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Archive for Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pope takes humane immigration stand

April 23, 2008

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Pope Benedict XVI's calls for humane treatment of undocumented immigrants during his trip to the United States got anti-immigration zealots more riled up than usual. Good! I'm beginning to like this pope.

Soon after the pope called on Americans to fight "all forms of violence ... so that immigrants may lead dignified lives," and a White House statement suggested he brought up with President Bush the need to give immigrants and their children "humane treatment," some of America's most vocal opponents of immigration went ballistic.

CNN's anchor-procrastinator Lou Dobbs, the hero of most U.S. anti-immigration groups, shook his head with more than his usual dose of bitterness in his April 16 broadcast and charged that the pope was visiting Washington to "push the amnesty (for undocumented immigrants) agenda."

Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, until recently a Republican presidential hopeful who centered his campaign on cracking down on undocumented workers, said on his Web site that "the pope's immigration comments may have less to do with preaching the Gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the church. This isn't preaching, it is faith-based marketing."

Tancredo added, "I would like to know what part of our lax immigration policy is considered violent."

Well, since Tancredo asked, let's give him some examples:

It is violent to separate families by deporting parents arrested in work site raids and leaving their children, often U.S.-born toddlers, unprotected.

An October 2007 study by La Raza and The Urban Institute, titled "Paying the Price," says there are more than 3 million children who are U.S. citizens with undocumented parents. Thousands of children are being separated from their parents without warning, and millions more are at risk, the study says.

In addition to the psychological shock on children caused by their parents' unexplained disappearance, deportations are often leaving infants without supervision, food and shelter, it says.

It is violent for cities to allow local sheriffs to enforce federal immigration laws pretty much at their whim, or to pass city ordinances prohibiting landlords from renting out apartments to undocumented workers, which is resulting in automatic interrogations of anybody looking Hispanic.

It is violent for local authorities to tolerate vigilante groups that harass Hispanics under the assumption that they are not legally in the country, as is happening with growing regularity in Southern California, Texas and Arizona.

It is violent for politicians, cable television and radio commentators to systematically blame undocumented workers for America's economic and social ills. In addition to being wrong, it is creating a climate of hatred for the nation's 43 million Hispanics.

According to the recently released FBI Hate Crimes Statistics Report, hate crimes against Hispanics soared by 35 percent over the three years that ended in December 2006, to the point that Hispanics are making up 63 percent of all victims of ethnic-motivated crimes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that tracks hate groups around the country, says there are 888 hate groups in the United States, a 48 percent increase since 2000, not counting 300 anti-immigration groups that have been created in the past three years. Hate crimes against Hispanics "are typically carried out by people who think they are attacking immigrants," the SPLC study says.

My opinion: The pope is right. The estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the country not only deserve humane treatment, but many of them should have a chance to earn their legal residence if they perform jobs that Americans won't do, have paid taxes, and are prepared to learn English.

Granted, anti-immigration groups claim that they are not anti-immigration, but only against "illegal immigration." But that's a fallacy, because "legal immigration" has become impossible for a huge number of would-be immigrants under current laws.

The United States is giving far fewer entry visas than the number of unskilled workers its labor market is requiring. Most of those workers already here have no way to regularize their situation. Immigration laws have not kept pace with reality.

America needs less anti-immigrant hysteria, and a new effort to pass a comprehensive immigration law that grants more entry visas, provides a path to legalization for many of those already here, and improves controls at the border.

Just as important, it needs greater economic integration with Latin America, to help the region grow faster, and reduce its peoples' pressures to emigrate.

And, above all, we should remember that the people who are often stigmatized as "illegals" are human beings, and deserve to be treated as such.

Thanks for bringing it up, Benedict! Come back often!

Andres Oppenheimer is a Latin America correspondent for the Miami Herald.

Comments

RedwoodCoast 5 years, 12 months ago

"Aging, impoverished, unskilled, and uneducated folks who will need more of our money."They'll also contribute more money if they are legal. Bring their families here, and there you go, money stays here. You make them sound like incompetent human beings. And tell me, were your ancestors aging, impoverished, unskilled, and uneducated folks who needed more of America's money?

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kubacker 5 years, 12 months ago

Correction:Andres is not the South American Editor for the Miami Herald he is the "Latin American correspondent for the Miami Herald" - same difference!!

