I see no resolution as long as businesses profit off illegal labor with impunity. I've come to believe that few in power actually want to change things. Both major parties can flame the passions of their respective bases by keeping the status quo. If the prognostications of the effects of global warming are true then it is rational to want to fix the situation. Mass migrations are occurring and will get worse. The whole issue is a symptom of a broken political system in my opinion.
If people want open borders, or something like it. My view is they should say so proudly and clearly. It's a defensible position even if I disagree. If the idea is we are going to continue to have a slave caste of illegal immigrants without many labor protections and fearful that their employer will call ICE on them if they don't work unpaid overtime, not only is that indefensible I'd be willing to go to war over it just like my ancestors did the last time we had a similar institution in America.
I think you’re right to say illegal immigration causes a caste system. I think that’s artificially created by our strict immigration policies. We need more workers of all skill levels in the US. There are people who want to pursue a better life by moving here. Why get in the way?
Do we really though? The actual unemployment rate is about 8% representing over 10 million unemployed Americans, personally I think they should be the priority. I'm also skeptical of expanding our population indefinitely, our infrastructure is already unable to handle the amount of people using it- ask anyone who commutes to work in LA traffic
But regarding expanding population, I totally agree with your skepticism. I think growth for growth’s sake is the underlying problem here and merits a whole conversation on its own.
Ex: Nursing. Everyone knows we have a nursing shortage, nurses get paid decently and only need a bachelor's degree (compared to other medical professions which require Masters or higher-levels of Medical School). But Americans as a whole are not training up to be nurses.
As such, immigration is the only way we can make up for our shortfall.
*At the currently offered price.
If illegal immigrants had the same opportunities and rights as American citizens I suspect that they wouldn't want to do them for that price either after long. It may just be that we will have to deal with paying an extra dollar for a head of lettuce or an extra few dollars an hour for a housekeeper.
At only a bachelor's degree, a nurse gets $70k / year on the average. It is a field that is expected to grow dramatically, even more so than computers.
Outside of Comp. Sci / IT fields, Registered Nurse is one of the most highly paid bachelor's level jobs out there.
If you find a hospital willing to train you up to a Masters Degree to become a Nurse Practitioner, you get well over 100k on the average.
Nursing is a field with immediate job opportunities upon graduation, with the ability to train up to 100k+ jobs if you can find a post-secondary training program.
DESPITE that, Americans don't typically go into nursing school. So we have to import immigrants. Culture is way deeper than just offering a steady job, a good paycheck, and promotion opportunities. The fact of the matter is, we have a nursing shortage despite it being a decent job.
This country needs 15% more Registered Nurses and 30% more Nurse Practitioners over the next decade. And currently, nurses are one of the most overworked jobs because there aren't really enough of them around.
> If illegal immigrants
Illegal immigrants typically don't become nurses. That's totally a different subject. In any case, if there is an illegal immigrant working as a nurse, I'm inclined to say that they should stay, due to our incredible nursing shortage across this country.
Allowing skilled labor to enter the country is generally beneficial, having two sets of rules for different co-existing populations is not.
Oh well, can't change that anymore.
> A border wall won't prevent any nurses from entering the country
With that being said, my current location is very far away from the border wall, thousands of miles north. I posit that the border wall won't help anybody in my area at all.
In my experience, when talking to people who are pro-Wall, it isn't the border that they're interested in. They are generally more rural folk who see great importance in cultural homogeneity.
Sure, it sounds great to city-folk to see and experience new cultures. But when you're out on the docks trying to warn people about an incoming storm... and those people don't understand English... and you don't know of anyone nearby who can help you translate (and those people WILL DIE if they go out during the storm), it leads to stressful moments.
The "wall" isn't what people want. Its a political rally cry. What people want is for other politicians to understand the importance of cultural homogeneity, especially in rural situations. People in this town should speak English. People in this town should understand boating safety. Etc. etc. There isn't anyone else in the town who can help, so identifying the core cultural requirements to survive and help each other out is important.
And finally, what people want is the ability to represent this thought without being called racist.
That's my experience on the matter. As such, Democrats are correct to point out the folly of the Wall: it doesn't actually solve any of the problems that Trump's base wants (excepting the small portion of Trump's base which actually live on the border). Or more specifically, the problems I've identified from the people I've talked to at least. I could be wrong, but... that's my understanding of things for now. The problem with Democrats is that they can't see the benefits of cultural homogeneity, likely because they don't live in the rural areas which benefit from these alternative policies.
In any case, the Wall addresses no actual problem. Its fully a distraction. Even if the wall is built, it won't change the Democrat's point of view (or lead to greater understanding between the political parties).
Trump is declaring an emergency, to mobilize Pentagon funds to build the wall. Imagine if Obama declared a "Climate Change Emergency" to take money from the military towards fighting climate change.
