Being that I believe our focus on illegal immigration takes us away, as a nation, from more serious crisis’, I thought this article was very appropriate. The full article can be found here: http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/column?oid=oid:356664

Page Two: The Politics of Distraction
In the face of failure at home and abroad, the right turns on immigrants
BY LOUIS BLACK

Imagine a modern Rip Van Winkle, someone who, a year and a half to two years back, had sunk into a deep sleep. Now, months later, RVW awakens and turns on the television news to see what he’s missed. The current, news-dominating debate over illegal immigrants and immigration comes as a surprise.
Certainly, immigration is and has been a major issue. But what about Iraq, al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden (has he been caught?), Social Security reform, national security, tax-cutting budget balancing, AIDS in Africa, spreading democracy, and battling the axis of evil, as well as reactionary political and social reform?

The intensity and sense of urgency around the immigration discussion seems disproportionately overwhelming. Even if you have been awake, but just not paying much attention, this ferocity is disconcerting. What catastrophic incident has caused this issue to be moved to the front burner, with the maximum possible heat?

Have terrorists been caught crossing our southern border? Has the drain of that population bankrupted and shredded our already shrinking, ever more flimsy social safety net? Have illegal immigrants gone on a Days of Rage-style urban rampage, leaving cities aflame? Are their numbers reaching epidemic proportions?

Some would say “yes” to all of those. They claim that illegal immigrants are “invading” the U.S., parasitically devouring public-education and health-service funds with the intent of subverting and destroying Western civilization and the American lifestyle.

Illegal immigration is a complex issue, one for which with any kind of movement is almost impossible because of the intensely concerned constituencies’ radically different agendas. Yet those opposed to open borders offer only easy answers: Implement strict border enforcement and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico now. Drive those already here home by denying them employment (by outrageously fining any American employer hiring them), education, driver’s licenses, and any public services. Concurrently, round them up to send them back home, with no possibility of returning.

There are any number of logical refutations of the above positions. It is estimated that illegal workers contribute about $10 billion to Social Security that they never collect, though they cost about $2.2 billion a year in government health services. They are crucial to the marketplace’s filling many low-level labor and service jobs Americans won’t. (Note: This is not to argue that there are no Americans who will take these jobs or even that they won’t take them at the same pay. Those are straw-man arguments – there is not a large enough American work force to do the jobs, especially at prevailing wages.) But even this brief discussion dignifies the current immigration debate.

If our Rip Winkle, a mere 18 months earlier, watched the FOX network or listened to talk radio, Iraq was overwhelmingly the predominant topic. In so many ways, it validated all of those attitudes: how right the U.S. was to be in Iraq, and how successful the occupation, as we brought democracy to the Iraqis. At the same time, this country had returned to our rightful place as the sole, dominant national power of the modern world. Democrats (read: leftists/communists/socialists/suicidal pacifists) and other anti-war activists had been proven wrong, exposed as America-haters, racists, cowards, and impractical dreamers who wanted to embrace the terrorists rather than destroy them.

Now, this might seem cheap and too convenient – a neo-leftist, misguided attempt to shift the debate away from the real problem – but, right now, go turn on talk radio. Illegal immigration is the dominant, and almost only, topic. The invasion of the country and corruption of American civilization is lamented. Americans, especially our elected leaders, are chastised for doing nothing. For the part of our population that is dependent on easy answers and needs an identifiable enemy to hate, illegal immigration is the new Iraq.

This issue certainly fits the bill, not only providing an outside “enemy,” but allowing an attack on clueless, apathetic (if not traitorous) citizens (read: liberal Democrat, anti-American, anti-moral-values, communist, socialist, fifth columnists). There are no problems that can’t be solved by attacking other Americans.

Illegal immigration is not a major problem facing the United States, though it is of genuine and contradictory concerns. The reason for its prominence is a need for enemies on the part of those who vow undying love to this country while evidencing not even limited affection for its principles.

