Harrisonburg Immigrant Activist Arrested In DC

Brent Finnegan -- July 21st, 2010

Harrisonburg immigration activist Isabel Castillo, an unauthorized immigrant, was arrested outside Sen. Harry Reid’s office in Washington D.C. Tuesday for participating in a protest supporting passage of the DREAM Act. Castillo was in one of three groups of recent college graduates arrested for staging sit-ins in front of senators’ offices.

Immigrants Rally in DC. Photo by Flickr user 36widgets

Immigration Rally in DC. Photo by Flickr user 36widgets via Creative Commons

Many immigrant groups and their supporters have been pressuring senators in recent months to expedite passage of the legislation which would grant children of unauthorized immigrants (who arrived with their parents as minors) the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. Tuesday’s sit-ins targeted senators Reid, McCain, and Schumer. The Hill reports:

About a dozen young people dressed in blue valedictory caps and gowns were arrested Tuesday afternoon in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building . . . At about 4 p.m. [one of three groups] sat down on the floor in the center of the atrium, around a 6-foot sign that said “Undocumented and Unafraid,” and “Dream Act Now.” They sat for about 15 minutes before being handcuffed in plastic cuffs and escorted away by Capitol Police.

Meghan McNamara, State Director of Reform Immigration for America, said that Castillo, a recent graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, has been released, and is awaiting arraignment in D.C.

From an email McNamara sent Wednesday morning:

Isabel Castillo, 25 of Harrisonburg, Virginia, was arrested at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20, 2010 in Washington, D. C. with four other college graduates. These five students, who would be beneficiaries of the DREAM Act, were arrested by Capitol Police in Senator Harry Reid’s office. Castillo said of their action, “This is an act of peaceful civil disobedience. We can wait no longer for the DREAM Act to pass. We write letters, we hold marches, we visit our congressmen and what we hear is that we must continue to wait.”

Students explained they picked Senator Reid’s office because they believe he has the ability to bring the DREAM Act out of committee and onto the senate floor for a vote. Earlier in the day 13 other DREAM activists were arrested in other congressmen’s offices.

Castillo came to the U. S. when she was six years old. She graduated from a local high school with a 4.0 GPA. She completed her undergraduate degree at a local university in three and a half years, again graduating with honors. She has a degree in social work, but is unable to work. The four other students told Senator Reid’s office staff similar stories. Each of them is from a different state and has graduated from college. They stressed to anyone who would listen how much they value education and that they just want a chance to give back.

While others negotiated for a way to discuss these students’ concerns short of their being arrested, the students remained resolute. Castillo said, “I have waited 10 years for the passage of the DREAM Act. We hear the same reasons over and over as to why the DREAM Act cannot be passed today. I am doing this for students in Harrisonburg. I am doing this for one million students around the country whose dreams are dying. The time to pass the DREAM Act is now.”

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, who introduced the DREAM Act in the Senate, has condemned the actions of the activists who were arrested.

Reached for comment following the arrests, a Durbin spokesman said, “Today’s demonstrations by some DREAM Act supporters … crossed the line from passionate advocacy to inappropriate behavior . . . Sen. Durbin believes that we will win this fight on the merits, not through public demonstrations or publicity stunts.”

Local DREAM Act supporters have planned a rally in the parking deck near Harrisonburg’s Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, scheduled to take place tonight at 8:00. “Students, parents, professors and teachers will speak about the act of civil disobedience and why they believe so strongly that Congress should pass the DREAM Act this summer,” according to the release.

McNamara said Castillo is expected to be at the rally in Harrisonburg tonight to speak about her experience.

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123 Responses to “Harrisonburg Immigrant Activist Arrested In DC”

  1. Holly says:

    Can someone explain what they were arrested for? Is sitting in front of a Senator’s office an offense?

    • Holly, I’m not sure. As far as I can tell, this is what the sit-in looked like.

    • cook says:

      Where there are concerns about disruption or security, the Capitol Police have the authority to order people to leave the building. If individuals refuse to obey the order to move on, they can be charged with trespass.

    • Ronn says:

      The case of Ms. Castillo is part of a larger issue which impacts every American– population stability and environmental degradation (which I will not address in this comment). In the more immediate case, Ms. Castillo is an ILLEGAL alien and being such is in violation of the U.S. Law. She should be held accountable and be subject to the appropriate legal action. Those who argue differently and come to her defense are members of the various “humanitarian and religious groups in the area who have a vested interest (along with the local businesses who seek cheap labor) in maintaining high immigration numbers (both legal and illegal). Their “shared conviction” is to open the doors to this country to the billion people (estimated by the United Nations) in dire straits economically and nutritionally without regard to the subsequent environmental impact. The United States has always had limited LEGAL immigration from the 1770’s to the 1960’s which was around 250,000—nearly a quarter of what it is today. This all changed with the enactment of an immigration reform act in 1965 which was passed with a inadvertent loophole “family reunification” that allowed immigrants to later bring in extended family members who in return could bring in their extended families. By 1968 we were taking in a half million (500,000) immigrants and in the 1990s immigration averaged a million newcomers a year. As a nation we must address the issue and come to terms with population control and immigration (legal and illegal). That issue must not be determined by religious groups and business interests who benefit from high population growth

      • “She should be held accountable” for obeying/accompanying her parents when she was six?

        It’s frustrating that people stubbornly confuse the DREAM Act with amnesty.

        Not. The. Same. Thing.

        Read it and see for yourselves. It’s very conditional.

        And if you’re truly concerned about population and environmental stability, look to NAFTA as the cause of many of those problems south (and now north) of the border.

      • Do tell, how did the US limit immigration during the 1770’s? Or even the 1870’s?

        • seth says:

          pick on the low hanging fruit much?

          • Jeremy Aldrich says:

            Jump in to criticize without contributing anything much?

            As I understand his argument, the question speaks to one of the underlying fallacies which drives his conclusion. If it is true that the US has always recognized *limited* immigration as necessary to its survival as a nation, and that “family reunification” poses a threat to those limits, then his conclusion that a looser immigration policy may lead to overpopulation has more weight. However, as it can be easily established that his presupposition is false, the conclusion is built on a fallacy.

          • seth says:

            i’m just dissapointed that you continue to hammer this. you know as well as i do that whatever immigration policy was in the past, it needs to be updated to reflect our current situation. i can understand that it’s easier to address people spouting off skewed or completely inaccurate information than it is to consider serious questions of the economic viability of an influx of workers who likely don’t have a place in our contemporary economy or whether our immigration policies should truly be fair to everyone or favor certain groups. what i can’t understand is how that strikes you as a way to begin approaching solutions.