This is not an America that anyone should support. This is a colossal overreach in power for an issue that most people will agree is a lol rallying cry that no one actually expected to happen.
And after talking with some people who fit in that category, I personally feel like they have a point. The fact is, rural centers CANNOT serve the needs of an immigrant population, and we probably shouldn't force it upon them.
I've visited some areas like this: 5000 people total for many, many square miles. Entire counties that have fewer people living there than my freaking neighborhood, or a single city-block in New York City.
These places have a single "hospital" with less than 10-rooms, and a single church to serve the religious needs for the community. Don't even think about X-Rays or anything "specialized" unless you're willing to drive 2+ hours away. There are issues supporting a popular Christian religion already, let alone a less common one.
The communities are relatively poor: they can't afford to build higher levels of infrastructure than what they have. Asking those communities to accept people who speak another language, or worship another religion is asking a LOT from that community.
Obviously, racism and xenophobia are bad. But there's something to be said about the benefits of a homogeneous culture in Rural America. Its financially cheaper to only cater your town towards one kind of culture. Be it language, religion, culture, or other issue.
Now, something to be said is that Urban centers, such as the area I live in, CAN accept immigrants with open arms. And Urban centers not only thrive from the increased activity, they grow richer and everyone benefits. Part of it is that migrants from Latin America are typically Catholic, and my area has plenty of Catholic + Spanish-only masses around. Spanish is taught in virtually every school as an optional elective, I can (and have) give basic directions like "Where's the Bathroom" or tell important information in Spanish, thanks to my elementary school + high school education. (I stumble a lot, and probably speak worse than a 3-year old, but it gets the job done).
So I can, as well as my community in general, support a mass of Spanish-speaking immigrants in a way that other centers in this country cannot.
I think formalizing these principles can ease a lot of concerns for Americans. If Urban centers worked with ICE to accept illegal immigrants from other parts of the country, then we probably can solve this issue. Ex: Imagine New York City saying "We'll accept 100,000 illegal immigrants from ICE, to prevent them from being deported". This is 1.1% of NYC's total population, so its a large number but otherwise a drop in the bucket.
This sort of thing already happens. San Francisco declares itself to be an "enemy of ICE" and declares itself to be a "sanctuary city". That's fine, the city is allowed to run itself the way it wants. Formalizing the concept would ease over a lot of the Urban vs Rural divide that this country is having. Anyway, San Francisco's leadership is obviously trying to tell immigrants (even illegal ones) to come and live in its city.
The state in which I live in is heavily biased towards "sanctuary city" status. And I think it works for my local culture and local area.
First, you correctly outline a problem but fail to solve the bug so to speak. These rural communities are poor and already have trouble supporting their communities, and most of these rural communities have very few immigrants in the first place. Not enough to cause a drain on local infrastructure, but they serve as a scapegoat for the actual problems which is that said rural areas are dying out whether it be due to aging population or lack of funding. Having a homogenous culture as you mentioned wouldn't fix this problem, it's an excuse.
The second is that you believe having a homogenous culture in the rural areas would be enough. If it was, then you wouldn't see those same rural people rallying against sanctuary cities and blaming coastal cities for destroying their culture. They don't just want a homogenous culture, they seek the destruction of immigrants altogether. That's why we've seen the rise of white supremacists, neo-nazis and abhorrent policies being pushed by our officials.
> The second is that you believe having a homogenous culture in the rural areas would be enough. If it was, then you wouldn't see those same rural people rallying against sanctuary cities and blaming coastal cities for destroying their culture
Case in point: people are irrational. What they want for themselves, they'll campaign for on the national stage (and affect people thousands of miles away).
There's been a loss of true federalism in this country. People think we're all one big country with the same culture, that's for both urban and rural folk. But I think there's a strong possibility of creating a message that will fly in both urban and rural areas.
Imagine if we actually made San Francisco a federally-recognized Sancutary city. Where not only ICE kept out of the immigrant communities there, but maybe dumped a few immigrants into San Francisco (for sake of propaganda, if nothing else) But that's not what these people are seeing right now. They're seeing San Francisco protesters yell "Abolish ICE" to the cameras.
We know what they want, we know what San Francisco wants. There's a solution here that likely can make both sides happy. San Francisco wants ICE to stop destroying the immigrant communities in its city. ("Abolish ICE" is as stupid as the wall BTW. I hope no actual candidate actually pursues that action. Its just a rallying cry that represents what people actually want)
Rural areas nominally want to blame immigrants. So LET them. Give them what they want. Its not our job to enrich their areas, or to run their corner of the country.
> That's why we've seen the rise of white supremacists, neo-nazis and abhorrent policies being pushed by our officials.
While its abhorent, they're a good chunk of Trump's base (which is 30%+ of the country). We need to seriously consider them as a major player in US Politics.