This is 1984. Turn on talk radio. You will hear endless gibberish about illegal immigration. Iraq will be hardly mentioned, if at all. Socialist George Orwell saw this coming, as right-wing America still does not. The response to terrorism can’t be terrorism; the response to fascism can’t be fascism; and the response to anti-American rhetoric and values can’t be the destruction of the Constitution.

79 thoughts on “Illegal Immigration, “The Politics of Distraction”

  1. Censored bybvbl

    You have it all wrong. Christian conservatives are the most giving of people in time and money, to help those that are in need. What they don’t want is government sanctioned hand outs to illegal immigrants.

    IllegalisILLEGAL, do you have any data to back up your statement that Christian conservatives are more giving than any other faction?

    Let’s face it. Many wingnuts who bellyache about paying taxes are really just trying to live off the dole. They expect everyone else to foot the bill to keep their roads, their teachers’ salaries, their parks, their schools, their libraries, their emergency and police services up to date. They b!tch about paying their share and always holler that there is fat in the budget that, if cut, would miraculously pay for everything. They’re easy game for any politician who can spin up a good enemy for them to hate or blame for their lot in life.

  2. For Conservatives,

    4 wheel drives can tackle those crumbleing roads

    Policing they feel they can do better themselves,

    Insurance companies should build the hospitals, pills will take care of the rest…

    and Schools, Libraries, Parks and Teachers only lead to “Socialism”

  3. “Christian conservatives are the most giving of people in time and money, to help those that are in need.”

    You mean good Christians like Kenneth Copeland who is taking trips to European ski resorts in his private jet and living in a mansion larger than the White House in florida? He is helping the needy?

    Are these men “Conserving” the intentions of Christ? NO they are exploiting the name of Christ and living up to be everything Jesus stood against.

  4. TWINAD

    Sorry, Rick.

    I do believe the majority of American’s do want to see immigration reform…even if it means allowing a path to residency for those here illegally. If the majority of American’s didn’t think that way, then how did the two candidates for the next presidency succeed?

  5. TWINAD

    Sorry, Rick.

    I do believe the majority of American’s do want to see immigration reform…even if it means allowing a path to residency for those here illegally. If the majority of American’s didn’t think that way, then how did the two candidates for the next presidency succeed?

  6. Moon-howler

    illegalisIllegal,

    I am not sure sure that I buy that evangelical Christians are the most generous. I believe that philanthropy and acts of charity come in all religions and also amongst those with no religion. I can’t sit here and say one group is more generous than the other.

    I will say this about evangelical Christians: Some of them are some of the meanest people I have ever met. Not all evangelicals mind you, just some. I find the ones involved in politics to be particularly mean whether broadcasting from a TV station, going to a military funeral to protest, attacking a good and decent statesman like Senator Colgan, blockading an abortion clinic, demonstrating at a gay rights march or posting on BVBL, to name a few examples of where I saw such mean-spiritedness I was almost ashamed to admit I was a Christian for a few seconds.

    Maybe it is just time to call mean out when we see it. I was always taught that it was God’s job to judge. On the other hand, it is hard to keep quiet when one sees such utterly hideous behavior being demonstrated, often by people quoting the Gospel.

  7. Emma

    Wow, Rod. So laws are “virtual” and “voluntary”? So let’s all go to Rod’s house, enter uninvited, make use of all his home has to offer, demand he share food and cash with us, and then refuse to leave until we are good and ready, or maybe not at all. In Rod’s world, there isn’t a thing he can or should do about it. We’re entitled.

    Rod, you’ll be the first to cry to the police when someone steals your car or even p*sses in your yard. Any time someone here suggests that illegal immigrants should try to follow our rules they are countered with your infantile notion that there should be no rules in the first place. This is the real world, Rod, not one of your silly cartoons. Time to grow up, boy.

  8. you wish

    Emma –

    And when we leave, we need to make sure that we strip his house of everything that is valuable. He should also have to feed our children for free, (since I can’t show a W-2 and therefore have no verifiable income so my school aged children qualify for free lunch and breakfast), educate our children for free (even if I don’t pay taxes), and provide me and my family with medical attention whenever I want it – even for a simple cold or sore throat.