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BrianR 5 years, 12 months ago

Parkay, I think you should go to Washington and become Secretary of Da Fence.

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kubacker 5 years, 12 months ago

Here we go again - the LJW runs it's monthly column from the fair and balanced "South American Editor for the Miami Herald," and I see they have stopped identifying him as the "South American Editor for the Miami Herald."

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Ray Parker 5 years, 12 months ago

Two months after Homeland Security accepted the newly completed Arizona border virtual fence from Boeing Co. for $20 million, it has been scrapped because it doesn't work, largely because of Boeing's inadequate software design. The pilot project consisted of 9 towers along a 28-mile stretch of Mexican border. DHS will now order up 17 new towers with communication, camera, and radar equipment at an unknown cost, to be announced later. Also, new computer software to feed data to border patrol agents will cost something over $45 million.[Sigh.]

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Jock Navels 5 years, 12 months ago

the economic decline of the working american began with reagonomics and the federal governement's attacks on unions. UNIONS>>>THE FOLKS WHO BROUGHT YOU THE 2 DAY WEEKEND. The capitalist owners of the means of production love illegal immigrants. they don't form and join unions, they don't register and vote. they are easy to subjugate and control. this third tier workforce of serfs lowers legal resident/citizen economic power. Make all immigration legal. Problem solved.Keep them out? Does anybody really think a man or woman with a couple little hungry children is going to look on the other side of a piddly river and watch somebody else feed their kids and not think, "I'm going to get me some of that?" Wouldn't you?"Illegal" immigration is a world wide condition...Nicaraguans and Colombians are streaming into Costa rica for example. Africans are flowing into Europe. Until they perceive a chance where they come from, they're going to go somewhere else. You can't command the tide to cease.

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max1 5 years, 12 months ago

Funny how the anti-immigration bunch is always whole-heartedly pro-growth, and yet almost all of our population growth in Kansas is a result of immigration and the higher fertility rate of our recent immigrants.http://www.ipsr.ku.edu/ksdata/census/stf3a/Kansas.pdfKansas Census 1990Total population: 2,477,574Non-Hispanic White: 2,193,881 (88.5%)Hispanic origin: 90,289 (3.6%)http://www.census.gov/census2000/states/ks.htmlKansas Census 2000Total population: 2,688,418White: 2,233,997 (83.1%)Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 188,252 (7.0%)http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/20000.htmlKansas Census 2006Kansas Population, 2006 estimate: 2,764,075White persons not Hispanic: 2,242,665 (81.1%) (8,668 more than in 2000)Persons of Hispanic or Latino origin: 237,710 (8.6%) (49,458 more than in 2000)

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sfjayhawk 5 years, 12 months ago

All the illegal immigrants I know work hard for low wages and don't get any social services. They are here to make money, not to use - for example - our crappy health care system. Why not bring them into the system so they at least have the same pay and rights as citizens, and pay taxes. We need the money, no question about it - and it would also even the playing field with unemployed citizens who are undercut by employers that exploit illegals.

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max1 5 years, 12 months ago

"Max- asking Mexifornians their veiws on illegal immigration is akin to polling foxes to determine if they are in favor of unguarded henhouses. Many of those asked were probably illegal aliens, came here illegally, and became legal only through amnesties, have family members here that are illegals, or are profitting from the exploitation of illegals." -ljreaderYeah, sure, they fit the profile. "Strong majorities of Democrats (73%), independents (62%), and likely voters (60%)"

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Clint Gentry 5 years, 12 months ago

Xenophobia is ripe today..."LaRaza is as racist as the KKK." - LjreaderOh, so the illegal immigrants are hanging white people in public? Does La Raza claim the Latino Race is somehow superior to caucasians? The answer is "no" to both of these questions, but the under-education of "ljreader" is showing...Just to dumb to know what's best for him/her. Do unto others my friends...