I mean, what else is your plan? To call them racist for another 10 years and maybe they'll start to believe it a decade from now?
That would also fall under the rallying cry of homogenous culture you've been talking about, as those same rural people fear gay people or black people for similar reasons as immigrants. And the reason why I use such strong words is because this is the exact excuse the KKK has used in the past to demonize other minority members of a community.
And the rallying cry of abolish ice is nowhere near the level of the demand for the wall, considering we have very prominent examples of ICE abusing it's authority, from deporting actual US citizens to harassing communities. If a branch is thoroughly corrupt then I would hope our officials would listen to the voters when they demand reform. And that reform involves tearing down ICE and building a better agency.
I personally think that a huge problem in our medical system is the lack of staff. And this is an area that virtually everyone should be able to agree too. Its no major policy change, its simply the acknowledgement that we need more nurses in our hospitals, especially as Baby Boomers retire and age.
There are major policy questions: physician assisted suicide, contraceptives, abortion, etc. etc. But I'm not pushing any of that. I'm simply stating one area where I'm almost certain every American can agree with me on (once they look at the stats).
We need more nurses. Its the most logical way forward. If you want socialized medicine, whatever, we'll also need more nurses for that to work anyway. So it doesn't matter if you are socialist, capitalist, communist, legalist or whatever, the nurse shortage is real and obvious. Immigration can serve as a band-aid to the nurse problem. We import nurses from other countries, while trying to figure out how to convince Americans to enter nursing degrees.
Compared to... say Japan... the USA is doing a heck of a lot better at maintaining high levels of productivity and luxury for our citizens. Japan is clearly hampered by an aging workforce and a lack of immigrants, for example. Ditto with China (especially because China had their abysmal "one child" policy for years).
So of the top 3 nations by absolute productivity (defined as GDP), the USA is doing best. (Heck, USA is even on the top10 GDP-per-capita, so we're quite efficient compared to other countries). That doesn't change the fact that we could be doing BETTER.
I think policy makers do a poor job of framing arguments in a way that can be intelligently discussed. That’s one of the reasons I love HN - commenters hold much more nuanced debate.
As far as the defund ICE movement, it's just a small movement by a small set of people (namely AOC whom conservatives think is their modern red herring), lets not generalize and say all left leaning people want this when in reality they most likely don't, but you have to understand ICE has been abusing its power and it has also pushed to help create a massive private industry of private prisons housing "illegals" in which you could say should be defunded or more regulated since it's not properly handling people humanely nor are they helping the situation at hand.
The cspan video in the link has her entire comments unedited for you to review if you doubt she made the statement. I wasn't able to find CNN or Buzzfeed's reporting on the matter I presume they chose to not cover it. I am citeing it for the quote not any of the editorial content, I'd cite the video directly but it's over half an hour long.
>As far as the defund ICE movement, it's just a small movement by a small set of people
This small set of people are extremely loud, if you have a more reasonable voice please use it. The DNC would be wise here to put forward their plan for immigration because as I see it today AOC and her supporters are driving the conversation from the left at least as far as public perception goes.
In regards to an Immigration plan the DNC has time and time again pushed for reforms and debate but nothing has been done not because they are not willing, primarily because the other party loves to lambaste any idea or reform immediately as "open borders" or "Amnesty" when it could be no further from the truth, this is nothing new for us, unfortunately it's just a political cycle at this point.
nothing has been done not because they are not willing, primarily because the other party
They pushed the ACA through with no Republican votes: they could have easily done the same with immigration law.
Or "easy" as in a no/few applications are ever denied?
I never understood this argument. Don't you wind up with the same problems as before, only with more people? "We need more workers" - but it's not the rivers and forests and houses that need more workers, it's the people. So won't those extra people end up needing more workers of their own, in perpetuity?
I don't know what left leaning people want on immigration. I'm a very liberal person myself and I think it's rational to want to have control over who gets into the country and who doesn't. I don't think wanting a border wall makes one automatically racist. It does happen to be true that most racist people do want a wall but as the oft quoted saying says, "A broken clock is right twice a day."
In the early 90s a friend from Spain told me that it was racist for Reagan to have wanted to build a wall. Of course she ignored the fact that Spain has walls around its African cities.
As for what left-leaning people want, politicians all have their positions plastered on the internet.
The narrative they're trying to sell is that the state of America's border security has been so thoroughly undermined by leftists and socialists and Democrats who want to rig elections by welcoming illegal immigrants that thousands or tens of thousands of people are literally swarming over the southern border every day raping and killing with impunity and stealing our jobs and diluting our culture and only a wall can stop it.
The wall is not about actual, effective border security, it's about selling America on xenophobic panic and anti-progressive propaganda through a manufactured crisis that needs "emergency measures." It's shock doctrine.
