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Author Topic: Where’s The Fence?
Bokonon
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Belle, here's the thing though, if they contribute at a rate that matches their drain, then the public services side of the argument shouldn't be brought up either. And the data is mixed on that point, so we can't conclude either way, and thus I guess it probably shouldn't be used as a talking point either.

As for the rest of it, it just means we need to make it cost prohibitive to NOT properly withhold taxes. It's a screwy the system we have. By and large, those breaking the law aren't breaking any major moral/ethical tenet, but those that are not being punished, and may not even be breaking the law, technically, are the ones with more moral/ethical culpability in this issue.

-Bok

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
Belle, here's the thing though, if they contribute at a rate that matches their drain, then the public services side of the argument shouldn't be brought up either. And the data is mixed on that point, so we can't conclude either way, and thus I guess it probably shouldn't be used as a talking point either.

As for the rest of it, it just means we need to make it cost prohibitive to NOT properly withhold taxes. It's a screwy the system we have. By and large, those breaking the law aren't breaking any major moral/ethical tenet, but those that are not being punished, and may not even be breaking the law, technically, are the ones with more moral/ethical culpability in this issue.

-Bok

Ok well lets dumb it all down and say costs on the economy from immigrants total $1. Now lets ay immigrants also produce $1 from taxes, purchasing good, etc. It's negated. Well by FIXING the loopholes that allow for drain we GAIN another dollar.

Nobody can seriously argue that immigrants do not create a drain on the economy, you CAN justify what they DO do so that deporting them is not warranted. So lets fix the problems that create the drain, as well as regulating who is coming in and how often. What draw backs are there from such a course?

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Javert Hugo
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Belle, in your scenario, you DO have access to resources to help you. You do have family members willing to pay for your school. I'm not sure why you're upset that you have to turn to family instead of the government - I think we should turn to family before we turn to the government.
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the doctor
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Belle,

Did you and/or your husband report these other firms?

I ask because, I agree with you whole-heartedly that we should not let employers get away with this stuff. I also agree with you that there is an attitude in this country of looking the other way when employers are suspected of illegal employment practices. With a few notable exceptions, the employers are almost never hit with fines serious enough to make the practice unprofitable for them.

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Bokonon
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Unless of course, by fixing the problem, that new dollar is never created, since they never get hired, and the employers decide it isn't worth hiring native workers in their place.

I think many people have and due argue that illegal immigration isn't a drain on the economy... That's why people decide to hire them knowingly. The market is already giving it's answer, BB, and it's that things are working, even if unethically (which is not a problem inherently, since the market is an amoral structure). That said, changes could be made to IMPROVE market returns, while being more ethical. IMO.

-Bok

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Bob_Scopatz:
BlackBlade,

Your math is a bit off there. Supposing illegal immigrants cost a dollar and contribute a dollar, it's even NOW. Depending on what we do to inhibit the flow of illegal immigrants, their contribution may dry up, but the "costs" of the interdiction (which is already counted against them in your $1 estimate, I assume) may sky rocket.

Sorry, but without specific proposals, I don't think anyone can reasonably be expected to tell you what the drawbacks are to your course of action.

I don't even know if I would "inhibit" their ability to immigrate. Heck build a freeway from LA to Mexico City and put up a toll booth.

The reasons they drain the economy is because they send remitances home, or seek to take advantages of services here that they cannot pay for. Trauma centers in LA being a good example of this. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,150750,00.html

In Hong Kong there is a VERY vigorous prosecution of businesses that hire illegal aliens. They are hired for the same reason we hire them here, its cheaper. Start prosecuting and looking carefully at businesses that turn a blind eye and illegal immigrants will find work is not so easy to come by. They will then take steps to enter the country legally.

Obviously its EASIER for the govt of Hong Kong to address this problem, and China's booming economy is certainly helping curb illegal immigration, but I still think its the correct form of action.

I don't know maybe it would be effectively impossible to monitor every company that might hire an illegal immigrant but I think striking a decisive blow at it would help curtail illegal immigration to a significant degree.

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Bokonon
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BB, I agree with stricter enforcement on employers.