    I find it incredibly funny that people like Rod, KG, Alana, and Elana can sit in their pretty houses in Bristow and Haymarket can judge the feelings that those of us have that are living in neighborhoods that are wrecked by individuals that have no respect for the community they are living in.

    How many foreclosed homes are in your neighborhoods? How many of you get to send your children to shiny new schools like Gainesville Middle while schools like Stonewall Middle and Woodbridge Middle continue to be trashed? Do you have a house with 4 families (none related) living next door to you? Can your children play in your backyard without worrying that the neighbors next door are outside drinking and urinating in their backyard where your children can see it? Can you walk into a local convenience store with hearing the calls of “I work today” and derogatory language towards females?

    I’m tired of hearing you all cry about how much people that are here illegally are “misunderstood” and “need our help”. BS – they’ve taken all of the help that is available to them and ask for more. Families who need similar resources are often denied these (such as free daycare, free/reduced lunch, health insurance) because their families make too much money (read under $32k for a family of 4 or more) LEGALLY.

    Make them follow the rules. Period. Laws are here for a reason. If I take Rod’s mentality and say that laws are voluntary, does that make it okay for me to go out, get raging drunk and then take out a family of 4 in a drunk driving accident? Why, I’ll just use the logic of “I thought laws were voluntary!”

    Get over it – all of you. Until it affects you PERSONALLY, you can’t even imagine what those of us who are being affecting have to deal with. LPOW and Rick Bentley tried to explain it, but you deny them both from having their say.

  9. “Wow, Rod. So laws are “virtual” and “voluntary”?”

    Unless they are backed by force, like I said but you failed to read…

    “So let’s all go to Rod’s house, enter uninvited, make use of all his home has to offer, demand he share food and cash with us, and then refuse to leave until we are good and ready, or maybe not at all. In Rod’s world, there isn’t a thing he can or should do about it. We’re entitled.”

    You can if you want, but you’ll get shot in the head the minute you enter my house.

    “Rod, you’ll be the first to cry to the police when someone steals your car or even p*sses in your yard. Any time someone here suggests that illegal immigrants should try to follow our rules they are countered with your infantile notion that there should be no rules in the first place.”

    I actually don’t live in a wealthy suburb, I live in an older middleclass neighbor where 90% of the residents are Hispanic, legal and illegal, so you can shove that elitist BS. It’s been this way for many years, yet no one has pissed in my yard, or stolen my car, why, because I’m known and respected, I don’t fear the unknown like you, I bother to get to know my neighbors. I live in reality and use fools like you as inspiration for my cartoons.

    As I said laws are virtual, but when they are fair, we follow them. If they are not we stop. Your definition of “Fair” is probably way different than mine that’s why all laws must be backed up by force, but if you have bullets than people breaking the law, it’s pretty apparent that the law is not worth fighting for.

    Are YOU willing to kill a person because they crossed the border? I’m not, neither is the majority, so they will cross until you can round up enough support to stop the flow, or be a martyr for your own cause.

  10. Censored bybvbl

    Get over it – all of you. Until it affects you PERSONALLY, you can’t even imagine what those of us who are being affecting have to deal with. LPOW and Rick Bentley tried to explain it, but you deny them both from having their say.

    You wish, who are you saying is denying Rick Bentley or LPOW from having his say. Are you kidding??!!! They’ve had their say…over and over and over and over again. You appear to read selectively. And you’ve missed where both Elena and I have said that we’ve had similar problems in our neighborhoods in the past. The difference is that we decided to address the behavior, not the ethnicity of the offenders.

