Republicans Take Healthcare Away From Newborns

The appallingness continues to escalate. From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 — Under a new federal policy, children born in the United States to illegal immigrants with low incomes will no longer be automatically entitled to health insurance through Medicaid, Bush administration officials said Thursday.

Doctors and hospitals said the policy change would make it more difficult for such infants, who are United States citizens, to obtain health care needed in the first year of life. [...]

Marilyn E. Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Medicaid program, said: “The federal government told us we have no latitude. All states must change their policies and practices. We will not be able to cover any services for the newborn until a Medicaid application is filed. That could be days, weeks or months after the child is born.” [...]

The Bush administration claims that they have no choice under the Deficit Reduction Act. But although the DRA does tighten immigration requirements, it doesn’t say a word about infants; nor are infants born in the USA immigrants. They’re citizens, just as American as Bush’s own daughters. More from the Times article:

Doctors and hospitals denounced the policy change and denied that it was required by the new law. Dr. Jay E. Berkelhamer, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the policy “punishes babies who, according to the Constitution, are citizens because they were born here.”

Yet another example of how the “pro-life” party doesn’t give a damn about babies once they’re born. Medical care during the first year of a baby’s life shouldn’t be subject to a months-long wait for the government to process papers, and it shouldn’t place non-citizen parents in the position of thinking that they have to choose between exposing themselves to the INS and providing their child with the healthcare it needs.

Curtsy: Tennessee Guerilla Women.

This entry posted in Immigration, Migrant Rights, etc, Race, racism and related issues. Bookmark the permalink. 

170 Responses to Republicans Take Healthcare Away From Newborns

  1. 101
    Tuomas says:

    In what way is that comment vaguely reality based or actually an example to substantiate your claim?

    It is reality based, as surely you are aware that some Cubans do drown when attempting to get to Florida?

    Your “stadium executions” comment would have been a great deal funnier if the carrots for illegal immigration didn’t result in deaths of people who seek to do it.

    In reality. That is, the real world.

  2. 102
    Tuomas says:

    Yes, I was wrong. My fault for running off a quick response to a hypothetical that ignores all underlying reasons.

    For fucks sake. You’re starting to piss me off. Of course there are other reasons. That is one reason.

  3. 103
    Dianne says:

    But they reduced wages.

    Very minimally. This could be offset by a simple increase in the minimum wage.

  4. 104
    Tuomas says:

    Very minimally. This could be offset by a simple increase in the minimum wage.

    I thought one of the points i hiring illegal immigrants is that you get to pay them “under the counter”, that is, that as illegals, they aren’t covered by work laws such as minumum wage. On the other hand, if you support covering them with the said laws, then you de facto support legalizing their status.

    Thus, this might increase unemployment.

  5. 105
    Jake Squid says:

    For fucks sake. You’re starting to piss me off.

    Well, let me know when you’d like to actually start discussing immigration and we can stop flaming each other.

    You know, the morality, economics and context. Stuff I mentioned back in comment # 90.

    Or I can just point out how silly whining, “But they reduced wages,” while dismissing everything else Dianne is talking about wrt economics is. And we can continue to insult each other. Whichever you want, although I would prefer a substantive conversation about immigration.

    Your “stadium executions” comment would have been a great deal funnier if the carrots for illegal immigration didn’t result in deaths of people who seek to do it.

    And a ,”For Fucks Sake,” right back atcha, big guy. You know what the carrot for illegal immigration is? A life that is so much better that it is worth risking any penalties up to, and including, death. For Fucks Sake, my grandfather was a Jew who was an illegal from Hungary working in early Nazi Germany. What was the fucking carrot there? I’ll tell you what it was. It was the possibility of a better life than he could have in Hungary. There is the carrot for all immigrants. The only question is whether the reward is worth the risk. And for most of the people who are illegals, the reward is worth nearly any risk.

    This is what I mean when I say that you seem to have little grasp on the motivations of immigrants. The “funny thing” about my televised execution comment is that, even if this was instituted, an awful lot of people would still immigrate, legally or otherwise. The “funny thing” about the comment was both that it is ineffective policy and that there are people who are silently agreeing that that is the right thing to do.

  6. 106
    Tuomas says:

    You know what the carrot for illegal immigration is? A life that is so much better that it is worth risking any penalties up to, and including, death. For Fucks Sake, my grandfather was a Jew who was an illegal from Hungary working in early Nazi Germany. What was the fucking carrot there? I’ll tell you what it was. It was the possibility of a better life than he could have in Hungary. There is the carrot for all immigrants. The only question is whether the reward is worth the risk. And for most of the people who are illegals, the reward is worth nearly any risk.

    Yep, because people have decided that those who succesfully illegally immigrate should be rewarded.

    This is the blind spot.

  7. 107
    Tuomas says:

    The “funny thing” about the comment was both that it is ineffective policy and that there are people who are silently agreeing that that is the right thing to do.

    I do think it is foolish and cruel to blame the immigrants for, well, immigrating and seeking a better life. Admittedly some anti-immigration (or anti-illegal immigration) folks do that.

    Hence my comment:

    “See that carrot? Don’t try to eat it or I will beat you with a stick! However, if you manage to eat it, then enjoy the meal!”

  8. 108
    Sailorman says:

    re: How ones ancestors arrived in the US:
    Can someone please explain to me what the fuck this has to do with ANYTHING? At ALL?

    Why should immigration policy be different now than when your ancestors arrived here?

    1) I’m not sure if you’re suggesting it is different? It’s not actually particularly different;
    2) But why should it NOT be different, in any case? You seem to be claiming the “established ground” and asking all your opponents to “disprove” your theories, which is excruciatingly annoying. I prefer to address the question “what should the policy be?” rather than the limited analysis “why should it change?”
    3) Why should my ancestry be linked to immigration policy? Your response so far doesn’t answer that. To repeat myself: what the fuck do my ancestors have to do with immigration policy, at all? Or any other policy?

    Does it matter to you whether your ancestors were legal or not?
    If not, why does it matter to you whether current immigrants are legal or not?

    See, this is why you’re being ridiculous. You’re creating a useless false dichotomy in your response, and you don’t even seem to realize it. I’ll play along for a moment, but it becomes tiring to argue with folks who do this:
    1) Nope.
    2) Because unlike my ancestors, they are a problem NOW. I don’t waste a lot of time worrying about the actions of dead people. Do you?