          • Jeremy Aldrich says:

            “Disappointed”? Do you even know me personally?

            We’ve got several nested issues which deserve to be considered separately, but which are often flattened into one half-baked, underinformed point of view, often expressed in the rhetorical question “What part of ILLEGAL don’t you understand?”.

            Here are three layers of this that keep getting conflated:

            1. The question of limits on immigration overall – here you’re dealing with issues like the philosophical underpinnings of our national ideals, the historical analysis of attitudes towards immigrants and the (false) predictions about how new immigrants would never assimilate and take away jobs from non-immigrants, and the practical questions related to economic impact (positive and negative) of immigration.

            2. The question of what to do with the undocumented people inside the US right now, who have jobs (or else they’d have no way of eating) – how can you say there aren’t enough jobs for them when they already hold those jobs? Other issues: fair consequences for those who crossed illegally or overstayed visas, what to do about the underground economies and false identities that are byproducts of the current system, etc.

            3. The question of what to do with children – CHILDREN – who were brought here by their parents and know no other homeland. People like Isabel.

            This thread is supposed to be about the fairly straightforward and obvious solutions in the DREAM Act for the third group, but some folks keep trying to make it about the first or the second issues.

      • JGFitzgerald says:

        Why do some folks always capitalize “illegal”? Is it an acronym?

        • Some folks like to always capitalize “illegal” because some many of you appear to keep overlooking the meaning of the word.

          • Jeremy Aldrich says:

            God help us all, and especially you, if everyone who committed misdemeanors could be branded as “illegal” human beings.

          • Brooke says:

            Well said, Jeremy. Most of us are ILLEGAL drivers. Ever speed? Not come to a complete stop? Make an illegal U-Turn? Your broke the law, you are now ILLEGAL.

          • No, Brooke, you’re not illegally present, you merely committed an illegal act…helluva big difference…you, Jermy, et al., just don’t have the ability to engage in a morally honest discussion.

          • JGFitzgerald says:

            No, Dave, it’s not that any of us is morally dishonest. It’s just that whenever the topic of immigration comes up, there are those (I’ll keep it impersonal) for whom the conversation begins and ends with the word “illegal.” If I refer to someone as undocumented and someone comes back with a comment that refers to them as illegal, we can still have a debate about guest worker programs, the DREAM Act, company audits versus raids, and the other details of the issue. It’s just that a lot of us don’t want to have a debate about using one word versus another. That’s not what the debate comes down to for us, and a lot of us are not going to treat the semantics as the core of the topic. It’s like Harry Truman’s story about someone asking Bess if she could get him to quit saying “manure.” She said they didn’t have any idea how long it took her to get him to say “manure.” Nobody’s trying to get you to refer to manure. But the entire debate can’t be you trying to get us to say something else.

          • What exactly are your “morally honest” views on following laws, Dave?

          • Watch, folks, here comes an ad hominem attack, directed at me, from Jeremy.

            What laws are you referring to, Jeremy?

          • Brooke says:

            Since when did you suddenly become concerned about ad hominem attacks, Dave? You’ve been dishing them out left and right since this debate began. Heck, you just finished telling me I lacked the ability to engage in a “morally honest discussion.” If that isn’t ad hominem I don’t know what is.

          • No, Brooke, stating that you lack the ability to engage in a morally honest discussion is not an ad hominem attack…now if I called you fat, that would be engaging in an ad hominem attack, as well as being false.

            You see the difference, right? Words have meaning…ad hominem attacks attack the messenger, as opposed to the message.

          • And, Jeremy, my opinion on following laws would depend exactly on what laws you’re speaking of.

            For example, it used to be law here in Virginia, that interracial marriage was illegal….

            Perhaps you’re assuming that because one was charged with an offense, that they actually violated a law.

            Why not be very specific here, Jeremy, so I can best answer your question.

            And, Brooke, I am of the opinion, that you may not know what an ad hominem attack is.

          • Brooke says:

            On the contrary, Dave. When you decided to veer away from the topic, which was illegal immigration, and instead chose to make the rather bold pronouncement that I, and my fellow posters, did not have the ability of engaging in morally, you stopped engaging in debate, and started hurling personal insults. You implied, rather directly, that we, as people, were incapable of honest discourse. In doing so, you attacked us personally, instead of sticking the debate.

            I am well aware of what an ad hominem attack is, and that, I believe, qualifies.

          • Wrong, Brooke. My comment about your ability (or lack thereof) to engage in a morally honest conversation was strickyl limited to this conversation.

          • Brooke says:

            You sir, are full of beans. LOL

          • *Rolls eyes.*

            This conversation is going nowhere, and has wandered so far very from the DREAM Act.

            Take a step back and look at it.

            “No, you’re wrong!”
            “No, it’s you who are wrong!”
            “Ha! You are the wrongest!”

            Gag.

            Please. Take a break from it, and think long and hard about what you’re posting before you hit Submit. What are you accomplishing?

          • Obviously, Brooke, it was a categorical message, as I’ve found myself agreeing with you in many of your postings.

      • eso says:

        Wikipedia’s article on “family reunification” says permanent residents are allowed to sponsor family members for immigration to the US. Is there anything in this bill that would prevent illegals given permanent residency from sponsoring those who brought them here illegally to begin with?

  2. Brent, I think you meant to write “illegal alien” as opposed to “unauthorized immigrant”….since we’ve long since established illegal penetration of our borders is a crime, punishable by imprisonment and deportation.

    You people who desire open borders, a question. When you leave your car or home, do you lock the doors? If so, why?

    • No, I wrote what I meant to write, Dave. They are unauthorized immigrants. People. Aliens fly around in UFOs, abducting people that listen to Coast-to-Coast.

      According to McNamara, Castillo came here when she was six, with her parents. That’s who the DREAM Act is specifically tailored to — not the adults who crossed, but their children who are too young to remember their land of their birth. Read the bill.

      Or, we could continue to pay for their primary education, and THEN kick them out, along with our taxpayer investments.

      • Emmy says:

        Thank you Brent!

      • No, Brent, “alien” is the term use in the United States Code, obviously substituted for the word “foreigner”.

        While the child may not have had criminal intent by penetrating our border, the child nonetheless broke the law by accompanying their parents.

        • And, actually, Brent, I’d prefer that government at any level didn’t force us to pay taxes to educate illegal alien children, either.

        • Interesting that you didn’t seize on the “unauthorized” versus “illegal” bit – maybe because you know that the law usually refers to them as “unauthorized aliens” rather than “illegal aliens”, which was your suggestion?