    There are foreclosed houses throughout PWC and Manassas but the majority are in lower income/more affordable areas- typically large, older suburban tracts. Just as you think of your neighbors in their overcrowded houses as sucking up limited resources, some of us are relatively unaffected by those problems and think the resolution has needlessly sucked up limited resources while causing too much hate in our community. I think you’ve been paying too much attention to the “illegality” of your neighbors when you should have been pursuing more practical solutions to solving your neighborhood’s problems. Take a lesson from the children who have worked as volunteers cleaning up Manassas. They’ve done more to improve Manassas than that belly-aching Greg Letiecq.

  11. Emma

    waah-waah, Rod. Your silly anarchist babble is tiresome. Little boy with a big gun.

  12. Emma

    A little violent there, too, huh, Rod? You’ll shoot me in the head? Guess you’d fit right in with the gun-toten’ bvbl crew. Scary when you start become like your enemy, isn’t it?

  13. Moon-howler

    Emma,

    I have to defend Rod on this one. He isn’t going out looking for trouble. He was describing shooting someone for invading his home. I hardly think that qualifies him as the fastest gun in the west mentality.

    You wish,

    I am going to agree with Censored. You need to concentrate less on the legal status of your bad neighbors. Actually, you probably don’t know their status. Censored gets it. She probably could write a book about how to deal with icky neighbors. Because hers aren’t hispanic doesn’t make them a bit less annoying.

    I too have lived in a neighborhood that turned to trash. And no, it wasn’t hispanics. No it isn’t fun. but I escaped it. I have all the sympathy in the world for people trying to solve their problems. I have been there and done that.

    I just think some of you all who are so angry need to address the bad neighbor issue from a point of view that doesn’t involve status.

  14. Elena

    Amen Censored to your comment at 21:08 !!!!

    We have community issues, that still, to this day, have yet to be addressed. This IS about a demographic change, it is just that simple. Let me clarify, if people buy goods and services, pay rent, or own a home in PWC, they are TAXPAYERS!

  15. Rick Bentley

    And if they flout zoning laws by using single-family homes as flophouses, they are paying less tax per capita and turning PWC into a ghetto.

  16. Rick Bentley

    TWINAD, Obama and McCain succeeded because the two parties have been so active in falsely defining the debate as “amnesty or deport 20 million on buses”. When the actual options become clarified – as they are slowly becoming for average Americans (most of whom are not overrun the way PWC was 2 years ago) – they won’t settle for the Amnesty solution.

  17. Censored bybvbl

    Rick Bentley, the schools are the biggest item in the county budget and for the entire time I’ve lived in the county, I’ve had no children in school. But I’m not going to moan about that because I believe in having an educated populace and children have no say in who their parents are. Jeezy-peezy some of you guys are such whiners.

  18. Emma

    Elena, 2. July 2008, 23:22
    “if people buy goods and services, pay rent, or own a home in PWC, they are TAXPAYERS!”

    What about income taxes, Elena? Mandatory for some workers, optional for others? Either you are in a very high tax bracket, or you haven’t worked in many years (or both) to not be able to see the inherent unfairness in your statement.

  19. Emma

    Correction: “income” not “tax” bracket.

  20. Censored bybvbl

    Emma, I’ve known home-grown types who cheat on their taxes too. Normally when they go to apply for a mortgage, they regret having two years’ worth of “low” income to show. But I guess subprime mortgages took care of that problem.lol.

  21. Emma

    So you’re ok with others not paying income taxes, too, Censored? Just because some people cheat, an entire group gets a pass as a part of their big shot at the “American Dream”? I don’t have the luxury of cheating or opting out, so I guess it falls on me to pay for the freeloaders.

  22. Emma

    Moon-howler, Rod doesn’t need anyone to defend him. He has his guns and will use them. Just don’t walk into his home by accident.

    I was just pointing out the irony and the glaring contradictions in what he was saying. Funny how he managed to categorize me simply based on my challenge of his assertion that laws are “virtual” and “voluntary.” He can protect his own turf with deadly force, but our nation can’t protect its own borders. Anyway, whatever.