    The question I think you’re trying to ask, but failing, is this:
    Do I care about the immigration status of people who are close to me?
    As it happens, I do.
    The followup question you might mean to ask would be:
    …and if not, why do you care about the status of anyone else?
    The answer is, of course, irrelevant in this case (see above). But anyway, I share the almost-universal trend of caring about those close to me more, and cutting them more slack, than I care about other people.

    Are you going to renounce your citizenship and emigrate to your ancestral country of origin if you find an illegal immigrant in your past?

    No, of course not. I do not feel bound by the actions of dead people. I don’t really care much about what my ancestors did, to tell the truth, be it positive or negative.
    I don’t think MOST people do. If you found out something bad about your ancestors, would you feel obliged to do penance? If you found out something good, would you expect it to raise our opinions of you? You’d be a fool to do either.

    If not, and you are against citizenship by birth, why not? If you can’t see if determining whether or not a double standard exists here is relevant, I can’t help you.

    Wow. You seem to be so far gone on the false dichotomy thing, it’s sort of scary. There are a lot of other options than the ones you’re presenting. (your statement is about as useful as one saying “if you claim to care about the kids, why don’t you live in poverty and give all your money to the BABIES? Huh? HUH?” which–hopefully–you would recognize as idiotic.

    Anyway.

    If you had actually read my posts, you’d see that I’m not against citizenship by birth per se. However, I think it’s merely one of many options which can and perhaps should be modified if we wish to perform an overall reassessment of our immigration policy.

    But, hey! Let’s just all flame each other. Why actually hear anything that might possibly alter our current positions? That’s too hard. Like this!

    OK, OK, I’ll ask a more directed question:

    You appear to assume that one’s ancestry should determine one’s stance on illegal immigration.
    1) What assumptions underly your argument?
    2) Is illegal immigration the only thing that should be determined by ancestry, or do you think we should be governed throughout our lives by the actions of our ancestors?

  9. 109
    Jake Squid says:

    2) Because unlike my ancestors, they are a problem NOW. I don’t waste a lot of time worrying about the actions of dead people. Do you?

    Yes, yes. This is my point. It isn’t the actions of dead people that I’m worrying about. It is the results of the actions of those dead people. At the time, people were saying exactly the same things anti-immigrant people are saying now. Did those immigrants wreck the economy and the country? Why do you think that the current wave will do so, such that we must crack down on immigration?

    I don’t know about you, but I certainly spend time considering the effects of the actions of dead people.

    If you found out something bad about your ancestors, would you feel obliged to do penance?
    It’s actually not a question of good or bad – unless you prefer to think of immigration that way. It’s a question of what did my ancestors do? What are the present day effects of that on both myself and my society? Is the end result good or bad? That is the relevance of asking how your family got here. If the end result was good, both personally and societally, I’m going to promote that action currently unless circumstances have changed so drastically that said results can no longer be reasonably assumed to happen now. OTOH, if the end result was bad, either personally or societally, I’m likely to discourage that action – moreso if it was bad societally only than if it was personally only.

    You appear to assume that one’s ancestry should determine one’s stance on illegal immigration.
    1) What assumptions underly your argument?

    That people should be treated equally if at all possible.

    But I don’t assume that one’s ancestry should determine one’s stance on illegal immigration.

    I do believe that knowledge of how your family (and a large percentage of other families) became citizens should have some bearing on your position. Was it good or bad societally? “There but for the grace of god,” and all that. Or perhaps, “Do unto others.” But those last two sentences relate, in large part, to immigration issue 1 – morality. Going back to the beginning of this paragraph, without that knowledge you are just pretending that your family was American when it burst forth, fully dressed for battle from the forehead of yadayadayada, and therefore more authentically American than current first generation families can ever become. You are pretending that the US is not almost entirely made up of immigrants. Past immigration is not irrelevant to current immigration.

    2) Is illegal immigration the only thing that should be determined by ancestry, or do you think we should be governed throughout our lives by the actions of our ancestors?
    See the paragraph above.

    If you would actually read what I’m writing and ask questions where I have been unclear, you wouldn’t go off on this wild hare ride. It is not a matter of dichotomy, false or otherwise. It is a matter of whether history (in this case personal) and knowledge of history has any relevance. I believe that it does in this case. Again, what was the result of past immigration, illegal and legal, for our country? Should we take that into account when considering policy today?

    2) Because unlike my ancestors, they are a problem NOW. I don’t waste a lot of time worrying about the actions of dead people.
    It keeps coming back to this for me. What kind of problem are they now? Frankly, a number of economists says that our economy would be in sorry shape without them. I’m sorry, Sailorman, but it looks to me like your thinking is based on an assertion that hasn’t been proven or on something else that I am missing. At what point in our history would it have benefited us to crack down on illegal immigration? In what ways would we have benefited?

    Yep, because people have decided that those who succesfully illegally immigrate should be rewarded.

    I find this nonsensical. By definition those who have successfully illegally immigrated are rewarded. OTOH, those who have unsuccessfully illegally immigrated are punished.

    The thing is, no matter how you punish people coming from a situation where imprisonment, deportation or death is worth the risk for them, they will still come. The carrot isn’t that they are allowed to “successfully illegally immigrate,” the carrot is that their destination is infinitely better than their current location. I suppose that you could work to improve the living conditions and future prospects in their native countries as a way to disincentivize them from coming to more prosperous countries. But that doesn’t seem likely given prevailing opinion about not sharing our stuff. Or, I guess, you could go the other way and have death-hunts for illegals to try to make our country a lot less attractive – other half-measures don’t really cut it when you talk about disincentives on immigration.

    Seriously, what part of Eastern European Jew goes to early Nazi Germany for a better life don’t you understand in the context of carrots and sticks (black eyes/feathers in cap)? The point at which Jews stopped illegally immigrating into Germany was the point at which the Government was openly killing them. Your “carrot” arguments don’t make a lot of sense in the real world. People move to the nearest place where they believe they can have a better life. The USA is an astoundingly rich country. It’s mere existence while refraining from killing illegal immigrants is all the carrot a multitude of people will ever need.