-Bok

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dkw
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The hiring people "off the books" issue is not solely an immigration issue. When we interviewed nannies we had several people who asked whether or not we were reporting the position. And when we said yes, we had one person ask if we'd consider doing it the other way so that she didn't have to pay taxes. (Note to applicant: if prospective employers have just told you that doing things legally is important to them, asking them to make an exception for you is not likely to get you the job. Especially if that job would put you in a position to be a role model to their child.) We also had applicants who were relieved when we said yes, because many families that they had interviewed did not want to pay SS and Medicare and so wanted to pay cash and not report.

The illegal immigration issue makes it safer for companies who want to pay "off the books", since undocumented workers are not likely to report the company, but citizenship status isn't the sole determiner if someone is being paid under the table. There are plenty of born-in-the-USA day laborers in the same situation. And plenty of immigrants with improper or expired documents who are paying taxes.

So basically, I agree with Belle [edit: and BlackBlade] that we need to hold companies accountable to the laws regarding employee wages, taxes, and benefits, regardless of the citizenship or immigration status of the employee.

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scholar
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I know lots of Americans who have at one time in their life been paid under the table. I even know a citizen with a masters degree who got paid under the table. I know some American citizens who work construction who get paid under the table too, so even in the construction field, it isn't the illegal alien part. My citizen friends who question have basically been told by the boss, I am paying $X for this job. You can have X or you can have x minus the costs to do it all aboveboard. Which is why I have trouble believing that immigration reform will change that problem.
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pH
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I have a friend whose ex-husband almost exclusively takes jobs under the table to stay under the radar and avoid having his wages garnished (he owes an astronomical amount of back child support).

-pH

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Belle
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quote:
Belle, in your scenario, you DO have access to resources to help you. You do have family members willing to pay for your school. I'm not sure why you're upset that you have to turn to family instead of the government - I think we should turn to family before we turn to the government.
You're not following what I'm saying in total, then. I do have the option of turning to the government but do not wish to. I DID turn to my family instead. I'm not upset at some benefits that I perceive I am not getting, I'm upset at the idea of giving such benefits to illegal aliens over US citizens. It's not about me, I just used myself as an example because I know my situation better than anyone elses'.

If you like, we can talk about some kids I met in a writing workshop offered at my college. I had to participate in the workshop for my Teaching Creative Writing class. They were fabulous kids - writing some amazing stuff, I was impressed. Several of them were from inner city Birmigham schools and did not have the money for tuition to the workshop (it's over $600, I don't have that lying around either, and I'm in better financial shape than most who live in the inner city). They got scholarships to come, and these kids, I think, got a lot of benefit out of this workshop and most of them talked excitedly about plans to attend college and continue writing and several expressed a wish to teach one day, they were asking me about the teaching program at my university.

I want THOSE kids to go to college. I think they will get a great benefit out of it and we as a society will get a great benefit out of them getting degrees and possibly teaching and inspiring another generation too. So, it's not necessarily about me, it's about those kids. And the kid who we had to turn down and no one would hire because he's American. Those are the people that I'm concerned with when I say I want consideration given to Americans or legal immigrants first. People who did things correctly, and didn't try to subvert the law, and deserve a chance.

The kid in Dag's article sounds like a great kid, and I hope he works toward obtaining legal citizenship and I wish him the best, but until then I would rather see government programs aimed toward the kids in that workshop first.

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the doctor
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Belle, did you turn in those other companies or not?
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Omega M.
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quote:
Originally posted by Icarus:

Official languages are stupid. If everybody speaks a language, then legislating it is redundant. If everybody does not, then legislating it is only a way for bigots to communicate their hatred.

Okay, but surely when the number of languages spoken in country reaches a certain number it becomes impractical for the country's government to provide for all of those languages?

I guess it wouldn't be too hard to have Spanish signs etc. in heavily Spanish areas, Chinese signs in heavily Chinese ones, etc. (since presumably people in those areas could help translate the signs); but I don't know how many languages we can mandate that everything be written in everywhere in the country.

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fugu13
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India has rather a large number of official languages. They have a thriving democracy.
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ElJay
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the doctor, Belle answered that question up-thread already, when someone else asked her.
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MrSquicky
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I thought the doctor was Bob. Am I incorrect in that assumption?