    Anyway, it’s a long holiday weekend. Let’s try to celebrate our freedoms and the sacrifices that have been made to obtain them without trashing the country that so many are flocking to enter. We must be doing something right.

  23. Censored bybvbl

    Emma, nope, I’m not okay with it, but it is a reality for many segments of our society. There’s no reason to assume that most immigrants who are here, legally or not, are not paying taxes. I don’t think the “entire group” is getting a pass.

    A renter will be paying property taxes indirectly if the landlord is smart. He’ll also be paying sales tax on everything he buys. The sticking point, I suppose, is income taxes which an immigrant may indeed be paying.

  24. It’s “A” gun and it’s only for defense within my household, I don’t pretend to be a cop or mercinary. I use my words to disarm any enemies, but my best defense so far has been common street sense.

    If national Law is an integral function of life, our hearts would cease to beat once we voilate one. The point is we all follow the national law either because we will be arrested if we don’t or because it’s a just law, worthy of adherance. But if huge masses of people are ignoring the law, how on earth do you plan to punish them all? You Can’t! you will have to bargain…or just go evil and execute all violators on site, but that comes at the price of voiding all the sacrifices that out forebearers have made.

    You cannot deport them all, they will not stand for it, and neither will the majority of America.

  25. Emma

    Rod, please don’t interrupt when the grownups are talking.

  26. Elena

    Is this inherently unfair Emma…..? People who pay ss to a fake number that they will never collect, to the tune of about 10 billion? I would say, the price they pay to work here undocumented is the price of giving up your social security income to the federal govt, with no return at the end of your working life.

  27. Emma

    If they are using fake ssn’s, they are committing fraud, no matter where the money is going. They are working the system and in many cases hurting other people’s credit. If it is enough for you, great. I have paid my full share of taxes since I was a teenager, and so should they. I give at least 10 percent of my income to charitable causes, and that is my choice. But I object to my hard-earned tax dollars providing free health care and other services to those who are committing fraud and not even attempting to live within the same laws that I am expected to abide by.

    And they will have a “return at the end of their working life”–they will either eventually go back to their country (they don’t ALL intend to stay here) or they will have their hand out expecting the rest of us to provide them with a safety net. The rest of us will see the retirement age go up and up, until we’re too elderly and disabled to enjoy it.

  28. Censored bybvbl

    I’m not that familiar with the intricacies of tax or immigration law. If someone is here on a work visa, he or she must have an identifying number with which to pay taxes. Right? If he or she overstays the visa or for some reason doesn’t keep it current but continues to be employed by the same firm, wouldn’t the taxes continue to be taken out? Is that a reasonable scenario? If so, someone who is here illegally (perhaps only momentarily without the proper paperwork being in order) could be paying his/her share of taxes.

  29. JER MYNOR

    ROD: I AM NOT SURE WHERE YOU GET YOUR STATS THAT THE MAJORITY WANT ILLEGALS HERE, BECAUSE THAT IS SO FAR FROM THE REAL TRUTH.
    81% OF THE AMERICAN POPULATION ARE “AGAINST” ILLEGALS. THE TRUTH IS AS STATED ABOVE….THEY INVADED, WERE NOT ASKED, AND NOW YOU HAVE SAID THAT
    WE CANNOT DEPORT THOSE ILLEGALS…ROD, IS WOULD BE VERY EASY TO HAVE THEM SELF-DEPORT, BUT ONLY IF THE CONGRESS WANTED THEM TO BE GONE, VERY EASY….

    UNFORTUNATELY , THEY DONT, FOR ANY OTHER REASON THAN THE ALMIGHTY $$$$$$$’
    CONGRESS HAS BEEN PAID OFF TO “NOT” FOLLOW THE LAWS ,OR CREATE NEW ONES, BECAUSE BIG BUSINESS IS MAKING $ 1,3 TRILLION DOLLARS SINCE 2000 OFF THE BACKS OF ILLEGALS……THE BURDEN OF THEE AMERICAN “BELOW-THE-POVERTY-LEVEL”
    IS WHAT NOW COST AMERICANS TO MAKE UO TO THE LOW WAGES PAID TO THEM…..

