? It’s a rhetorical argument.
          What is illegal without enforcement? We have intellectual property laws as
          well, but are they enforced in China? Is no enforcement of laws good? Ask
          Microsoft about China.

          • MtnIndian

            You’re nuts to think WE did not have immigration laws. Your solution was to kill everything that got in your way, either, by sword or by disease.

  • http://profiles.google.com/dont.trust.government Mr Watchingyou

    Harassing the immigrants when the business community & the government waved the welcome sign year after year is wrong headed. Nonetheless, the immigrant community knew they were breaking the law. They knew that being deported was a real possibility. Any idiot would know that if the economy turned sour, illegal immigrants would come under increased scrutiny. They put themselves into the position they find themselves in. They don’t win any sympathy from me and nor do their employers. Outside of the AG industry (most don’t do AG work & don’t want to), these folks depress wages while taking jobs and training opportunities away from Americans. It’s time to force the issue at the local level if the Feds won’t.

  • Dawu

    the law for undocumented immigrants should be applied retroactively for the last 200 years, at least

    • Wm. James from Missouri

      Ex post facto laws are unconstitutional. Americans should know this.

      • Dawu

        ever wondered where the pejorative term W.O.P. came from–also applied, mostly to an ethnic minority?

        passports (i.e., “documents”) were officially required by FEDERAL law in 1941:

        Act of June 21, 1941, ch. 210, 55 Stat. 252; Proc. No. 2523, 55 Stat. 1696; 6 Fed. Reg. 6069 (1941).

        looks like this 1941 FEDERAL law is somewhat “ex post facto”

    • Carl

      Hmm… let’s get those dead IAs.

  • Glork

    Look at today’s Newark StarLedger showing that BA/MA career professionals are tripping over students to compete for a $7/hr temp job at a costume store. You think for one minute the jobs left vacant by illegals won’t be snapped up instantly? Think again. I am 50 plus MA English teacher unemployed for 2 years working part time and cleaning houses for a total of $100/ wk 12 miles west of NYC. If someone told me where I could pick beans tomorrow, I would be there at 5 am. Why? Because I’m a widow with 4 hungry teenagers. So stop the hell underestimating how bad it is for Americans who earned and  paid and now have been gypped out of it. So much for paying taxes all my working(since high school) life and following the rules.
    As for illegality, if I partk my car in an “illegal” parking space I get slapped with a strong hefty fine payable pronto. But these illegals get the fat of the land?? How does that one work - I’m from New Jersey, so  you need to explain it to me… 

    BTW, there is a LEGAL way to enter the country, too. Anybody realize that?

    • AngelicaS

      Thank you for your personal story!  It is truly despicable that our leaders are selling out American citizens like you in favor of the IMMIGRATION LAWBREAKERS (and I include the lawbreaking business profiteeers in this group)!  I wish you the best— SPEAK OUT FORCEFULLY AND PERSEVERE!  I will be that right will prevail over wrong and wrongheadedness– but it may take a while!

    • ImmigrationEcon101

      Our borders have been wide open for decades and it has been on purpose and no secret to the people in power.

      To have all of this cheap labor available – with the turnover rate high – keeps everyone’s wages lower.

      That’s one of the many reasons, incomes haven’t gone up since the mid 1980′s.

      That’s the whole plan.  When politicians talk about the situation, they know the game – they’re just lying and placating you.

      (Where’s a labor economist, when you need one… huh, On Point?)

      I know highly skilled folks who have tried to get green cards after spending years here, going to school, working hard and paying taxes for 10 years – they even had family members here legally, some even citizens – even they couldn’t stay in the US.

      For legal immigration, there are quotas.  And if you are from the wrong country, one who doesn’t have a deal with our State Department, you don’t stand a chance.  You might as well go back to your country and play the American ‘green card lottery’.

      World-wide, illegal immigration is probably a multi-trillion dollar industry – and it doesn’t matter if you are talking about the near-east, the far-east, the middle-east, or north or south of our borders. 

      That’s why nothing on the national level is ever being done about it.

      This is part and parcel of the “free trade” myth – using the first world economies to build up, fortify, re-enforce and finance the second- and third-world economies.

      That’s why nothing is being done about it in every ‘developed’ economy around the world:

      It lowers the economic ‘playing field” for everyone. 

      And guess who benefits?

  • david

    I saw a study done on illegals a couple years ago, cannot remember source (nat’l newspaper,etc.); but I do remember the results.
    For every $1 a immigrant contributes to our economy,
    they take away $4 from our economy in added liabilities.
    If this is true, what a cost our nation is paying for some politician’s or party’s voting block.

    • Hidan

      Gotta love studies one can’t remember or prove or cite to others to make a partisan point.

      Good Job.