    Again, I believe that there are (at least) 3 aspects to this discussion. Morality, economics and context. The comments I am reading tend to mash them together in ways that don’t make sense – using faulty economic claims to support moral claims while ignoring context, for example – and that I find unconvincing. Especially given that these claims mirror those against immigration during those past periods.

    Let’s look at an economic claim that we have seen here as an example: Illegal immigration drives down wages and hurts the economy.

    First, Dianne has provided a link claiming that the effects on wages are minimal. This claim has not been disputed here. Secondly, I have seen no evidence, nor has any been provided here (unless I missed it) that illegal immigration (or, if it were not illegal, just plain immigration) hurts the economy.

    Secondly, if the anti-immigration forces main concern is about driving down wages, why isn’t there a movement to illegalize off-shoring. As far as I can tell, offshoring is demonstrably damaging to wages. Why this concentration on the one with less support for its basic claim?

    Once you look at that economic claim and come to those conclusions (if we can come to those conclusions. As always, correct me on the facts if I am wrong.), the question of why the energy is directed at immigration falls into moral and contextual areas.

    Of course, things can go in the other direction as well – from contextual to economic, from moral to contextual. But the mashing of all three into a frenzy of, “Ren, you eeediot!” comments just leads to more “Ren, you eeediot!” comments.

    Seriously, break your argument down into its components. If you want to talk about the economic effects of immigration, don’t mix in the moral aspects. And vice-versa. It makes it difficult to detect what your core issue is and that makes it difficult to respond in a way that furthers discussion.

    My position is that I don’t see the need for limits on immigration/permanent residency at this time. Well, other than what Dianne(?) has suggested wrt criminal history and criminal activity. At the same time, I’m open to alternatives to our current citizenship by birth rules.

    Tell me why we need limits. Tell me how to best enforce those limits. It could be that there are actual good and valid reasons that I just can’t filter out of the classic anti-immigrant language that we’ve heard for over a century.

  10. 110
    Tuomas says:

    Jake, somehow I don’t believe that majority of illegal immigrants these days Jews fleeing from Nazis.

    The carrot isn’t that they are allowed to “successfully illegally immigrate,” the carrot is that their destination is infinitely better than their current location. I suppose that you could work to improve the living conditions and future prospects in their native countries as a way to disincentivize them from coming to more prosperous countries. But that doesn’t seem likely given prevailing opinion about not sharing our stuff. Or, I guess, you could go the other way and have death-hunts for illegals to try to make our country a lot less attractive – other half-measures don’t really cut it when you talk about disincentives on immigration.

    How about these:

    1) No amnesty to illegals, but deportation
    2) Seriously punish employees who hire illegals (thus, illegal immigration for a job becomes practically nonexistent, no more “jobs that Americans won’t do”)
    3) No government benefits (free healthcare etc.) to illegals
    4) No automatic citizenship to those born inside borders (technically, free healthcare to babies born to illegals is a benefit for the said illegals, too, as we usually see these kinds of things as something not just for the benefit of the babies, but parents.)

    I mean, Finland isn’t full of illegal Russians, despite the fact that economy gap is about similar, and the border is long (Mexico and Russia are rather similar: Rich in natural resources and very uneven distribution of resources).

    No, there aren’t death squads (heh, on times of peace). Employees just aren’t allowed to get away with what they are allowed to get away with in the US.

    It is true that Euro countries are exceedingly soft on deporting asylum seekers (some really need asylum, others just like the Big Government welfare), but a similar situation just doesn’t exist.

    The big incentives for illegals to US are:
    1) Work
    2) Residence
    3)Automatic citizenship to children

    Why is this so immoral, then?

    1) Because it isn’t the democratic will of the American people (I don’t think it is relevant to nitpick whether it helps or hurts the economy more). So if people want to give immigrants access to the US, convince your fellow citizens of the wisdom of that.
    2) It unfairly privileges those who have illegally immigrated at the expense of those who are filing their applications. Consuela who snuck in gets a better future for her children and probably amnesty at some “immigration reform” Maria who patiently filed her application doesn’t, nor do her children. If you think, “Ok, give citizenship to BOTH!” See part 1.

  11. 111
    Tuomas says:

    Messed up the blockquote, as is apparent.

  12. 112
    Tuomas says:

    Further Jake, FYI, I find sweatshops and offshoring jobs to countries with immoral work laws (that basically are only marginally better than slavery, or that, God forbid, use child labor) immoral, and strive with my own consumer choices to avoid supporting this.

  13. 113
    RonF says:

    Whether or not we need limits on immigration, and if so what they should be, is a valid discussion to have. About legal immigration.

    As far as the concept of what should be done about illegal immigration, it has little consequence. Right now we have limits. Right now we have a class of people whose very presence in our country is a violation of the law. Right now we have an unsecured border that a very large number of people cross in an uncontrolled fashion, without any idea of who they are or what their intent is on an individual basis.

    I’m perfectly willing to listen to the case that the U.S. can and should admit more legal immigrants, and to a case for what kinds of qualifications should be required of them both pre- and post-entry. The case should take note that the idea of immigration law is to benefit the United States, not the immigrants. We already admit a great many immigrants to this country on that basis; two of them that I work with just got their citizenship this year, and we all celebrated heartily and gave them gifts. Immigration is a good thing, and has and will continue to make this country strong and unique in the world.

    But this must be coupled with an insistence that the influx of illegal aliens must be stopped. Not slowed down a bit, not argued about while it continues unabated. Stopped, as much as is possible, by whatever means are available. If people have a case to enter the U.S., let them make it and have it judged by our own standards, not their own. I’d support beefing up the INS to a degree that would ensure that application for entry and for citizenship would be handled in a fair and expeditious manner; it apparent that the INS and the State department are not doing a good job in these areas, and that in part it’s due to a lack of resources. But I will not support the present situation, where people who are sworn to uphold our laws and our Constitution are arguing to help or allow people to subvert them instead.

  14. 114
    Tuomas says:

    (Im a regular spammer lately)

    I meant employers aren’t allowed to get away with hiring illegals, on #110.

  15. 115
    Robert says:

    Jake, you persist in equating opposition to illegal immigration with opposition to immigration, period. Most opponents of illegal immigration are all for a robust and healthy legal immigration system. The most draconian proposals with any popularity are those which call for a slowdown or a pause to catch up on the assimilation process, before resuming mass immigration.