---

As far as I can see, Belle never did answer whether or not she reported them. She just said that no one cares. Although, maybe I missed it.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
India has rather a large number of official languages. They have a thriving democracy.

China has many dialects (some of which are more accurately called languages) that thrive in its provinces, but Mandarin is still taught in schools as the official language. Were it not for Emperor Qin Shi unifying the written language back in 240ish BC, China probably would not have become the empire it eventually became.

I think China is right in how it has handled this. Let cultures and dialects/languages thrive, but make sure plenty of emphasis is placed on amalgamation. A unifying sub culture or specifically a language is indispensible in this regard.

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El JT de Spang
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quote:
I want THOSE kids to go to college. I think they will get a great benefit out of it and we as a society will get a great benefit out of them getting degrees and possibly teaching and inspiring another generation too. So, it's not necessarily about me, it's about those kids. And the kid who we had to turn down and no one would hire because he's American. Those are the people that I'm concerned with when I say I want consideration given to Americans or legal immigrants first. People who did things correctly, and didn't try to subvert the law, and deserve a chance.
They can get loans, just like you could (and did, by the way), and just like your kids can if they don't get scholarships. Just because you'd prefer not to take a government loan isn't reason enough to pretend the option isn't there.
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fugu13
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China has not, in its history, been known for letting "cultures and dialects/languages thrive". I would say it is not known for that now, though it is certainly better than even a few decades ago.
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Dagonee
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quote:
What do people feel about a conditional general amnesty? We get the illegal immigrants to come forward and get them on the books, but with a conditional status. Their (for lack of a better word) "legal" status would be tied to the numbers/percentages of new, post-amnesty illegal immigrants.
I'm not following what the condition would be here. What would cause them to lose their status as legal? What would cause them to become non-conditionally legal?
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the doctor
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ElJay said
quote:
the doctor, Belle answered that question up-thread already, when someone else asked her.
oops! Sorry I missed it. I had my hearing tested yesterday and they figure I just have an attention deficit. This sort of fits with that...

Thanks Belle.

It sort of does answer my question though.

It bothers me, a bit, that you would take one person's word for it. If you have positive information that a crime is being committed, I think you should report it. It was in your best interest to do so, and in the best interest of the country, obviously.

If the official response was less than you'd hoped for, you could then escalate it.

Instead, it appears that you did the very thing you are complaining about in general -- nobody DOES anything.

I know this sounds harsh, so I should probably add that I used to do exactly the same thing. I don't any longer because I realized that the #1 factor in whether some basic laws are enforced is public concern and pressure.

That's not true for violent crime, but this "other stuff" like people hiring others under the table, or people letting others drive drunk, or without a license, etc. etc. It either comes down to average citizens making a stink, or we do just have to forget about it.

And if we forget about it, at the very least, I think we've forfeited our right to complain about the results.

[ July 03, 2007, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: the doctor ]

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MrSquicky
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quote:
I'm not following what the condition would be here. What would cause them to lose their status as legal? What would cause them to become non-conditionally legal?
Some sort of cap would be put on post-amnesty illegal immigrants. If this cap is surpassed (maybe in an area, I really don't know), their provisional "legally here" status is revoked.
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Javert Hugo
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I think tying any individual's legal status to the behavior or actions of other people is a terrible idea.
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MrSquicky
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Who is doing that?
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Javert Hugo
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You, in the previous post. An immigrant legally here status is dependent on the total numbers not increasing.

Maybe you want to reword it if that's not what you meant?

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Juxtapose
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Who ever made the proposal that Dags was responding to, I'd imagine.
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MrSquicky
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That's totally what I meant. I just don't see how that's not about their behavior.
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Juxtapose
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It'd be like deciding whether or not to punish bank robbers based on the total number robberies in the state/area.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
China has not, in its history, been known for letting "cultures and dialects/languages thrive". I would say it is not known for that now, though it is certainly better than even a few decades ago.

Could you elucidate why you believe that is the case?

Also I said cultures in TODAY's context, not historically speaking. It certainly is not close to being as allowing as say the US but its trends indicate a move towards tolerance rather then supression.

How do you think historically speaking, China has surpressed the formation of dialects/languages?