    • Jeremy Aldrich says:

      1. Deportation is not a criminal punishment.
      2. If a country is like a house or a car, whose “house” is it? Yours? Mine? Ours together? Someone else’s? Who’d we/they inherit it from and who are we/they leaving it to after death? And who are you to say who does and doesn’t get let into the “house”?

      • I didn’t say it was, Jeremy. Deportation is an administrative function to remove the illegal alien from the United States.

        The country is akin to a house, owned by the citizenry. I can say I inherited my place here from the many ancestors I’ve had here since four came over on the Mayflower. We leave the country to the succeeding generations of citizens.

        The law of the United States say who can and cannot come in. Congress passed the laws, the Executive Branch of the government is supposed to enforce those laws…

        If government teachers actually taught about the Constitution and government in our government schools, you’d already know this.

        No, answer my question, Jeremy. Do you lock the doors to your car and your house and for what purpose do you do so, if you do?

        • You said, quote: “we’ve long since established illegal penetration of our borders is a crime, punishable by imprisonment and deportation”. But you knew deportation wasn’t a criminal punishment? OK. In that case you were being intentionally deceptive.

          The country is like a house, that you got from your Mayflower illegal immigrant ancestors? My folks were here in the 1600’s too, but I guess your say is more important. Our country, state, and city have a lot of unenforced laws – generally because they are poorly conceived, hard/impossible to enforce, and/or antiquated.

          I do lock the doors on my private property, but I don’t lock the gates to the public park to keep out folks I don’t want there, or bar the roadways from drivers I don’t care for, even those who drive without a license!

          • By the way, let me say that there is a false dichotomy between secure borders and a sensible immigration policy. We can have both.

            I don’t want terrorists, drug dealers, or escaping convicts to cross our border. But that doesn’t mean I want to use the border security helicopters, dogs, and guards to chase down every nonviolent person coming here for a better life.

          • So, Jeremy, what do you lock the door to you house for?

            I mean, by doing so, you’re keeping out any non-violent person who wants to enter.

            And it wasn’t “my say”…the legislation was enacted by the Congress of the United States. If you people don’t like the law, get the law changed.

            Jeremy, have you ever engaged in any activity that has resulted in the creation of a law, or a change to current law?

            I have several to my credit because I not only don’t trust government, I don’t coddle it in the way you appear to:

            http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+22.1-277.07C1

            http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?091+ful+CHAP0706+hil

            http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?081+ful+CHAP0136+hil

            As well as buttloads of legislation designed to either give Virginia’s public colleges and universities the ability to independently regulate firearms or not — all of which has failed.

        • kuato says:

          Ah, the Mayflower. The famous vessel that carried the very first illegal immigrants to our shores.

          For those who don’t know, the Pilgrims were in a very specific sense illegal immigrants. The Mayflower was not originally destined for Plymouth. It was supposed to land in Jamestown – a legal colony established by royal charter. For unknown but possibly obvious reasons, the separist Puritans aboard chose NOT to land among the Anglicans in Jamestown and instead travelled further north and establish the colony of Plymouth. Plymouth had no royal charter – no legal right to exist – and the Pilgrims had no legal right to or ownership of the land which they chose to occupy. This problem was remedied later when Plymouth was declared an illegal colony by the King and absorbed by the Massachussetts Bay Colony, which had taken the trouble to established itself legally by royal charter.

          The Pilgrims were criminals.

          • seth says:

            drunks too. i heard a story on npr last week about how one of the first things they did was plant their apple trees so they could ferment cider and get hammered as soon as possible.

            but i digress.

            i think this thread will be better if we try to stay on topic and not prove how much irrelevant information we know or someone else doesn’t.

          • kuato says:

            My comment is relevant, Seth.

            Briggman argued that he his right to live in America is derived from his ancestry – four of Briggman’s ancestors arrived on the Mayflower. I am simply pointing out that Briggman’s right is predicated on an illegal act, or more specifically, illegal immigration. His ancestors immigrated to Plymouth in direct violation of established law, yet Briggman is clearly proud of his ancestry. This notion is inconsistent with Briggman’s passionate opposition to the DREAM Act, especially since his ancestors were adults who made a choice to violate the law, and the direct beneficiaries of the DREAM Act are children whose immigration was not a matter of personal choice.

          • Alright, kuato, I’ll bite:

            What law specifically, did my ancestors violate by coming here on the Mayflower?

            Did the alien pilgrims violate any law HERE by colonizing this country? As I recall, initially the Indians and pilgrims got along famously, until of course the diseases we brought over with us began to wipe out the Indians.

          • seth says:

            your comment is trying to score points in your battle of wits with briggman (never get involved in a land war in Asia), and it does very little to address contemporary issues (unless you somehow find the secret key to convincing people like briggman that they really are just like today’s undocumented immigrants, and even then it seems to me that you’d deserve your own thread for that).

          • kuato says:

            well, no, Seth.

            The history of immigration to our country is directly relevant to the debate in the modern context, mostly because it is too often distorted to justify the sense of entitlement embraced by modern nativists. It’s not a bad idea to combat those delusions with a little historical perspective. BTW – loved the “land war in Asia” comment!

            And Dave, the Pilgrims violated English law by establishing a colony without a charter (a point I made clear in my original post). They were later punished by their government for breaking that law. When Plymouth tried to apply for a charter decades after the fact, their application was denied and their territories were confiscated and deeded to the Massachussetts Bay colony.

            As for relations with the Indians, the Pigrims made their original home on land left vacant by an Indian tribe decimated by smallpox (they were led there by Squanto, a survivor of that holocaust). They set almost immediately to robbing graves in search of riches, and harvesting crops planted by the previous tenants. I can provide endless gory details of the relationship between Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors if you would like, but it might suffice to simply say that the stories we tell ourselves about our grand beginnings are more like folklore than history. Plymouth Rock, for example,didn’t exist until it was set up as a tourist site in the 20th century – which of course makes sense to anyone who has ever been on a boat. You don’t “land” on rocks.

        • Lost Sheep says:

          “If government teachers actually taught about the Constitution and government”

          Mr. Briggman, this statement is offensive to local government teachers and I suspect it is also uninformed. I do not understand how you can speak with any certainty about what is or is not being taught in local government classes.

          • Well, “Lost Sheep”, I’ve never much been concerned about offending people. And I know several government and other government school teachers…I know what’s being taught in the classrooms — at least in the County Schools.

  3. seth says:

    do you guys believe that the united states can take as many of the world’s people who are searching for a better future as want to come here? i’m curious as to whether, in your mind, there’s a line anywhere and if so, where it lies.