      • Carl

        I believe it. Prove it’s not correct
        please before implying it’s false and thereby also throwing into question the
        integrity of its author.

        It’s easy to criticize without
        supporting evidence.

        Good job.

        It’s easy to criticize without
        supporting evidence.

        Good job.

        • Hidan


          (Still he made a claim he openly admitted he couldn’t back)


          Illegal immigrants are paying taxes to Uncle Sam,
          experts agree. Just how much they pay is hard to determine because the
          federal government doesn’t fully tally it. But the latest figures
          available indicate it will amount to billions of dollars in federal
          income, Social Security and Medicare taxes this year. One rough estimate
          puts the amount of Social Security taxes alone at around $9 billion per

          Paycheck withholding collects much of the federal tax from illegal workers, just as it does for legal workers.

          The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t track a
          worker’s immigration status, yet many illegal immigrants fearful of
          deportation won’t risk the government attention that will come from
          filing a return even if they might qualify for a refund. Economist
          William Ford of Middle Tennessee State University says there are no firm
          figures on how many such taxpayers there are.”

          • Jim978

            Undocumented aliens don’t just pay federal taxes, they pay a lot of other taxes as well.  Like federal income taxes, many also are paying state income taxes.  In most states they pay sales taxes when they shop.  They pay real estate taxes … directly if they own and indirectly if they rent.  Often they are paying personal property taxes.  They pay excise taxes if they buy gas, cigarettes, or alcoholic drinks.  In many localities there are meals taxes when eating out.

            Clearly, some people believe that undoumented aliens consume more in services than they pay in taxes.  Even if that is true (there are many who have studied this and come to a very different conclusion), opponents do themselvesa disservice when they claim these aliens pay no taxes.  A single misrepresentation is all it takes to lose all credibility.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7Q76XCU5URJ5CKZPBEZSJAKQMM Heres the fix

            What a ridiculous assertion. So big whup – they pay like $500 a year in other taxes, yet consume $10k per child for education, $12k-20k for healthcare insurance – more if uninsured and they just visit the ER and are admitted, thousands in food stamps and public housing. If they do file taxes then they can get a child credit up to a few thousand dollars which effectively more than wipes out their FICA contributions. The US pays out more than $4 billion each year for this to illegals. Each illegal immigrant family is sucking down anywhere from $30k to $80k a year or more from American taxpayers. In Massachusetts, 70% of Brazilians are illegal and the vast majority don’t pay taxes, even 40% of the legal ones don’t pay taxes. Guess who’s paying for their healthcare – not them. The US does not need these millions of unskilled, uneducated illegals – we have enough low skilled Americans that need jobs or are on welfare.

        • Hidan

          Illegal Immigrants are Paying a Lot More Taxes Than You Think
          Eight million illegals pay Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes


          The fact that illegal immigrants pay taxes at all will come as news
          to many Americans. A stunning two-thirds of illegal immigrants pay
          Medicare, Social Security and personal income taxes. Yet, nativists like
          Congressman Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., have popularized the notion that
          illegal aliens are a colossal drain on the nation’s hospitals, schools
          and welfare programs — consuming services that they don’t pay for.
          reality, the 1996 welfare reform bill disqualified illegal immigrants
          from nearly all means-tested government programs including food stamps,
          housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare-funded hospitalization. The
          only services that illegals can still get are emergency medical care and
          K-12 education.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7Q76XCU5URJ5CKZPBEZSJAKQMM Heres the fix

            Way to go, using a obviously biased source to support your viewpoint. Try reading the articles on cis.org for a better education on illegal immigration.

        • Hidan

          Illegal immigrants paying taxes?
          More undocumented workers are filing returns, advocates say.http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/illegal-immigrants-paying-taxes-621300.htmlIMMOKALEE
          Americans angry about the current immigration morass utter a common complaint: “Illegal
          aliens don’t pay taxes.”

          But many undocumented workers have taxes taken out of their checks and an
          increasing number are filing tax returns, according to IRS statistics, local
          undocumented workers and immigrant advocates.

          President Obama’s promise of an immigration overhaul is a major reason for the
          increase in returns. That change could open a path to legal status for about
          12 million people currently illegal.

          “Those folks have been told, if immigration reform comes, in order to
          become legal they will have to do two main things,” says Jim Kean, a
          social worker at the Catholic Church’s Guadalupe Social Services in
          Immokalee, which helps undocumented people complete tax returns. “They
          have to learn English, and they will have to prove they don’t owe back
          taxes. So they are trying to get straight with the IRS.”

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wes-Baggett/1412674313 Wes Baggett

          i posted a link proving it false, Factcheck is accepted by all as a viable source

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You remember EVERY program, snippet, conversation verbatim, with sources, participants etc…?