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ljreader 5 years, 12 months ago

I'm all for humane treatment- we are very humane when we deport them. They get free travel home.As illustrated in the above (8:22) post, they've gotten billions of dollars of humane treatment since arriving here illegally. Illegal aliens are costing Californians 9 billion dollars a yr- This is after factoring in the 1.5 billion they pay into taxes. This figure only calculates the cost of education, medical and incarceration.The $9 billion figure does not include other expenses that are difficult to measure, such as special English instruction, school lunch programs, and welfare benefits for American workers displaced by illegal immigrant workers. This figure also probably doesn't reflect the costs of their children who are born here, as they are counted as American citizens.. This yr, California has an 8.5 billion dollar budget gap- Wonder why? Yet, Schawartenegger doesn't seem to think the illegals factor into this shortfall.They always squawk about separating families, but seem to have no qualms about leaving their families behind to come here illegally.There is no reason for the families to be separated. They are free to return home with their families intact.LaRaza is as racist as the KKK. It's a shame that this writer gives them credibility by being their mouthpiece.Max- asking Mexifornians their veiws on illegal immigration is akin to polling foxes to determine if they are in favor of unguarded henhouses. Many of those asked were probably illegal aliens, came here illegally, and became legal only through amnesties, have family members here that are illegals, or are profitting from the exploitation of illegals.It would cost at least billions of dollars to bring these people to legal status. Illegal aliens have expectations of amnesty because of our history of granting it to them. More will come with these same expectations, then march in our streets making demands if we don't hand it over.They cost us enough already. Most Americans are unwilling to shell out the additional costs of bringing these people into the fray. The pope wants more Catholics filling the pews. I notice the Vatican is surrounded by walls.

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toe 5 years, 12 months ago

Consumptions trumps borders. We live in a transition time between sovereign countries and world government based on capitalism on steroids. The ultra rich see people as servants. Capitalism has proven it can thrive in free democracies and communist strongholds. So, good luck on controlling borders. Those that think free markets and free men are the same need to do a little more thinking.

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Shatt 5 years, 12 months ago

So the pope is not only a irrelevent religious figure anymore, but an expert on US immigration?

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uhadmeatsmellthis 5 years, 12 months ago

Wonder how Benny would like it if the Vatican City was inundated by illegals?

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ljreader 5 years, 12 months ago

Actually, we will pay even MORE for them if they become legal. Citizenship doesn't magically make them qualified for higher paying jobs, make them plan their family size responsibly, or cause them to be more educated.Once they are citizens, they will be able to legally access more taxfunded social services. They will also be eligible to be joined by their families left behind in their native countries.Aging, impoverished, unskilled, and uneducated folks who will need more of our money.

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RedwoodCoast 5 years, 12 months ago

Wow, I actually agree with the Pope for once. By the way, we pay for them because we make them illegal. Make them de jure members of society and you don't have to pay for them anymore. They're like the Okies during the Depresssion; no one wanted them, and now we romanticize that period. I know, I know, they were American citizens, but it was the same stupid arguments. Good one Andres.

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Jock Navels 5 years, 12 months ago

the world economy under the control of the major corporations has been 'globalized'. the big money has engineered the system so that three of the four factors of production can ignore national boundaries. natural resources, capital and technology can flow freely to wherever it is needed or wanted. only labor is still restricted. kind of fuedal in a way...the workers are still 'bound to the land'. the solution to the 'illegal' immigrant problem is to open the borders. anybody should be able to seek work anywhere.

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max1 5 years, 12 months ago

"In California, 1 in 10 births are to illegals, less than 2% are picking crops, 41% are on welfare. No wonder California has financial problems." -SearchingForTruthMarch 2008http://web.ppic.org/main/pressrelease.asp?i=817POSITIVE ATTITUDE ABOUT IMMIGRANTSDespite all the economic and political negativity, Californians are basically positive on immigration. A majority of state residents (59%) believe immigrants are a benefit to California because of their hard work and job skills, compared to 34 percent who say they are a burden because they use public services. Belief that immigrants benefit the state has increased substantially over the past decade: In 1998, only 46 percent of Californians held this view. "Conventional wisdom would predict that attitudes about immigrants would deteriorate as economic conditions worsen, but that hasn't happened recently," says Baldassare.What about attitudes toward illegal immigrants? Here again, state residents take a positive view. Two-thirds (66%) think illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for work permits that would let them stay and work in the United States, about the same percentage as one year ago (64%). Strong majorities of Democrats (73%), independents (62%), and likely voters (60%) believe that illegal immigrants should be allowed to apply for work permits, while Republicans are divided (48% should be allowed, 50% should not). Taking it a step further, seven in 10 Californians (72%) think most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be given a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status; only one-quarter (25%) believe these immigrants should be deported. This supportive attitude is shared by majorities across all political parties (Democrats 80%, independents 72%, Republicans 52%) and among likely voters (65%) and is unchanged since December (72%).