    • Speaking for myself, yes (to the first question).

      Historically (until the 1920s), we let in everyone who came here to work. In fact, for most of our country’s history NO documentation was needed to enter the country. Even at Ellis Island, only 2% of people were turned back – and then mostly for carrying contagious diseases or being mentally ill.

      Bear in mind that getting permission to live and work here and obtaining citizenship are different things, and that most social programs are off limits even to legal immigrants who aren’t citizens.

      In the US, our population density is significantly below the world average, so it’s hard to argue we’re “too crowded already”. But if we do get too crowded, we can just merge with Canada or something. :-)

      And don’t fool yourself into thinking that billions of people would come here – most are happy where they’re at, but America is particularly attractive (as it has always been) to people who are willing to work hard, take risks, and desperate to improve the lives of their families. Those are just the kind of people that made this country great in the first place.

      • seth says:

        thanks for the intelligent response. another thing that i wonder about is whether it’s fair that things like the dream act, that are ostensibly motivated by a sense of human decency and fairness (i believe that there’s at least a little bit of political maneuvering in the mix there as well) would likely disproportionately benefit the hard working people of specific, geographically near countries.

        i don’t have a problem with the dream act in and of itself. i do think that changing our drug policy and securing our borders would do a lot more to bring about a more sensible immigration policy than just focusing on the feel good parts though.

      • seth says:

        jeremy,
        i was thinking about this last night and while i think you make good points, i’m not sure that it’s completely intellectually honest to say that because this country hardly restricted immigration around the turn of last century (and it worked out pretty well for us) that the same model would work equally well at this point in time. the largest impediment i see to that line of reasoning is that we have nowhere near the amount of unskilled manufacturing jobs that we did at the height of the industrial revolution (just talking off the top of my head here, i really don’t have hard #s to back that up). i’m sure there are many jobs that are and will continue to be suited for unskilled laborers, but i think it’s important to distinguish that this is not the country/economy it was during the time to which you refer.

        • Brooke says:

          And seth, you also make a good point. You really do. We can’t have an open border policy. We DO need some sort of process and restrictions to make sure that the people here are one’s that are here for the right reasons, and want to actually work hard and contribute to society.

          But, to be fair, the reason the “old days” often comes up is so many railing against illegal immigration, and touting “coming here the right way” often point to their forebearers and how they came here “the right way” and “why can’t these people come here the right way like my [insert degree of “great”ness]grandpa did.”

          The point not necessarily being that we should do exactly as we’ve always done, but that it is a far more complex, and for some people, impossible process to come here “the right way” than it was in the time of many of our immigrant ancestors. Heck, on my mom’s side, none of my ancestors really came here “legally.” On one side, they came here before there was a country to really have immigration laws. On the other, they were part of a group of people expelled from Canada, and the U.S. just kind of absorbed them (Acadians). While it certainly has never been “easy” for anyone to immigrate to these shores, the process is very, very different, and a LOT harder than it was for most of our ancestors. What have most of us done to “earn” our citizenship?

          And then we get the folks who rail about how [they believe] all illegal immigrants do is come here, contribute to crime, steal jobs, refuse to learn English, and raise their children to do the same. Yet, when we have an extremely articulate individual come here and talk about how they were brought here as a toddler, grew up, studied hard and finished school, all in fluent English, what response do they receive? One’s like Dave gave to Unus Multorum. Completely ignoring the fact that this is a person who was here through no fault of their own, worked hard, and seems to be a contributing member of American Society.

          This isn’t about rewarding the parents. It’s about NOT punishing the children, yes, even after they’ve grown up. Most of these have lived here the vast majority of their lives. It seems odd to send them back to a country many of them have never really known. Makes about as much sense as sending the decendants of Pilgrims (who as it’s been pointed out also came here “illegally”) back to England.

          • I’m sorry, Brooke.

            What evidence do you have that Unus Multorum is a contributing member of society? If her or she is working, they would appear to be doing so illegally, wouldn’t they?

          • Brooke says:

            What evidence do you have that they are NOT contributing to society? “Innocent until proven guilty” and all of that. Seems to me the preponderance of evidence we do have would suggest that the poster is and has been working to better themselves, which benefits society.

          • Like I wrote, Brooke.

            I’m not necessarily against the concept of the DREAM Act, I just want everybody to stop trying to cover the issue with politically correct rhetoric which has no basis in the laws of our country.

            By definition, Unus Multorum, is an illegal alien, so if they’re working, both that person as well as their employer are violating federal law.

          • Brooke says:

            You have failed to demonstrate where I have engaged in politically correct speech, Dave, so your point is kind of moot. I believe I used the term illegal immigrant repeatedly. So, your beef would be what, exactly?

            If you’re not against the DREAM act, then you’ll be happy to know it should provide a remedy for people like Unus Multorum, who WANT to be here “legally,” are only here illegally because of something that happened TO them as a child (brought here illegally by parents), and who have otherwise, proven to be hard working residents (legally or otherwise) in our country.

            I would think you’d be all over it, Dave, no matter what terminology is used, because it provides a manner for these young men and women (and children) to gain their citizenship and become “legal” if you prefer.

            So, semantics aside, what is your real grip here?

          • Brooke says:

            *gripe* not grip. LOL

  4. David Miller says:

    Lord No, there’s no room, we’re all full up here! I mean, when my ancestors came here it was different, plus I prefer letting NAFTA manufacturers avoid minimum wage laws here by hiring below the border.

    National borders are a thing of the economic past for everyone except the poor, let’s make sure that doesn’t change?!

    Seth, all sarcasm aside: Attacking the poor for their need to migrate after our economic policies (especially corn subsidies) have ruined their livelihoods is egregious. If you want justice, seek it for all

  5. Emmy says:

    #1 Not everyone wants to come here. In fact, a lot of people would never dream of coming here and might even laugh at the idea.

    #2 When did they change the words on the Statue of Liberty to read “No Vacancy”?

    • Emmy, your tremendous lack of education is showing in your second point.

      It’s the Statue of Liberty, not the Statue of Immigration.

      You probably think these words appear somewhere on the Statue:

      ““Give me your tired, your poor, your hungry, huddled masses…”

      Nice try, but bzzzzz. Wrong…those word were contained in a poem written to raise money for the construct of the pedestal on which the Statue sits.

      The Statue was created to commemorate the Declaration of Independence. The French gave it to us as a gift.

      The light on the Statue was designed to shine liberty to the world, not as a GPS device to attract aliens here from around the world.