        • Hidan

          of course not,

          But if I was going to make a  point (clearly partsian in this case) Id try to back it with something.

          Wouldn’t you?

    • Angelasherrill


  • Hidan

    “But highly regulated inflows of temporary low-skilled foreign labor would
    be unlikely to attract much interest from U.S. employers. If foreign labor wants to come to the United States and U.S. business wants to hire these workers, then creating cumbersome legal channels through which labor could flow would give employers an incentive to eschew the new guest workers and continue to hire unauthorized workers
    instead. Were new legislation to combine stronger border and interior enforcement with an unattractive guest worker program, it would be pitting policy reform against itself,
    with only one of these components likely to survive in the long run.”

    by GH Hanson – 2007Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individual and corporate members, as well as policymakers, journalists, students, and interested citizens in the United States and other countries, can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments

  • Dannsmith123

    Seriously, the amount of money the illegal immigrants cost Americans in services – health care, education for their children, police, roads etc. , far exceeds their cheap labor. We DO NOT need illegal immigrants any more then we need thieves. If they steal a SS number and do in fact file taxes the amount in taxes they pay is zero and more likely to be credit to them since they have depressed wages so much they can collect social services. The illegals end up collecting food stamps, fuel assistance and subsidized housing while they drive around in Cadillacs and Lexus. Go to an illegal immigrant community…see for yourself. If they do not have a SS number they can get benefits anyway. Just go to any Masshealth office and they will give you the forms to fill out for “undocumented workers”. While Americans have to prove their salary with w2s, tax returns and pay stubs, the illegal ( “undocumented workers”) only needs to write a statement with their salary on it!!! What a disgrace. This country has one set of rules for illegals and another for Americans. And the American people are fed up with it!! It will not be long before the ignorant politicians, who pander to illegals, are voted out and replaced with politicians who will uphold our laws and enforce the immigration laws and add to them to make sure that illegals can no longer take advantage of our people.

    • ImmigrationEcon102

      So, tell me where does the money go for all of those services… health care, education, police etc…?

      Sure, we all pay for it, but where does it go?

      It doesn’t go into the workers or aliens pockets. 

      Think about it. 

      Immigration keeps wages, everyone’s wages lower, but also generates huge amounts income for the systems and structures that support it.

      If somethings costs – something gains. 

      And it’s not the usually poor, illegal immigrant that gains the most.

      So where does the money go?  It has to go somewhere.

      Immigrants have always been lowly pawns for the state, along with the private contractors and corporations that support it, in order to supply a variable in which an exponential factor of income can be created from.

      (See ImmigrationEcon101 post below.)

  • Charles Ashcom

    I just now listened to your program on WUOM Michigan Radio. You were extremely civil and polite to the citizens of Alabama. I shall not similarly restrain myself, because they don’t deserve it. The interviews were soft. I was in the Coast Guard in New Orleans from 1963 – 1966 and worked the whole Gulf coast. I subsequently had a long career in heavy construction. I am a Michigander. I found Alabamans, in particular, to be unashamed bigots, at least the people of my generation. I was in my 20s then; 60s now. What is different is how they couch their bigotry now. It’s the same old line, now seemingly a legal issue. Their farmers, food processing and serving industries, home care industries, etc. rely on mostly Hispanic people. The suddenly law-abiding Republican politicians know what to say and do to make the knees jerk. What hypocrites! George Bush, a Texan (where this is a REAL issue), in his last year in office gave the best speech of his life, offering moderate solutions. His party castigated him, and refused to address the issue. (Was there an election coming up?) The jobs Hispanics take are not attractive to the whiners who prefer not to work for a living, at least not on the books. They could work the fields, assuming that they know which end of the turnip points up. They vote against even the most meaningful tax reform. Try to get those crackers to pay for their 50 personally assigned miles of road upkeep! Look at their teacher’s salaries – the lowest? Is a pattern developing here? Sell the freaking state back to the French or Spanish or whoever we got the bad deal from. Don’t be polite to these people with soft interviews conducted on their terms. Stick it to them.

  • Tim E

    It’s ironic that many people who are in favor of minimum wage laws (as I am) also support having illegal workers who are not protected by those laws.  Do we wan’t people to be protected by minimum wage laws, or not?  If it’s a myth that undocumented workers are generally paid less than minimum wage, let’s see the evidence.  I’m open to it.  My own suspicion is that it’s probably better for the macro economy to keep the undocumented labor force, even if that doesn’t translate to the best scenario for specific American citizens, but the bottom line for me is that the rule of law needs to be what defines our country.  If we aren’t willing to abide by our immigration laws, then we need to redefine them.  But ignoring them isn’t an option for a society for which the rule of law is the ultimate foundation.

  • Kristina S.