If you can't get people to do a job, pay more and offer better perks. If you can't afford to pay more or offer better conditions, well tough luck, it means your business isn't financially feasible to operate in this market. Any company that only functions due to illegal immigration and paying people less than normal wages is morally bankrupt, and shouldn't be around.
There are some jobs where I agree, the pay and benefits are not good enough to bring in labor. Using immigration as an excuse to pay people less in those situations is bad and is fixed by ensuring labor laws protect even illegal immigrants and companies that exploit them are punished.
I suspect that "picking fruit" is a dog whistle along the lines of "picking cotton", showing how people actually feel about Mexicans. The same goes for "jobs Americans don't want to do" actually. It's 2019 and some people want slaves, even if it isn't considered acceptable to openly admit this.
Much the same applies to "cleaning our houses", but with an extra helping of discrimination against Americans who would be willing to to that. Many of those Americans would be seen as a threat or as a fellow human being, depending on race, but a Mexican who speaks Spanish can be ignored like a Roomba.
you know what’s going on at entry ports because it’s being monitored, you can’t quantify what’s going through in places you’re not looking, more probably flows through hidden tunnels that are discovered all the time
there’s no hyperbole in saying it’s a threat and an emergency, seeing the effects of the drugs and crime, people getting raped/killed, human trafficking... it was an emergency decades ago when they could have done something to prevent it from getting to this point
As a secondary consideration, I find it hard to believe that a fence or wall is going to help much. Some kind of DARPA-like competition-based inexpensive, well-considered electronic border monitoring might be helpful, but there are plenty of examples of people trivially bypassing fences and overpriced virtual walls.
(My personal favorite example of a virtual wall completely failing was at JFK Airport: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Security-Breach-JFK-Je...)
That's a matter of perspective. If one party unilaterally decides to block the budgeting crisis, on a philosophical and political premise (albeit, the R's creating the situation to illustrate it), you end up with a situation where you cannot address an issue through political means, at any cost. This is a terrible precedent, but it's also logical for the tool at hand.
People have shotguns, which can blow through a window. I still lock my doors and close my windows. Walls work to a degree, for most situations intended to block access.
if you want to nitpick on word etymology we could say that if 2000 people cross the border illegally each day then it’s a new emergency every morning...
every time an American or victim of trafficking and abuse gets killed or harmed due to this Wild West of a border is the result of an emergency that was not properly addressed
worst of all though is this idea that comparing the crime rates and abuse perpetrated by illegal border crossers to crime in other areas as somehow relevant, it's almost like saying your car doesn't need gas because it's smaller than cars with a lower average MPG
taking action to protect the nation foreign invaders is literally in the President's job description, not being the local Sheriff
there's literally people getting killed, and many very recently, and people make reports like this, it's actually pretty fucked up and I can only imagine what it would be like to be one of the victims standing there waving your arms while being told you don't exist and that your loss wasn't real and could not have been prevented, sorry about your bad luck
basically, this is not a numbers game, there's no way you can argue that people in immediate risk of getting kidnapped, raped, or killed is not an emergency simply by counting them...
oh sorry! my mistake, I just realized the duty of the President to protect all citizens doesn't apply until we've reach some arbitrary milestone for the number of people in danger... that's not how it works!
the people who died represent a failure of government to do a most fundamental duty, something we pay them to do, protect us
Border control, like pretty much any national policy, is a numbers game. Spending, say, $5bn to save a life is very, very expensive. Instituting a border policy that separates families and occasionally kills detainees is also very expensive in terms of the human cost.
I have not heard of anyone at immediate risk of kidnapping, rape or death due to the lack of a wall at the Mexican border. Or, for that matter due to the lack of a wall at the Canadian border, or the lack of strong security at the Florida coast. Or the fact the government’s inability to find people who overstay their visas, for that matter.
A lot of it is already secured with fencing and barriers to funnel people to the Ports of entry essentially, also have some common sense, is it easier to A) traffic mass loads through carriers at legal entries who can directly bypass any detection just because of the mere basic fact that there is too much to check and examine (CBP can't check every truck/car/container/train etc) or B) use "Human smugglers" to traffic in their goods, knowing they will most likely be picked up by CBP along the way once they reach the border...
(note that this is not an opinion on wall proposals, which from my skimming seem like a colossal waste of money, or the procedural hijinks involved which seem like the bread and butter of American politics)
Trump has been quoted as saying he didn't need to declare a national emergency to fund the wall. He just did it because it was more expedient and he didn't want to have to deal with all that democracy and the hassle of having to compromise over it. That's not democratic. If Obama had used emergency powers for such a petty reason, say to fund the ACA, there would already be blood in the streets.
Trump is president of the entire country, not just of the people who voted for him. I would hope, although I don't expect, that he could see the bigger picture.