      So don’t join in on the bastardization of the Statue of Liberty, Emmy. At least one reader of this blog knows better.

      • Emmy says:

        “Emmy, your tremendous lack of education is showing in your second point.”

        Well at least it’s just in this one post and not in every post like some others who post here.

      • Jeremy Aldrich says:

        “The New Colossus’ is a sonnet by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887), written in 1883 and, in 1903, engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the Statue of Liberty.”

        Bzzzz yourself.

      • Unus Multorum says:

        Quickly…I normally don’t get involved in these discussions but Dave Briggman’s ignorance left me no choice but to jump into the fray. Before I go on I will admit that I am bias in the situation. I am a 26 year old undocumented immigrant living in this country since the age of 2. I am also a college graduate (Queens College ’07 cum laude) whose life has been totally permeated by my status… that being said, Dave, you are right. That poem was not part of the actual statue. The poem was put in at the base of the statue… The government did not want to fund the statue. The so called natives of the day(ancestors of the Mayflower pilgrims, like yourself)did not want it. So who funded the base? The immigrants. The immigrants of Boston battled it out with the immigrants of New York to raise enough money to pay for the base of the statue and placement of the statue. Finally, the New Yorkers won out. I don’t understand how you can say bastardization of the statue keeping in mind the actual history of it. I mean you being a true objective American History buff… The statue is a lighthouse after all. Lighthouses are intended to direct ships towards a safe passage, so your gps alien comment just makes you look like a bitter ignorant ranter. So my question to you Dave is what actually is it that you know better than others here because i don’t see it…

        • http://videos.mediaite.com/embed/player/?layout=&playlist_cid=&media_type=video&content=5JHBCB08RRY01X1M&widget_type_cid=svp” width=”420″ height=”421″ frameborder=”0″ marginheight=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ scrolling=”no” allowtransparency=”true”

          • You’re really taking this in a pointless direction, but you know, even if you want to hone in on the Declaration of Independence, there are some pretty good words in there related to “open borders”:

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

            and one of their complaints against King George:

            “He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.”

            It’s fairly obvious to any serious student of history that most of the founding fathers did not perceive peaceful immigration as something to be feared or limited. Many didn’t even want it to be regulated at all!

        • Yes, Unus Multorum, I know nothing…except that you’re an illegal alien, unable to legally work in this country…so why haven’t you returned from whence you came as you obviously are smart enough to know that your very presence in this country is a violation of federal law.

        • seth says:

          unus, can you give us an idea of how the loan process worked for you/the that issues surround financing higher ed when you’re not a documented individual? i was reading yesterday and while it seems pell grants and the like are the only things from which you’d necessarily be excluded, i wonder how easy it is to procure a student loan when one has such limited employment prospects upon completing their degree. what i’m really curious about is whether the dream act would increase college or military enrollment more and whether this would be stratified according to socioeconomic position.

          • eso says:

            I was recently at a boot camp graduation. They granted full citizenship, not residency status, to multiple people who had completed boot camp. The speaker said there was a statue or executive order that allowed expediting the process to people who served during a time of war.

            In respect to military service, the Dream Act is currently not needed, and is a step down from current practice.

          • seth says:

            that’s interesting. i still expect that the dream act will put more people in the military than it will in institutions of higher ed.

      • kuato says:

        “Emmy, your tremendous lack of education is showing in your second point.”

        Poor form, Dave. You owe Emmy an apology. I would argue that, apart from being totally without class, your comment offends the “Golden Rule” of this forum that no “mean-spirited comments” should be made.

        Unless you think we should all start posting our credentials along with our screen names?

  6. JGFitzgerald says:

    Two things about the Dream Act:

    First: It doesn’t apply to people who came here; it applies to people who were brought here, and grew up here.

    Second: Yes, the immigration laws apply to these young people; but they’re not the ones the laws were written about.

  7. Bazrik says:

    I love it – black and white.

    Our country seems to lack a full spectrum when it comes to our view of issues. Nothing but black and white. Look at these comments, and see how ridiculous our statements get when we refuse to back down an inch.

    Case in point – “While the child may not have had criminal intent by penetrating our border, the child nonetheless broke the law by accompanying their parents.” Really?? We can’t just say that the parents broke the law, and that the TWO YEAR OLD had nothing to do with it?? Where’s the common sense? If you find yourself this unwilling to find any middle ground – congratulations, you’re a fanatic.

    Another case in point – should we maintain our borders in the same manner as we did when the Statue of Liberty was erected? Probably not! It’s naive to think nothing has changed – that we don’t need to change policy to regulate immigration in today’s US. Not shut it down completely. Not let it run wild. Regulate it – so we don’t have a trillion people in this country.

    What’s wrong with America? Each side is trying to blame the other for “what’s wrong with America”! …instead of working together (in the slightest) to find solutions that work for contemporary society.

    Don’t believe me? Well, just look at most of this conversation.

    • seth says:

      my man

    • Lowell Fulk says:

      I kind of like this Bazrik.

    • Brooke says:

      Well said. We need to listen to both sides, and work together to find workable solutions to what is a very real, but very complex, problem.

    • JohnLL says:

      Finally, a wise word in this thread. Thank you, Bazrik. In my opinion, you could substitute Bazrik’s words for many, many “discussions” that take place in this country. JLL

    • Jeremy Aldrich says:

      While I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t appreciate the misrepresentation of my views.

      I don’t think we need zero border security, but I do think that we need a fair immigration policy – they are not the same thing though they are interrelated. Talk about extremes – a trillion people? As several of us have stated, even with the openest of immigration policies, that ain’t gonna happen because a) there aren’t that many people in the world and b) most people are happy where they’re at. It’s also worth mentioning that we live in one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world.

      Although my views on the immigration issue may seem extreme to some, I was answering a direct question about what I wanted – not what I thought was workable in the next few years, but what I think about the subject philosophically.

      I am all for working together. What suggestions do you have for finding a middle ground between “deport em all” and “let everyone in”? Here are some I have raised before in threads on hburgnews: a big fine in exchange for legal status for current undocumented immigrants, expanding border security efforts at the same time as reforming the laws related to the people already here (not as a precondition to doing so), and extending the guest worker program. Your turn!

      • Bazrik says:

        Easy there, hoss. I think we’re actually agreeing, and I didn’t mean to misrepresent your facts. …I was kind of assuming that you/everyone would recognize “a trillion” as an obvious and intentional exaggeration. I should have said “zillion”. …or maybe “gazillion”?