    Lets put the blame where it belongs:
    1. Our government for allowing businesses and agriculture to rely so heavily on low income positions that few U.S. citizens would take.
    2. Businesses for hiring undocumented workers.
    3. Citizens for supporting businesses who rely on these workers.

    We want the cheap goods and services from local restaurants, hotels, car washes, farms but we are willing to perform these jobs for such little pay and no benefits.  It almost seems intentional to allow people to enter the country illegally and keep them in a state of concern for their situation so that they cannot demand better wages, better working conditions, or benefits and cannot unionize.  We are using these workers as a form of slavery, and our economy relies on this. 

    If we do want to discourage illegal immigration, we should focus on the job opportunities provided for them.  But before new laws are written and enforced, we should be prepared to pay more for everything so that replacement workers can earn a decent wage and benefits they will demand as US residents and citizens.

    I hope more people will support their opinions and positions with evidence when posting on WBUR.  Do not buy the soundbites presented from both political parties that seem to only fuel disagreement instead of reach a consensus.


  • your listener

    Some people don’t realize the U.S. food corporations/industries forced Mexican farmers out of jobs, thus resulted them to cross borders seeking jobs in U.S., get very low to nothing wage.  Most people fix problems with bandage, not knowing the root cause, it’s always easy to blame our problems on others.  

    This is a complicated issue, I’m not qualified to comment.  But the absurdity about Alabama’s Immigration Law (and Arizona) is the practice of racial profile, every brown people is suspect, legal or illegal, without carefully examined and properly trained law enforcement officials.  It smells and tastes like the WWII Japanese American Internment, the only difference one is detained, the other is deported, both are inhumane and insulting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wes-Baggett/1412674313 Wes Baggett
  • Karen

    As a Native American who was a German major in college I have even more empathy for the immigrant.  The actions of the state of Alabama remind me of the Jewish experience at the beginning of the third Reich. I do not say this lightly because I do not want to lesson the entire experience of the Jewish population during WWII.  I have been told by several people in the south to go back to my country when they see my New Mexico license plate.  This is frightening on many levels.  This ignorance is based on the color of my skin and well quite frankly a lack of education when it comes to geography.  To require those with brown skin to show ID is clearly racial profiling.  I’d like to add that Arizona has banned the studies of latinos in that state which includes Native American studies of those who come from that area.  

    • your listener

      When I told people I was going a trip to New Mexico, some people thought I was going to Mexico, asking me not to drink their tap water….  *_*

    • Kathy02001

       we are not profiling anyone ok racism stop it   when we go to the airport were profiled then when cop pull us over were profiling it dam not your skinn color  ok get over it

      • francesca

        your a fucking idiot who needs to go back to school and learn how to properly write English! And for your information, this law does allow people to racially profile immigrants, even if they are legal, because these idiots think that if your brown, you must be illegal! It’s idiots like you who make me wonder why the whites are the superior race??!!! Learn to speak and type your own language! 

  • Jason

    Here’s an idea! How about if we just play a game of global musical chairs! Let’s all leave this country and just move somewhere else! Screw this place!

  • Pingback: Good Debate on Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law | Barry Lieber

  • Robinfff

    Maybe the real question should be why should the immigrants have to take abusive “jobs” like these rather than Americans not being willing to do them.  The AP reporter unfairly makes it appear that these unemployed people don’t want to work because they can get more on unemployment.  I don’t buy that.  The myth that the Puritans brought with them is that work and pain are supposed to be synonymous so anyone who won’t do “work” that really isn’t “work” at all but an abuse of the body and the spirit should be condemned and called lazy and accused of wanting handouts.  I disagree.  Human beings are not robots and work is not about suffering at all.  It’s about doing something worthwhile with your life that you can feel good about and that does good for others.  Work is a healthy thing.  It is incredibly abusive to expect people to do “jobs” like this for the same reasons it was abusive to make slaves do them in America as well as back in Egypt when the Jews were held in bondage.  The human spirit needs work but it also needs to feel the joy of being alive.  The one should never be allowed to crush the other.

  • Kathy02001

     yes to the law  the people who are turning now is weak and sitting on the fence  we thep eople have right we didnt come here iilegal e come to take jobs they get our benfits food and homes were we was throw out on the goverment gives them money for homes cars jobs business were  does it say we cant stop it we have been push a side for obama we  will keep our law

    • Nascarlos3

      Learn english first before you complain you ignorant moron.

  • CRose

    One thing I want to suggest is that the reason that there aren’t folks “lined up” for these jobs is that there needs to be more labor reform. These jobs are undervalued so in less demand. If all work could make a living wage, the most important work would be done.

  • Blablabla

    how do i know when my grammar is right or not and know where to put the right punctuation

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