    The economic issue isn’t particularly important; no real-world level of immigration is going to have a substantive effect (positive or negative) on our Goliath of an economy. There will be pluses and minuses, same as with adding any other input to the system, but on balance, more people = more wealth.

    The principal issues that make illegal immigration problematic are security and justice.

    Security: In 1906, no immigrant from any place, regardless of their malevolence, had the capability of inflicting mass casualties on our country. Even people who came in with typhoid or something were only incrementally contributing to already existing problems. In 2006, the porousness of our borders means that our country’s enemies have easy access to our interior, and one guy coming in can do a lot of damage.

    Here’s a blog analogy. Amp has put up a “border” – in order to comment here, you have to be approved by him when you’re a new contributor. Lots of people don’t make the cut. A few others do make the cut but then run afoul of the rules and get the boot. Most people are able to comment freely and the result is a civil discussion. Although Amp has moderation responsibilities, they aren’t ginormous; he isn’t booting fifty trolls a day. If he reversed his policies, and let anyone and everyone contribute, the trolls would swarm like flies and he would spend all day booting objectionable comments and commenters. The initial boundary keeps out a lot of people who would inflict serious moderation costs downstream; trolls go elsewhere.

    Justice:

    Our legal immigration mechanism for rationing admission to the country right now is itself reasonably fair: it’s luck. You sign on to a waiting list and there’s a lottery, and if your number gets pulled, you get in (subject to some first-order screening, I believe.) But the fairness of the mechanism is fatally broken by the fact that citizens of the two countries which happen to adjoin our nation can basically walk in. Immigrants from the Ukraine don’t have that option; immigrants from Mexico or Canada do. The presence of the large group of illegals takes up mindshare space in the electorate; there is a feeling of “we don’t need more”. That translates to political pressure to keep the legal immigration numbers lower than they would be otherwise. Instead of a million Thais and a million Gambians and a million Chinese and a million Mexicans and so on, we have twelve million Mexicans and a million Canadians.

    There’s no intrinsic reason that I know of to prefer Mexicans to Chinese, or vice-versa. There is an intrinsic reason to try and give everyone who wants to come here an equal chance. Mass illegal immigration destroys that equality and privileges certain populations solely on the basis of geography.

    Now, your biggest point: “Tell me why we need limits.”

    Because more people want to come here than we want to accept. Dianne’s lefty friends in Central America may say they don’t want to come here; I’m sure billions more feel the same. But there are six billion people on this planet. Even if 90% of the people of the world have no desire to immigrate to America, that leaves 600 million who do. Most Americans don’t want to live in a country that has a billion people in it, at least not right now. That is itself a sufficient reason to limit immigration of all sorts.

  16. 116
    Dianne says:

    But this must be coupled with an insistence that the influx of illegal aliens must be stopped.

    How? Just beefing up the INS isn’t going to do it, although I agree that giving the INS the personnel to enable them to do their job efficiently makes sense. But the only ways I can think of to stop illegal immigration are all definitely worse than letting the illegal immigration continue and probably wouldn’t work anyway. Wall around the country? With border guards ready to shoot to kill? Didn’t work in East Berlin (though one could argue about the efficacy of shooting those trying to get in versus those trying to leave). Death penalty for illegal immigration? Hasn’t stopped or, arguably, even slowed down murderers in DP states. Deport everyone who can’t demonstrate American ancestory for at least three generations? Bye, most of y’all. And it’d be easy enough for illegal immigrants to get fake papers. Torch all businesses that employ illegal immigrants? Ooh, that’d be good for the economy.

    Yes, I know I’m being obnoxious here and that none of these ideas were what you had in mind, but I really can’t think of any effective way to stop illegal immigration. Well, maybe one: work to end oppression, poverty and injustice throughout the world. No economic and political imbalances, no reason to immigrate except for personal preference and specific jobs.

  17. 117
    Dianne says:

    In 2006, the porousness of our borders means that our country’s enemies have easy access to our interior, and one guy coming in can do a lot of damage.

    Of course, the only foreigners who actually have done any signficant damage to the US were legal visitors with unquestioned visas. The 9/11 attacks would have happened even if there had been not a single illegal immigrant in the US on that day. The other major terrorist attack in the US in the last 50 years was done by native born citizens.

  18. 118
    Tuomas says:

    Torch all businesses that employ illegal immigrants? Ooh, that’d be good for the economy.

    No, don’t “torch” them. Simply give them a big enough fine/penalty for employing illegals that they won’t do it.

  19. 119
    Daran says:

    Jake Squid:

    Well, let me know when you’d like to actually start discussing immigration and we can stop flaming each other.

    I’d much rather discuss healthcare.

  20. 120
    Tuomas says:

    Besides, economy is flexible.

    Currently the US economy is in some areas largely built on illegal immigration, because hiring illegals is easy and profitable, and it’s not like there’s any shortage of people who want to work in the US.

  21. 121
    Dianne says:

    somehow I don’t believe that majority of illegal immigrants these days Jews fleeing from Nazis.

    Not per se, but some of them come close. Talk to someone seeking asylum sometime. Find out what they’re running from and what’s happened to them. It’s generally fairly ugly. Of course, many immigrants are economic immigrants, fleeing poverty not political oppression per se, but it often comes to the same thing. Again, the way to decrease the rate of illegal immigration is not to further oppress these people but to work to eliminate the need to seek asylum. There aren’t many immigrants from Germany these days, not because we’ve sternly kept them out, but because Germany is a democratic country with a working (if creaky) economy so few people want to leave.

  22. 122
    Tuomas says:

    Of course, the only foreigners who actually have done any signficant damage to the US were legal visitors with unquestioned visas. The 9/11 attacks would have happened even if there had been not a single illegal immigrant in the US on that day. The other major terrorist attack in the US in the last 50 years was done by native born citizens.

    Which is why controlling borders is totally unnecessary in the future. Because the 9/11 hijackers didn’t come in via the uncontrolled Mexican border, no terrorist ever will.

  23. 123
    Tuomas says:

    Talk to someone seeking asylum sometime. Find out what they’re running from and what’s happened to them. It’s generally fairly ugly. Of course, many immigrants are economic immigrants, fleeing poverty not political oppression per se, but it often comes to the same thing.