        Anyway, you’re pouncing a little prematurely here. I totally agree with your sentiment that we need a “fair immigration policy”, and you’re last two suggestions of “expanding border security efforts at the same time as reforming the laws related to the people already here, and extending the guest worker program” is right on-track, I believe. Hear hear!

        What I do NOT agree with is that we live in a “sparsely populated” country. Please, do not base that simply on global comparison. Just because other nations DO have overly dense populations doesn’t mean that they SHOULD. The average gets quickly distorted when you factor in all the nations with extremely dense populations without looking at how they suffer economically and especially environmentally. Do we really want to achieve the same levels as areas of China, certain African nations, etc.? Absolutely not.

        Plus, we have huge imbalances in this country – the “average” factors in states like Florida AND states like Utah. Heck, even VA is over-crowded.

        Again – there’s a big difference between “can” and “should”, and we should be setting a much better standard for what we should do re: population in this country. Over-population is, after all, the root of SO many evils.

        So, relax, breathe, and know we share a good deal in common in terms of views on this issue. Hopefully I made some sense to you as well.

        • Barzik,

          Sorry, but your claims about the US being in any danger of being overpopulated are sheer nonsense. I just checked Wikipedia. On their list of countries in order of population density out of 239, the US comes in at #178. Sure there are densely populated poor countries like Bangladesh or Haiti, but then there are very well off densely populated ones as well, such as Singapore, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Germany. Indeed, if you do a simple correlation, the relation between real per capita income and population density by country in the world is positive.

          Dave,

          I would appreciate it if you would drop your claim that the US is “like a house.” This legal and philosophical nonsense. Even if one could maintain that claim, the identification of people illegally immigrating to the US with someone “breaking into your house” is serious nonsense. People breaking into your house are generally doing so to commit a serious crime, such as robbery or worse. People immigrating, whether legally or illegally, are mostly coming to work and make money and not to break the law beyond maybe the laws on immigration. Indeed, the evidence shows that immigrants have lower crime rates than native born citizens.

          Much of the crime on the border that has people in AZ upset is due to the drug wars. Legalizing and regulating marijuana would go a long way to ending that nonsense, and we could help ourselves out fiscally by taxing it as we do with alcohol and cigarettes. Would really help out the mess in the California budgets.

          Regarding effectively telling U.M. he should go back where he came from, this is a perfect example of how unfair the current laws are and why they need changing. Someone who came here at age 7 should go back to where they came from? Really? This is simply outrageous. Change the law.

          Oh, and I know that you claim to be a libertarian. Why then are you so in favor of Big Government limiting the freedom to move? As has been pointed, this view is in contradiction to that of the Founding Fathers.

          • Bazrik says:

            Hi Barkley – that’s great that Wikipedia put the numbers straight, but I never claimed the US was overpopulated – check my statement before you go so far as to claim it “sheer nonsense”.

            There are overpopulated PARTS of the US, and I’ll say again – we shouldn’t “relax” just because we’re not currently grossly overpopulated. Once you get there, it’s really hard to turn back, I think you’d agree.

            Also, check your Wikipedia for pollutants in relation to population.

            Completely agree on your other points, thanks.

          • seth says:

            good points barkley,
            but while we could certainly put a lot more people in montana, the dakotas, etc, i don’t know what they’d do there (which gets back to the question i asked jeremy (is it honest to act as if we could provide jobs for an unlimited amount of unskilled workers. i don’t know where these jobs would be and i’m curious as to whether the belief is that our manufacturing sector would pick up if we had a work force which would allow us to drive wages down or if the thought is that more service type opportunities would continue to be created)).

            in terms of reforming drug policy, i’ve said before that i think it would have a much more immediate and effective impact than a lot of the feel good stuff that’s used to appeal to the political base. i would however caution that acting as if this is a simple, cut and dried issue of legalizing pot fails to recognize the complex and likely problematic effects this would have. as i understand it, many of the cartels are now making the lion’s share of their money in meth. while i don’t really care what individuals choose to put in their bodies (and i dont’ see how being an alcoholic is necessarily preferrable to being a tweaker), i believe that saying that legalizing/regulating pot would magically eliminate the crime associated with illegal drugs coming over the border is inaccurate.

          • Professor Rosser, I’m of the opinion, unlike many — if not most — in the Libertarian Party that we are a sovereign country. We are as such because we have clear, well-defined borders. We have a federal government, charged with keeping those who aren’t here legally OUT.

            In furtherance of that, the federal government has granted to state and local law enforcement officers, the ability to have specific officers enabled under Section 287(g) to enforce immigration laws against illegal aliens.

            I’m not going to drop the claim that the US is like a house. It’s a house that belongs to the people born in the house — even to those born of illegal aliens here in our country. Most people I know, what to know who they’re letting into their house and prohibitively lock their doors to keep those who aren’t wanted in their homes OUT.

            It’s a really simple concept and, aside from a security standpoint, is a policy most families use to secure their homes from similar people — both known and unknown — out of their homes.

          • Professor Rosser, can you cite your source for stating that ILLEGAL immigrants have “lower crime rates” than native-born citizens? you didn’t use the term in your original statement, but we’re discussing ILLEGAL aliens.

            Now, I have a WorldNetDaily.com article, that states that illegal aliens kill 11 Americans daily, which annual total appears to surpass troop deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. That article is here:

            http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=39031

            Now, I also have an article which cites congressional testimony from John Morganelli, a former Democrat nominee for PA Attorney General (I believe johnmorganelli.com is his website)…his testimony includes:

            “Unfortunately, the majority of illegal aliens who are here are engaged in criminal activity. Identity theft, use of fraudulent social security numbers and green cards, tax evasion, driving without licenses represent some of the crimes that are engaged in by the majority of illegal aliens on a daily basis merely to maintain and hide their illegal status.

            In addition, violent crime and drug distribution and possession is also prevalent among illegal aliens. Over 25% of today’s federal prison population are illegal aliens. In some areas of the country, 12% of felonies, 25% of burglaries and 34% of thefts are committed by illegal aliens.”