    A REAL TRUTH THAT THOSE ILLEGALS WHO COME HERE AND TAKE “ANY” JOB WORRY NOT , BECAUSE OF THIS POVERTY LEVEL. THEY WIND UP MAKING MORE MONEY THAN ANY AMERICAN DOES FROM ANY MEDIUM PAYING JOBS.

    GO TO : http://WWW.IMMIGRATIONCOUNTERS.COM FOR SOME WICKED NUMBERS…..

    I SERIOUSLY TAKE OFFENSE THAT YOU SAY AMERICANS “CANNOT” DEPORT THEM, AND THEY WONT GO FOR IT EITHER…..THEY ARE NOT CITIZENS, HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SAY SO ABOUT ANYTHING, AND IF THIS COUNTRY WANTED THEM TO GO, THEY WOULD BE GONE WITHIN 6 MONTHS…!!!!
    UN-FORTUNATELY, OUR “DEMO’ CONTROLLED CONGRESS ARE PAID -OFF BY BIG BUSINESS LOBBYISTS…..AND THEY TURNED THEIR BACKS ON US, THEIR CONSTITUENCY, FOR THE ENEMIES MONEY, AND SOLD THEIR VOTES FOR NO HARMFUL BILLS TO OUST “ILLEGALS”.

    IF WE WANTED THEM GONE, IT IS VERY SIMPLE..( IF THE DEMO CONTROLLED CONGRESS WANTED THEM OUT”)
    1. CHANGE THE ILLEGAL ENTRY INTO THIS COUNTRY FROM A MIS-DEAMNOR, TO A
    5 YEAR FELONY, WITH A MANDATORY PRISON SENTENCE GIVEN .
    2. IMMEDIATELY ‘STOP’ ALL FREE GIFTS TO THEM.
    3. FINE THE EMPLOYERS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AMERICA WORKERS WAGE TO THAT OF THE ILLEGALS WAGE, (PER YEAR) FOR EACH ILLEGAL….
    4, RE-DO THE AMENDMENT. 14.SECTION 1 WHICH DOES AWAY WITH THE ” ANCHOR-BABY” SLAVE LAW ,WHICH ENDED 221 YEARS AGO, AND “GRAND-FATHER IT BACK TO JAN.1, 1990.
    5. MAKE IT EFFECTIVE ON JULY 1, 2009 .
    6. ANY VISA OVERSTAYERS AND ILLEGALS CAUGHT AFTER THAT DATE ARE AUTOMATICALLY SENT TO PRISON…..WITH NO CHANCH OF EVER RETURNING, AND IF THEY WERE CAUGHT A SECOND TIME ,THE PENALTY WOULD BE 1O YEARS…..
    7. ALL THOSE WANTING TO APPLY FOR “HARVESTING-SEASON” COULD DO SO AT THE BORDER, WITH 1/2 OF THEIR PAY WITH-HELD UNTIL THEY RETUNED TO MEXICO AT THE END OF THE YEAR AT THE BORDER.

    PRESIDENT HOOVER AND EISENHOWER DEPORTED 8 MILLION ILLEGALS IN A ROUND-UP THAT TOOK 2 YEARS, THE ABOVE PLAN WOULD WORK FOR US, NO GOING AFTER ANY ONE, BUT, IF ANYTIME THEY ARE CAUGHT, PRISON FOR FIVE “MANDATORY” YEARS….

    IRAQ WILL EVENTUALLY WORK ITSELF OUT WITH OUR PRESENCE, THE ONLY THING FOR THE PRESIDENT THEN IS TO HIRE THE BEST “ECONOMISTS ” IN THE COUNTRY AND WE ARE ON OUR WAY BACK TO A SENSIBLE AMERICA….

    GO TO THE SITE AND READ IT, WE PAY NEAR 400 BILLION “OVER’ THE INCOME OF ILLEGALS….

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