    Yes, and safe asylum (at least for as long as the danger persists) to those who really need it isn’t objectionable to me.

    And yet others have logical holes in their stories that you could drive a truck through, which, of course, hurts those who really need help and aren’t just preying on naivete of others.

  24. 124
    Dianne says:

    No, don’t “torch” them. Simply give them a big enough fine/penalty for employing illegals that they won’t do it.

    And what penalty would that be? The current law provides penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment and fines up to $10K for hiring illegal immigrants. That would ruin a small business but be of almost no deterent value to a major employer like “Wal-Mart” which has plenty of cash to pay fines and plenty of middle management to take the fall for the owners. Sliding scale fines would be much more equable, but that’s another issue yet.

  25. 125
    Dianne says:

    the uncontrolled Mexican border

    How do you propose “controlling” it?

  26. 126
    Tuomas says:

    Sliding scale fines would be much more equable, but that’s another issue yet.

    There you go.

    And actually enforcing the said laws might help, too. It is my understanding that the current situation is that illegal workforce isn’t seriously contested by the authorities.

  27. 127
    Tuomas says:

    How do you propose “controlling” it?

    Hell, you’re not seriously trying to tell a Finn that “US doesn’t have the resorces to secure the Mexican border because it’s so long and would be too costly”, are you?

  28. 128
    Ampersand says:

    1) I don’t believe that baby citizenship, nor government benefits, are a huge draw for illegal immigrants. What draws the huge majority of illegal immigrants is jobs that pay more than the jobs available in their home countries.

    2) Trying to stop illegal immigration at the border is a waste of money and time – the border is too large and the motivation to come to the US too strong.

    Insofar as tightening the borders is effective, it will backfire by raising the opportunity costs to illegal immigrants of leaving the US voluntarily, thus encouraging them to remain in the US longer.

    3) Draconian measures to stop illegal immigration will work if they’re aimed at the right people – employers. If we were willing to generously fund policing of employers, combined with significantly harsh and sure penalties for employers (not just fines, but prison time for upper management), the result would be a huge drop in illegal immigration. This is an area in which using an economic approach – by attacking the “demand” side of the illegal immigration market – would be more effective than a hundred walls and a hundred thousand soldiers.

    But we’re not willing to do that, because employers have a lot of money, and lawmakers don’t usually want to trouble people with a lot of money. But if we lack the political willingness to effectively fight illegal immigration with policies that work, we shouldn’t try to make up for it with putative measures that punish individual illegal immigrants but which won’t work.

    4) I don’t see why there has to be only one path to US citizenship. A successful application for a lottery is one way; but a record of living and working in the US for years while being a good community member should be a legitimate path to citizenship, too. There’s nothing unfair about having multiple routes available.

    5) There are thousands of workers who want to come and work in the US for a time, but who don’t want to live here forever, preferring instead to return to their homes after accruing some savings from their jobs here. We should legally enable them to do this; it’s good for them, and it’s good for the US.

    [Edited to add the phrase "for upper management" and the sentence beginning "this is an area."]

  29. 129
    Jake Squid says:

    Jake, somehow I don’t believe that majority of illegal immigrants these days Jews fleeing from Nazis.

    This is a major, major, major misreading of what I wrote. My grandfather was an illegal Jew from Hungary who was an illegal in Nazi Germany because work and future prospects were better there. Exactly the opposite of your interpretation. He did not flee Nazi Germany, rather he illegally lived and worked there.

  30. 130
    Tuomas says:

    This is a major, major, major misreading of what I wrote. My grandfather was an illegal Jew from Hungary who was an illegal in Nazi Germany because work and future prospects were better there. Exactly the opposite of your interpretation. He did not flee Nazi Germany, rather he illegally lived and worked there.

    Oops, you are right. Indeed it was. Apologies for my sloppy reading.

    Do you have a response to the other points I made in that post, though, or will you maintain that the only alternatives are mass murder or complete acceptance?

  31. 131
    Jake Squid says:

    Jake, you persist in equating opposition to illegal immigration with opposition to immigration, period.

    Not quite, although there is a subtlety to the difference. I equate opposition to illegal immigration with opposition to open immigration. I also equate opposition to illegal immigration (in its current stance) as both a waste of resources and unreasonably restrictive of immigration.

    The principal issues that make illegal immigration problematic are security and justice.

    With a sane and reasonable immigration policy, rather than attempting to enforce current law these problems go away. For example, an open policy in which anybody who wants to can become resident in the USA subject to a background check and subject to not committing felonies while in the US would negate these problems. You would have much greater knowledge of who is in the country and you would need many fewer resources to go after the “bad men” who, presumably, would be the only illegals.

    Now, your biggest point: “Tell me why we need limits.”

    Because more people want to come here than we want to accept.

    Fair enough. But here is a follow up question or three. If we feel that Americans aren’t having enough children to replace ourselves, isn’t our current limit too low? How do we decide what that limit is? Also, how many people could get here? I’ve never seen this asked or answered. Realistically, if we opened up immigration, should I expect to see 600 million people show up in the next year or 5?

    The economic issue isn’t particularly important; no real-world level of immigration is going to have a substantive effect (positive or negative) on our Goliath of an economy. There will be pluses and minuses, same as with adding any other input to the system, but on balance, more people = more wealth.

    Look! An area of agreement. Twice in one week, yet. The end of the world is nigh! Seriously, I’m glad to see somebody without an economic, “the sky is falling,” attitude towards immigration.

    1) No amnesty to illegals, but deportation
    2) Seriously punish employe[r]s who hire illegals (thus, illegal immigration for a job becomes practically nonexistent, no more “jobs that Americans won’t do”)
    3) No government benefits (free healthcare etc.) to illegals
    4) No automatic citizenship to those born inside borders (technically, free healthcare to babies born to illegals is a benefit for the said illegals, too, as we usually see these kinds of things as something not just for the benefit of the babies, but parents.

    I agree with this to a certain extent. In fact, in the last Alas thread on immigration, I proposed a slightly more detailed version of #2. I agree w/ Amp on #4. I am uncertain about #3, especially without specifics (emergency care, etc.) and more research.

    But this must be coupled with an insistence that the influx of illegal aliens must be stopped. Not slowed down a bit, not argued about while it continues unabated. Stopped, as much as is possible, by whatever means are available.