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Icarus
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
That's totally what I meant. I just don't see how that's not about their behavior.

*confused*

Are you seeing all immigrants, or all immigrants of a particular group, as one entity? It sounds like you're saying that if I'm illegal and I get this conditional amnesty, and then fifty million other people cross the border, I lose this conditional amnesty. But I have no control over the actions of those fifty million other people.

-o-

quote:
Originally posted by Omega M.:
Okay, but surely when the number of languages spoken in country reaches a certain number it becomes impractical for the country's government to provide for all of those languages?

I guess it wouldn't be too hard to have Spanish signs etc. in heavily Spanish areas, Chinese signs in heavily Chinese ones, etc. (since presumably people in those areas could help translate the signs); but I don't know how many languages we can mandate that everything be written in everywhere in the country.

First of all, I want to tell you that I was impressed with your prior post. As to your concern here, my feeling is that we've been getting along okay for the last couple hundred years without any special measures. I grew up in Miami. Street signs were not in multiple languages--with very few exceptions comprised of streets with a great deal of significance and renown in another language, such as Calle Ocho (Eighth Street). The only extra printing is generally pamphlets and such put out by the government are printed in any language that has a large number of speakers. But it costs virtually nothing more to print 800,000 pamphlets in English and 200,000 in Spanish than it does to print a million in English. Sure, there's a one-time cost for translating and another for typesetting, but that's about it. In any case, though, I'm not arguing for the government to provide for every language spoken--that was not always done, until court decisions gradually outlined that right. I'm simply arguing against unnecessary legislation whose primary purpose is--at least, in every English Only movement I've ever had experience with--to send a negative message.
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MrSquicky
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quote:
But I have no control over the actions of those fifty million other people.
That's one of the parts I don't grant.
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Dagonee
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quote:
It'd be like deciding whether or not to punish bank robbers based on the total number robberies in the state/area.
The number of instances of a particular crime is certainly factored into the severity of punishment and even whether someone is punished at all in some cases. Judges, prosecutors, police, and legislators all crack down on crimes that become too frequent.

If bank robberies went up tenfold, I bet average sentence would increase, whether from prosecutors declining to plea bargain, judges raising sentences given, or legislatures passing new penalties.

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Javert Hugo
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It's more like sentencing a bank robber and then, when more occur, increasing the first bank robber's sentence.
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MrSquicky
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Could you explain how? That seems to me to have very little correlation to what I am suggesting.
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Javert Hugo
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I am helpless to resolve your uncomprehension.
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Icarus
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
quote:
But I have no control over the actions of those fifty million other people.
That's one of the parts I don't grant.
I second what Javert said. It sounds like our disagreement is so fundamental, I don't know how to even address it. You don't grant something that seems self-evident to the point of being axiomatic to me.
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MrSquicky
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There is a generally accepted difference between inability and unwillingness. It is possible that you are, in fact, incapable, but I think you might want to at least make an attempt beforing declaring this.

I would suggest that throwing out an unsupported analogy and refrain from explaining it when asked to is not a responsible way to have a conversation.

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Icarus
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I would suggest that throwing out an unsupported analogy and refrain from explaining it when asked to is not a responsible way to have a conversation.

Out of curiosity, to what are you referring?
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Icarus
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
There is a generally accepted difference between inability and unwillingness. It is possible that you are, in fact, incapable, but I think you might want to at least make an attempt beforing declaring this.

I don't know how I would even go about trying to affect the migration patterns of people with whom I share no connection except a place of birth.

If I did, Broward County, Florida would shrivel up and blow away. [Wink]

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Dagonee
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quote:
If I did, Broward County, Florida would shrivel up and blow away.
*snort*
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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert Hugo:
It's more like sentencing a bank robber and then, when more occur, increasing the first bank robber's sentence.

This is closer to what I was trying to say.

quote:
posted by Dagonee:
If bank robberies went up tenfold, I bet average sentence would increase, whether from prosecutors declining to plea bargain, judges raising sentences given, or legislatures passing new penalties.

Through no fault of your own, you've responded to something I never meant to say, and I apologize. I also agree entirely with the content of your post, so far as it goes.