            Along with his testimony are some pretty telling stats that seem to clearly REFUTE your statement:

            * In Los Angeles, 95% of some 1,500 outstanding warrants for homicides are for illegal aliens. About 67% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants are for illegal aliens.
            * There are currently over 400,000 unaccounted for illegal alien criminals with outstanding deportation orders. At least one fourth of these are hard core criminals.
            * 80,000 to 100,000 illegal aliens who have been convicted of serious crimes are walking the streets. Based on studies they will commit an average of 13 serious crimes per perpetrator.
            * Illegal aliens are involved in criminal activities at a rate that is 2-5 times their representative proportion of the population.
            * In 1980, our Federal and state facilities held fewer than 9,000 criminal aliens but at the end of 2003, approximately 267,000 illegal aliens were incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities at a cost of about $6.8 billion per year.
            * At least 4.5 million pounds of cocaine with a street value of at least $72 billion is smuggled across the southern border every year. ..
            * 56% of illegal aliens charged with a reentry offense had previously been convicted on at least 5 prior occasions.
            * Illegal aliens charged with unlawful reentry had the most extensive criminal histories. 90% had been previously arrested. Of those with a prior arrest, 50% had been arrested for violent or drug-related felonies.
            * Illegal aliens commit between 700,000 to 1,289,000 or more crimes per year.
            * Illegal aliens commit at least 2,158 murders each year – a number that represents three times greater participation than their proportion of the population.
            * Illegal alien sexual predators commit an estimated 130,909 sexual crimes each year.
            * There may be as many as 240,000 illegal alien sex offenders circulating throughout America. Based on studies, they will commit an average of 8 sex crimes per perpetrator before being caught.
            * Nearly 63% of illegal alien sex offenders had been deported on another offense prior to committing the sex crime.
            * Only 2% of the illegal alien sex offenders in one study had no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.
            * In Operation Predator, ICE arrested and deported 6,085 illegal alien pedophiles. Some studies suggest each pedophile molests average of 148 children. If so, that could be as many as 900,580 victims.
            * Nobody knows how big the Sex Slave problem is but it is enormous.
            * The very brutal MS-13 gang has over 15,000 members and associates in at least 115 different cliques in 33 states.
            * The overall financial impact of illegal alien crimes is estimated at between $14.4 and $81 billion or more per year. Factor in the crime as a result of the cocaine and other drugs being smuggled in and the number may reach $150 billion per year.

          • Jeremy Aldrich says:

            Do you have a source for any of those statistics – not the webpage from which you cut and pasted, but the actual authoritative sources they came from?

          • JGFitzgerald says:

            OK, let’s review. These folks are committing 4,015 murders per year, including 1,500 unsolved ones in LA, or at least 2,158 per year. Because 4,015 is at least 2,158. You could look it up.

            They will commit 13 serious crimes each, including 8 sex crimes against 148 victims.

            Between 700,000 and 1,289,000 crimes per year. Or more. Not 1.3 million, mind you, but 1.289 million. Or more.

            Nobody knows how big one aspect of this crime is, but it is enormous. Apparently it wasn’t studied by the same people who estimated 1.289M.

            This all costs between 14.4 and 81 billion. Or more.

            All due respect, Gx, you want sources for this? Try UpIsDownNews.com.

          • David Miller says:

            Worldnetdaily.com is not a legitimate source. Almost like sourcing to republitarian.com just somehow worse

          • seth says:

            i understand your aversion to briggman’s sources, but i think the absence of a desire for sources that would corroborate the contradictory statements made above probably render the patronizing sarcasm unecessary (read, maybe ya’ll have something in common after all).

  8. eso says:

    The first ruling on Arizona’s law is expected today. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out.

  9. David Miller says:

    but its us verse them, its a zero sum game. If We give legal status then We lose something, I just can’t figure out what. I know that I should be afraid, I just haven’t figured out why yet ;)

    • Brooke says:

      You got me. All I hear is “they’re hear illegally.” So if we change things so those who want to be here “legally” can do so, then people are still pissed. I don’t get it. What did have most of us done that proves we deserve to be here more than someone who spent everything they had and risked their very life?

      • Brooke says:

        (holy typo…that should have read, “what have most of us done that proves…” sorry)

        • Lowell Fulk says:

          Why Brooke, how unpatriotic of you…

          We were born here. I know I worked hard to be born right by gosh here! Up hill while barefoot in the snow!

  10. Deb SF says:

    Dave’s not the only one who is focused on the use of the term “illegal immigrant” —

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/07/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-immigration-part-ii/60525/

    After making the point that deportation is a civil (as opposed to a criminal matter) the writer says –a snip:

    “Most nefarious to me, though, is when the “alien” drops off altogether and the adjective “illegal” is transmuted into noun, as when politicos rail against the masses of “illegals” running rampant through the land. It’s not as though undocumented immigrants have some special claim to disregard for federal regulations. At any given moment someone not far from you is probably doing one or more of the following: smoking marijuana, selling cocaine, exceeding the speed limit in a national park, downloading pirated videos, possessing an unregistered firearm, or committing any number of the vaguely defined federal crimes that populate the U.S. Code. This week law students throughout the land are taking the bar exam and I don’t doubt for a minute that some of these presumably law-respecting folk studied for it under the influence of Adderall that they didn’t get from a prescription bottle with their name on it. Don’t take it from me; take it from Ninth Circuit chief judge Alex Kozinski (no liberal, he): “You’re (probably) a federal criminal.”

    • seth says:

      i can see the utility of the analogy, but being present in this country illegally is definitely different than the other things mentioned, at least insofar as you can stop doing those things (reminds me of the old “i may be drunk, but when i wake up, i’ll be sober and you’ll still be ugly’ crack).

      • DebSF says:

        The distinction between the action and the person performing the action still holds, though. The way the language is used in this debate shapes the emotions that surround it and contributes to the irrationality and lack of real progress towards solutions.

        In my mind, Dave’s single-minded focus on the way “illegal alien” is/isn’t used in this discussion is really nonproductive, especially as he’s said a few times that he doesn’t necessarily disagree with the policies in the Dream Act. I don’t get it.

        • As your husband has been known to write, Deb: “words have meaning”. If you guys aren’t even willing to concede the status as anything except the fact that they are illegally present in the United States, then how can any honest dialog continue?

          As I have written, I have no problem with the concept of the DREAM Act, but such discussion should begin at such time all people are willing to concede that these people are illegally present in the country.

          • DebSF says:

            Words have meaning, and both labels- illegal alien and undocumented worker – refer to the same people with the same set of legal issues.

            But you’re not talking about matters of fact here, or even differences in policy. You’re loading emotional baggage on a complex issue that has deep historical roots, labeling people in a way that comes with more than a little irony.

            From historian Patricia Nelson Limerick, in her book “The Legacy of Conquest”, talking about the original inhabitants of North America:

            In the mestizo, Indian and Hispanic backgrounds met. Accordingly, as the historian George Sanchez has put it, the Mexican ‘presence in the Southwest is a product of both sides of the conquest–conquistador and victim.’ It is surely one of the greater paradoxes of our time that a large group of these people, so intimately tied to the history of North America, should be known to us under the label ‘aliens.’