    Why? I imagine this really depends on what changes to immigration policy one proposes. What are your limits on “by whatever means are available?”

    No, don’t “torch” them. Simply give them a big enough fine/penalty for employing illegals that they won’t do it.

    And what penalty would that be?

    Well, one possibility is a fine of, say, 100 times what the employer should have paid. With, say, 1/4 of that going to the illegal immigrant who reported it along with a path to citizenship for said whistleblower. You can play with the numbers, but the key is to encourage illegal immigrants to report this when it happens.

  32. 132
    Daran says:

    Which is why controlling borders is totally unnecessary in the future. Because the 9/11 hijackers didn’t come in via the uncontrolled Mexican border, no terrorist ever will.

    They may do, but controlling the border will not stop them from entering.

  33. 133
    Sailorman says:

    Jake Squid Writes:
    November 7th, 2006 at 3:35 pm

    Jake, you persist in equating opposition to illegal immigration with opposition to immigration, period.

    Not quite, although there is a subtlety to the difference. I equate opposition to illegal immigration with opposition to open immigration. I also equate opposition to illegal immigration (in its current stance) as both a waste of resources and unreasonably restrictive of immigration.

    What do you think of as “open” immigration? Do you mean, perhaps, “unrestricted” immigration? I.e. “just like unfettered illegal immigration, but legal!”

    I agree that there’s only a very subtle difference between that and your views of illegal immigration. But what MOST people mean when they talk about “immigration” is, well, something similar to the existing, legal, system that we have in place for most of the world.

    So you’re right that most people who are opposed to illegal immigration (which is, BTW, most U.S. citizens, so it seems) are probably also opposed to “open immigration”. But because most folks DON’T mean “immigration” to be the same thing as “open immigration” you can easily misrepresent things.

    With a sane and reasonable immigration policy, rather than attempting to enforce current law these problems go away.

    So… anyone who disagrees with you is, what? Insane? Unreasonable? It doesn’t lead to much good discourse, which you profess to want.

    I basically see the goal of immigration policy as “cherry picking.”

    Identify those folks who would benefit the country, as best as you can, and encourage them to come.
    Identify those folks who would be a detriment, and do your best to keep them out.
    Let in the “middle” folks, or not, if we want more population.

    At the moment, demand is fairly high, so it seems we can afford to be a lot more picky than we are now. Certainly illegal immigration ignores that fundamental aspect of “pick the best” which is one of the reasons it is such a detriment.

  34. 134
    RonF says:

    Amp:

    Re: citizenship by birth

    I don’t think it’s a big draw overall, but it’s a significant draw for pregnant women who want their kids to have the advantage of U.S. Citizenship and who will then be able to stay in the U.S. themselves.

    Re: stopping the criminal crossing of our borders:
    I disagree. While the border is large, there are a number of technical innovations that can be used and we could also assign a lot more people to patrol it. We may not be able to stop everyone, but we can slow it down considerably. Don’t forget that not everyone trying to cross our border is (or can be considered) some guy trying to make a decent living. According to the Pew Institute of Hispanic Studies, fewer than 1/2 of the illegal aliens in the U.S. are employed. A recent study of arrests on the border shows that about 10% of them are not from Mexico, and Middle Eastern countries are represented there.

    Re; encouraging illegal aliens to not leave by making it harder for them to get back.
    I don’t see where many of them are leaving voluntarily anyway, so I don’t see how keeping more illegal aliens from coming into the country will net as creating a problem in decreasing the number of illegal aliens here. There are other things that can be done to work on that side of the issue. First, we can create AND ENFORCE employer sanctions

    3) Draconian measures to stop illegal immigration will work if they’re aimed at the right people – employers. If we were willing to generously fund policing of employers, combined with significantly harsh and sure penalties for employers (not just fines, but prison time for upper management), the result would be a huge drop in illegal immigration. This is an area in which using an economic approach – by attacking the “demand” side of the illegal immigration market – would be more effective than a hundred walls and a hundred thousand soldiers.

    Hear, hear.

    But we’re not willing to do that, because employers have a lot of money, and lawmakers don’t usually want to trouble people with a lot of money. But if we lack the political willingness to effectively fight illegal immigration with policies that work, we shouldn’t try to make up for it with putative measures that punish individual illegal immigrants but which won’t work.

    I agree with the first sentence, but not the second. Just because we can’t use one tool to close off illegal crossing of our borders doesn’t mean we should forgo another. Politics is the art of the possible; we have to use what we can.

    4) I don’t see why there has to be only one path to US citizenship. A successful application for a lottery is one way;

    That’s how one of my co-workers came over from Bulgaria.

    but a record of living and working in the US for years while being a good community member should be a legitimate path to citizenship, too.

    Iff they came here legally. Committing a criminal crossing of the U. S. Border is not being a good community member.

    There’s nothing unfair about having multiple routes available.

    Fine!

    5) There are thousands of workers who want to come and work in the US for a time, but who don’t want to live here forever, preferring instead to return to their homes after accruing some savings from their jobs here. We should legally enable them to do this; it’s good for them, and it’s good for the US.

    I agree and so does a majority of the country (or the government, anyway). That’s why program already exists. It’s called an H1B visa. The current quota is 65,000 a year, and they’re all issued every year. They are good for 6 years and allow your spouse and children to come here as well, so there are around 390,000 people working in the U.S. using them, and maybe more if you count the spouses and kids (I don’t know if the spouse of a H1B visa holder is allowed to work or not).

    Our democratic process has determined that it is in the best interests of the U.S. that only people with certain highly developed technical or professional skills be eligible for these. If the case can be made that this program should be expanded to non-professional workers, great; have this proposed by your Senator or Representative and let the debate begin.

  35. 135
    Dianne says:

    Hell, you’re not seriously trying to tell a Finn that “US doesn’t have the resorces to secure the Mexican border because it’s so long and would be too costly”, are you?

    I’m an American. What the &$*(#^# do I know about Finnish history? Had any success with the Finnish-Russian/Soviet border? Or the Finnish/Swedish border, for that matter? The eastern Finnish border is approx 1200 kilometers long, according to google, whereas the US-Mexican border is closer to 3100 kilometers. None of which is impassible due to ice. I’d be interested to hear what Finland has done to keep its border impermeable and how it has worked out, but I am skeptical of the idea that it could be used without modification in the US.