Let me retry my hand at this whole metaphor business:

Say I rob a bank. I'm caught at the scene, convicted, and put on parole. (To Mr. Squicky)Do you think it would be fair if one of the conditions of my parole conditions is that no further bank robberies occur within a 30-mile radius of me, by anyone?

If not, can you explain why you think it's different?

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Dagonee
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quote:
Say I rob a bank. I'm caught at the scene, convicted, and put on parole. (To Mr. Squicky)Do you think it would be fair if one of the conditions of my parole conditions is that no further bank robberies occur within a 30-mile radius of me, by anyone?
I'm pretty sure Squick isn't equating loss of legal status with punishment, so I think the analogy is a non-starter. We already base immigration decisions about one person on the actions of others because we have quotas.

I think his plan is unlikely to work simply because I doubt people would register for such uncertain status, though. Safer to stay below the radar entirely.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I thought the doctor was Bob. Am I incorrect in that assumption?

No, I'm pretty sure Bob's the lawyer.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by ClaudiaTherese:
quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
I thought the doctor was Bob. Am I incorrect in that assumption?

No, I'm pretty sure Bob's the lawyer.
But...Bob's your uncle, right?
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Icarus
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Bob's a pediatrician specializing in children of multiple births.

Every day, Bob sees twins.

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rivka
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*GROAN*
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Icarus
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I quite agree.

Noemon, shame on you! [No No]

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rivka
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[Razz]
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Dagonee
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From the Post:

quote:
Prince William County is moving to enact what legal specialists say are some of the toughest measures in the nation targeting illegal immigrants, including a provision that would direct police to check the residency status of anyone detained for breaking the law -- whether shoplifting, speeding or riding a bicycle without a helmet.

The measures would also compel county schools and agencies -- including libraries, medical clinics, swimming pools and summer camps -- to verify the immigration status of anyone who wants to use services in Virginia's second-largest county. Courts have upheld the right of undocumented immigrants to a public education, raising the possibility of a legal challenge.

There are serious constitutional issues with this. For one, a police officer has the right to stop someone only on reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. The stop may only extend long enough to investigate that suspicion to see if it ripens into probable cause. Prolonging the stop to check citizenship/residency without reasonable suspicion of a related crime is unconstitutional. The resolution states that the check won't extend the length of the stop, but it's hard to see how it wouldn't unless PW county is putting in one heck of a database system.

I'm also worried about speaking a language other than English becoming reasonable suspicion. Besides the fact that many people who speak something other than English are citizens or legal residents, not all people who are in the country "illegally" are committing a crime.

A couple other things really bother me:

quote:
In drafting the resolution, Stirrup worked with the Washington-based Immigration Reform Law Institute, the law firm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates tougher immigration laws. Stirrup said he did not consult with county Police Chief Charlie T. Deane, who, in an earlier letter to the supervisors about a similar measure, warned of "a potential chilling effect on witness cooperation and victim-witness cooperation."
Procedural issue: They created a major new law enforcement requirement and they didn't consult the police chief? Substantive issue: When all officers are seen as the enemy by a group, it becomes very hard to police a community. Granted, it is hard now. But there is some amount of trust between some police and some elements of the immigrant community. This will destroy that trust unless the police openly refuse to comply (something I'm not comfortable with at all, even though I don't like the resolution). If the supervisors are correct that the presence of illegal immigrants leads to crime, they're not helping matters.

In general, we don't live in a country where people have to prove their right to exist. "Show me your papers" is a stereotype of totalitarian regimes for a reason.

Finally there's what should be called the "busy-body nosy neighbor clause":

quote:
But there is one exceptional item in the resolution, Kobach said -- a provision that would give legal residents "writ of mandamus" powers, which would allow them to sue Prince William if they suspect that a county agency has failed to comply with the resolution's aim of denying services and reporting violators. Muzaffar Chishti, director of the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute's office at the New York University law school, said that particular measure is "as close to encouraging vigilante action as I have ever seen on paper."
That's all we need: a medical clinic spending its resources on defending itself from the Minutemen (who have an active, highly harassing chapter up here in NoVa).
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rivka
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Similar laws were shot down by the courts in California, IIRC. Hopefully this one will be as well.
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