          • If hburgnews had a like button, I would have clicked it for Deb’s comment above.

          • Jeremy, I’m still waiting for specific laws you were writing about…third time asking.

          • Jeremy Aldrich says:

            You already answered, Dave, when you said your “opinion on following laws would depend exactly on what laws you’re speaking of.”

            As you flesh that out further, It seems that what you’re saying is along the lines of “whether someone should follow the law depends on whether they have a good reason to disobey”.

            So it kind of makes it confusing that you keep harping on the legal aspects of crossing the border without any consideration of the ethical context of a system that provides those border crossers no legal options.

          • They have legal options, Jeremy, except their legal options are such that you, and others, apparently don’t approve of them.

        • seth says:

          i like what you say in the first paragraph (it reminds me of a story i once heard where they were discussing what word should replace ‘retarded.’ a man with a cognitive disability was asked whether he wanted to be called retarded, intellectually disabled, etc, and he responded ‘i want to be called john.’ love that).

          in terms of the words illegal/illegally etc, i can see why it’s problematic/unproductive to call a person an ‘iilegal.’ i think it is important to note that the president frequently refers to those who are here illegally or have crossed the border illegally exactly as such (even in his most recent speeches). perhaps he’s just pandering to republicans so they’ll support comprehensive reform (as is being proposed as an explanation for why he’s deporting more individuals who are present in this country illegally than did the last administration), but i think it’s probably a pretty good indication that the majority of the center in this country believes that we should use the words illegal/illegally when we’re discussing this issue(still with you on believing that it’s manupulative and inappropriate to use it as a noun).

          in terms of dave’s input being non-productive, all i can say is that at least it gets people talking. i’ve asked a number of questions in the thread, ranging from whether our current economy carries the jobs to support a massive influx of unskilled labor (that one is admittedly unrelated), whether the dream act is really fair in that it will be much easier for certain groups of immigrants to benefit from it than others, how someone who’s expected to go to school to stay here goes about financing that, and whether the dream act will affect a higher enrollment increase in academic institutioons or in the military, and for the most part, they’ve been summarily dismissed or else ignored.

          point being, i think we may need to determine whether we’re looking to have a productive dialogue or simply create a place where people can confront each other with the best claptrap rhetoric their side has to offer.

          • Deb SF says:

            Well, there’s a difference in getting people talking and working towards understanding and solutions. I am pragmatic and direct to a fault, New Englander by birth, Catholic by raising, economist by training. To me and my straightforward brain, Dave’s approach appears to be perfectly designed to derail conversations towards endless cul de sacs of nits and picks that contribute nothing to real understanding of the issues, towards seeing where the policy differences actually are. Dave, I like you, really I do, but you’re killing me here.

            The circle we return to over and over again here is pointless and unproductive. Dave demands answers to the questions he poses but generally declines to deal with issues of fairness, economics, sociology and history that surround immigration. I don’t give a rats a$$ what we call these folks. What do we *do* about the problem?

  11. Quoting Alex Kozinski?

    You mean the Judge Alex Kozinski who has an affinity to maintain a collection of pornography on his very own website?

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-kozinski12-2008jun12,0,6220192.story?page=1

    • That’s classic Briggman right there. Throwing the conversation into a black hole in order to score a cheap point about some totally unrelated matter.

  12. John says:

    That’s classic for republicans in general.

  13. Bzzzz. Not a Republican, John.

  14. David Miller says:

    I hate the reply button functionality. I cannot respond to Seth’s comment directly so here goes.

    Seth, I don’t know exactly what you meant because your sentence was a paragraph long and seemed to contradict. Please specify your meaning.

  15. cook says:

    Exasperating. Primarily because “illegal” or “lacking documentation” is a status WE have imposed on others and WE have the power to change with the stroke of a pen. That’s the part of this so-called debate that I just cannot get over.

    WE (our economy) need laborers [rabbit trail deleted] so we call and allow laborers to travel to Harrisonburg to perform work for us. WE (our government) pass laws making it unlawful for workers to work without documentation and other laws saying that these laborers do not qualify for documentation. WE (us) get all high-and-mighty saying “nation of laws” and “if they would just come the right way” and “but they’re criminals” and other moralistic nonsense.

    It really is like the speed limit. We could raise the interstate speed limit to 120, and none of us would then be illegal drivers. But that really wouldn’t be a good idea. We could lower the interstate speed limit to 20, thereby making just about everyone illegal drivers, and safer, and some of us who never drive would get all high-and-mighty about illegal drivers this and nation of laws that. But that would just be stupid. And exasperating.

    • eso says:

      Individuals are crossing the border to improve their life. I get that. It is illegal, but there are mostly small penalties applied to a small number of people. You (royal you) say it is what they need to do to have a better life, so we should legalize it and let almost anybody do it.

      That is one option. Another option would be to raise the penalties, decrease the opportunities, and widely enforce it so there would be little money to be made, and the risk and penalties overwhelm the potential gain.

      As you have said, the law can be changed. Polls show the very modest Arizona style legislation to be widely popular with the American public. Several legislators have spoken over the last couple of days on changing Birthright Citizenship. Most people recognize the current border control as ineffective, perhaps purposely so. Much of the American public thinks the correct answer is to increase border security and widening the laws against individuals and businesses who violate them. I think that is at least as likely as dropping essentially all border, immigration, and job controls.

    • David Miller says:

      I’m sure you have a point Dave, is it that immigrants drink and drive more than native born folks? Perhaps its that there are holes in our laws that allowed this to happen and need to be repaired? Is it that immigrants hate nuns? I’m just interested to know why you follow Cook’s post with a link and no context?

      Cook, good points. For this scenario I like the quote “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

    • Jeremy Aldrich says:

      So, do you think we should put mandatory breathalyzers in every car, and cops on every corner all day every day? That’s kind of the analogy with the border security thing…

  16. My “following” Aaron’s posting with the link I posted with coincidental in natural…obviously, the hydrocodone I’m take for my shoulder…

    A little paranoid, huh?

    • David Miller says:

      Only paranoid if you actually think that WND is a reliable news source ;)

      just trying to understand what your side is thinking. I’ve got to say, I can’t figure it out. Either we fix the system or we don’t and we should be debating that end result and not the current side effects of broken policy, in the meantime we’re punishing the poor and many of us find that offensive so I’m trying to understand how we can tell someone who was 2 when their parents brought them here (probably to be able to afford food for said child), that they should pack it up and return to the country of origin that they never really knew, taking the subsidized education and future productivity potential with them. This whole thing is out of control and not productive.

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