    Incidently, if I were a terrorist bent on getting into the US to cause havoc, I’d come in by the very loosely guarded Canadian border, not the relatively intensely guarded Mexican border. I’ve been over both and the Canadian border is definitely easier to cross.

  36. 136
    Dianne says:

    significantly harsh and sure penalties for employers (not just fines, but prison time for upper management)

    (Repeating myself)…the current law provides for fines of up to $10K per illegal immigrant hired and prison time for up to 5 years. Again, I would rather the fine be based on company income–$10K won’t discourage Wal-mart but would bankrupt an unfortunate small businessperson who was hired someone with forged papers. But 5 years in prison seems fairly harsh for anyone, though I’m not sure how to make it such that upper management would be held responsible…proving culpability might be difficult. Consistent enforcement might help, though: it’s hard to take a law seriously when it is selectively enforced.

  37. 137
    Tuomas says:

    I’m an American. What the &$*(#^# do I know about Finnish history? Had any success with the Finnish-Russian/Soviet border? Or the Finnish/Swedish border, for that matter? The eastern Finnish border is approx 1200 kilometers long, according to google, whereas the US-Mexican border is closer to 3100 kilometers. None of which is impassible due to ice. I’d be interested to hear what Finland has done to keep its border impermeable and how it has worked out, but I am skeptical of the idea that it could be used without modification in the US.

    You don’t have to know anything much about it. Just pointing out that Finland isn’t full of illegal Russians, which would seem to contradict completely your thesis that people will immigrate (illegally if necessary) from poorer countries to richer. The GDP difference in Mexico/USA is about the same as Finland/Russia (and there’s nothing to be done about it, except perhaps mass murder or making the country suck).

    None of the border is impassable due to perma-ice. Okay, yours is bigger by about 2 and half times. But you have 60 times more people (and even more wealth, with Mexico being even smaller), so proportionally it should be 24 times smaller issue for the US. Of course, Russia’s population centers aren’t close to our border, but still, if border guarding is such an impossibly hard task, surely you would expect Russians sneaking in, at least a couple of million or so? Or at least several hundreds of thousands?

    But no, it isn’t happening.

    Obviously, the border doesn’t need to be overzealously guarded, because people in Russia know that illegally crossing to Finland won’t benefit them. Because we enforce our laws, not just on border, but in the case of those, too that illegally have managed to get through. We don’t give them citizenship, we don’t give their children automatic citizenship, we don’t let them work without IDs.

    Hence, no pressure (thus less need for huge amounts of border guards, altough anecdotally from a second-hand experience [yes, I know] you can’t wander too far to the East side either without a Russian border guard stopping you and telling you to get back), they have to come legally or at least under fake IDs/pretenses through the checkpoints.

    I pointed out specifically to point out why “The border can’t be guarded” meme is patently false.

  38. 138
    Jake Squid says:

    What do you think of as “open” immigration? Do you mean, perhaps, “unrestricted” immigration? I.e. “just like unfettered illegal immigration, but legal!”

    From my comment # 131:
    For example, an open policy in which anybody who wants to can become resident in the USA subject to a background check and subject to not committing felonies while in the US would negate these problems.

    So… anyone who disagrees with you is, what? Insane? Unreasonable? It doesn’t lead to much good discourse, which you profess to want.

    No. Read the sentence again. I refer to sane, reasonable immigration policy. I don’t believe that most people who want current immigration laws enforced necessarily believe that those laws can be effective or are fair. Just because one supports policies/laws that are not sane and reasonable does not mean that the person is not sane or reasonable. I can think of many reasons to support policies/laws that are not sane or reasonable.

    And to respond in kind:
    That kind of hysterical response to a phrase which you admittedly aren’t sure of doesn’t lead to much good discourse. (/pseudo-flame)

    Tangentially (or analogically), I think that people who believe in god are not in posession of a sane or reasonable belief. That doesn’t mean that I believe that they aren’t sane or reasonable overall.

    But, what the hell. Go ahead and accuse me of something else that has the barest support behind it.

    It’s called an H1B visa.

    Aren’t H1B visas for only for highly skilled/technical jobs? Or are you saying that the only people we want here are highly skilled/technical workers? If so, how do you propose to harvest crops?

  39. 139
    Tuomas says:

    I pointed that out. I mean.

    Consistent enforcement might help, though: it’s hard to take a law seriously when it is selectively enforced.

    It’s even harder when it practically isn’t enforced and tacit approval of hiring illegals is common both among greedy right wingers with corporate connections and naive left wingers who want to show everyone how “tolerant” they are.

  40. 140
    Tuomas says:

    Ach, the parenthetical comment really went to the wrong place here:

    You don’t have to know anything much about it. Just pointing out that Finland isn’t full of illegal Russians, which would seem to contradict completely your thesis that people will immigrate (illegally if necessary) from poorer countries to richer. The GDP difference in Mexico/USA is about the same as Finland/Russia (and there’s nothing to be done about it, except perhaps mass murder or making the country suck).

    Should be:
    You don’t have to know anything much about it. Just pointing out that Finland isn’t full of illegal Russians, which would seem to contradict completely your thesis that people will immigrate (illegally if necessary and there’s nothing to be done about it, except perhaps mass murder or making the country suck)) from poorer countries to richer. The GDP (per capita) difference in Mexico/USA is about the same as Finland/Russia .

  41. 141
    Tuomas says:

    Aren’t H1B visas for only for highly skilled/technical jobs? Or are you saying that the only people we want here are highly skilled/technical workers? If so, how do you propose to harvest crops?

    Try hiring American workers or legal immigrants. Or increasing technical innovations on farming. You can’t claim that would be more expensive, because immigrants don’t drive down wages, remember?

  42. 142
    Dianne says:

    Obviously, the border doesn’t need to be overzealously guarded, because people in Russia know that illegally crossing to Finland won’t benefit them.

    Or because the border is being zealously guarded on both sides. Or maybe because the border is further from any significant population centers or because the relative economic gradient has worsened over time since the fall of the Soviet Union, meaning that the incentive is relatively recent in onset. Or any of a number of other different variables might be in play. Again, interesting, but not a model that would solve all the US’s problems if it were transplanted here.