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max1 5 years, 12 months ago

I'm not surprised to see Kris K Kobach's GOPers spilling their swill here.http://www.flakmag.com/opinion/tancredo.htmlThis past Monday, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado) formally announced he's running for the Republican nomination for president. . . Polling shows Tancredo strong with the white racist vote, but doing poorly among the more influential "let's try to win" block.http://tancredowatch.blogspot.com/2006/11/tancredo-racism-bombshell.htmlThe Winter campaign has released thorough documentation of Tom Tancredo's pervasive ties to John Tanton and various hate groups (pictured: Tancredo with Barbara Coe, who has claimed that Mexicans are "savages" and that illegal immigrants are "cutting off heads and appendages of blind, white, disabled gringos.")http://www.splcenter.org/intel/news/item.jsp?aid=79The state chapter of the League of the South (LOS), a neo-Confederate hate group, hosted a barbeque in honor of Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, head of the House Immigration Reform Caucus. Proceeds from the $15 per-plate fundraiser went to Americans Have Had Enough!, a South Carolina-based non-profit coalition for which Tancredo serves as honorary chairman. . . On the steps of the museum, Tancredo held court with LOS officials and supporters in Confederate clothing. He held a batch of the materials being distributed at the barbeque, among them a copy of the The Citizen's Informer, the newspaper of the Conservative Citizens Council, the racist organization that grew out of the segregationist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s.

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Agnostick 5 years, 12 months ago

Headline:Pope takes humane immigration standBetter Headline:Pope takes Strategic immigration standIt's no secret that Latin America is (currently) overwhelmingly Catholic. More illegals in the United States undoubtedly means more Catholics in the USA. For Benedict, what's not to like about that?From the aricle:''My opinion: The pope is right. The estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the country not only deserve humane treatment, but many of them should have a chance to earn their legal residence if they perform jobs that Americans won't do, have paid taxes, and are prepared to learn English."Okay, let's look into this..."Perform jobs that Americans won't do..."More like, "perform jobs that Americans won't do at insultingly-low wages""... have paid taxes..."Shaky at best. True, the IRS has a form specifically for illegal immigrants, but that's only half the story. These illegal immigrants are most likely being paid under the table, or "off the grid." Their employers are skipping out on all kinds of employment taxes, including Social Security contributions."... and are prepared to learn English."Where's the evidence of this? I haven't seen any.Agnostickagnostick@excite.comhttp://www.uscentrist.orghttp://www.americanplan.org

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Bossa_Nova 5 years, 12 months ago

Benedict is an idiot. Let's compare the way we treat illegals in the US to the way Mexico treats illegal Guatemalans and other Central Americans. If you are an undocumented Central American in Mexico you get a minimum of 3 years in a Mexican prison if you get caught. But of course we don't hear about those stories do we? I guess that's because Mexico's press is even more censored than ours. Oh, and La Raza = The Race. They should change their name to La Racista = The Racist.

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SearchingForTruth 5 years, 12 months ago

Can you afford them? I am tired of paying for them:At present (2007), these are the costs we already pay for illegal alien migrants: 1. Up to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year. 2. $2.2 billion a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens. 3. $2.0 billion a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens. 4. $12 billion a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English! 5. $17 billion a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies. 6. $3 million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens. 7. 30 percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. 8. $90 billion a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers. 9. $200 billion a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens. 10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two and a half times that of non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the United States. 11. During the year of 2005 there were four to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroine and marijuana, crossed into the U. S. from the Southern border. 12. The National Policy Institute, "estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period." 13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 billion in remittances back to their countries of origin. 14. "The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants in the United States. In California, 1 in 10 births are to illegals, less than 2% are picking crops, 41% are on welfare. No wonder California has financial problems. Do we want that to happen to Kansas?I urge you to listen to the Terry Anderson show. He lives in southern California and will give you the real perspective on illegal aliens:http://thewakeupamerica.com/TERRY_ANDERSON_SHOW_ARCHIVES_PAGE_01.htm

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Brent Garner 5 years, 12 months ago

NO AMNESTY! NO JOBS FOR ILLEGALS! CLOSE THE BORDERS! ILLEGALS GO HOME!!!!

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