  43. 143
    Tuomas says:

    Illegal immigrants, should read, but immigration as whole does have that last effect, slightly.

  44. 144
    Tuomas says:

    Or because the border is being zealously guarded on both sides.

    Yeah, well, but it has worked (previously). What a great big fucking surpise that now with EU it’s suddenly becoming “impossible”.

  45. 145
    Tuomas says:

    No, I’m not telling you to take the Finnish system as whole, jsut like adopting parts from the Irish system doesn’t mean taking it as whole.

    I’m also curious why Russians are supposed to be worse now with the collapse of Soviet Union. Because sure as hell suffered under it.

  46. 146
    mythago says:

    those of us who are opposed to illegal immigration

    Gee, I’m opposed to illegal immigration. I just don’t see that the problem is an excuse to play Iron-Fisted Empress, especially at the expense of children.

    I’ve also had direct experience with immigration in the US, and anyone who thinks it’s simply a matter of filling out the right forms and waiting patiently is hallucinating. I occasionally joke that The Agency Formerly Known As INS was originally a Cold War experiment, where the CIA attempted to replicate a shadow Soviet bureaucracy, and it got loose. I’m only partly joking.

    but it’s a significant draw for pregnant women who want their kids to have the advantage of U.S. Citizenship and who will then be able to stay in the U.S. themselves

    I’d like to see some hard facts showing that it is, actually, a ‘significant draw’. And there is nothing about having a baby born in the US that normalizes one’s own immigration status. An illegal immigrant who is the mother of a citizen is still an illegal immigrant. Unless you’re staying that Mom figures it’s worth a twenty-year wait for her kid to grow up and file a relative petition for her.

  47. 147
    RonF says:

    Yes, but she’s an illegal alien that gets to stay in the U.S. to work and take care of her kid. That’s far preferable to life in Mexico, apparently.

  48. 148
    mythago says:

    If her immigration status does not change by having a baby, how does she “get to stay to work” and take care of her kid? She’s still here illegally. She still has no legal right to work.

    Still waiting for evidence that the opportunity to birth a citizen is a ‘significant’ draw.

  49. 149
    Tuomas says:

    Still waiting for evidence that the opportunity to birth a citizen is a ’significant’ draw.

    In other words, you’re waiting for poll results that have been achieved by asking every illgal immigrant in the US what his or her for getting there was.

    You know damn well such thing does not exist.

    I agree with Amp that jobs are probably a bigger incentive, but it’s the combination. People seek better future for themselves and their children. I don’t see why you and Amp have to insist that there is One True Cause for illegal immigration instead of a combined incentive package (higher paying job, possiblity for amnesty, autocitizenship for children [are you going to claim that parents don't think about the future of their children? I've got a bridge you might be interested in buying...]), lack of enforcement (lack of “stick”) and the hardness of legal immigration.

    And there is nothing about having a baby born in the US that normalizes one’s own immigration status. An illegal immigrant who is the mother of a citizen is still an illegal immigrant. Unless you’re staying that Mom figures it’s worth a twenty-year wait for her kid to grow up and file a relative petition for her.

    Gee, because people only think how their children might give direct economic and political benefit to them. Jesus.

  50. 150
    Tuomas says:

    his or her reason/motive for getting there was.

  51. 151
    Tuomas says:

    Mythago,

    Further, not US (in which case I have already admitted that the main pull is work), but France, which also has birthright citizenship:

    Check here, for example:

    The problem with the birthright law is serious. There are some French islands on the Pacific Ocean which are the destination of a long and often dangerous journey for pregnant women from neighbouring islands. The biggest crisis is on the island of Mayotte where more than 30 percent of the inhabitants (from about 160 thousand) are of illegal origin. In the Capital of Mayotte, there is a clinic which is probably the biggest maternity hospital in France. Every year about 7.5 thousands women give birth in this clinic, which is far more than in any Parisian hospital. The authorities from Guatemala and Guyana have to cope with similar problems.

    The number of the labors among immigrants is not the only problem. So-called “pregnancy immigrations” have more serious effects. Women from poorer islands usually decide to stay on the French ground and avail themselves of the social help which is ensured by the French social system. It causes economical depressions and unemployment among immigrants, reaching as high as 40 percent.

    (my emphases)

    This is completely logical considering the incentive system. Don’t play stupid.

  52. 152
    Robert says:

    Still waiting for evidence that the opportunity to birth a citizen is a ’significant’ draw.

    I think that evidence is stored next to the evidence demonstrating that folks like ice cream.

    People are willing to cross deserts and/or paddle leaky rafts through shark-infested waters to get to the United States – not even to become citizens, just to have the “privilege” of working like a dog at hard jobs.

    It is (apparently) your contention that for this exact same population – a population accurately described as “demonstrably willing to risk death for a marginal improvement in their family’s prospects” – the idea of imbuing one’s children with free US citizenship has zero motivational value.

    It is the extraordinary claim that requires the extraordinary proof. You’re the one who needs to present evidence.

  53. 153
    mythago says:

    In other words, you’re waiting for poll results that have been achieved by asking every illgal immigrant in the US what his or her for getting there was.

    In other words, you’re saying that I should just accept somebody else’s say-so, and if I ask for them to back up their claim, why, I’m arguing in bad faith.

    You know damn well that’s ridiculous. You too, Robert.

    Citing an article about French colonials (an an article which itself is rather vague) proves nothing.

  54. 154
    Robert says:

    Your position requires us to ignore everything we know about human psychology, Mythago. “Nobody could possibly be motivated by this factor – even though a much attenuated version of this factor is sufficient to motivate them to risk their lives in enormous numbers.”

    In essence, you are arguing that people don’t really like ice cream, and demanding that we show you peer-reviewed studies proving that they do. We think that the quantity being sold every day, and the “yum yum slurp slurp” coming from the kid’s table, is sufficient proof.

  55. 155
    mythago says:

    Nobody could possibly be motivated by this factor

    Please point out where I said such a thing. You and Tuomas are pretending that “Please show me the basis for ‘this is a SIGNIFICANT draw’” is synonymous with “Nobody could ever have such a motivation”.

    If we want to show that people like ice cream, it’s trivial to go around asking a representative sample of grocery-buyers if they like ice cream. Tuomas is also pretending that the only way to prove his point is “poll results that have been achieved by asking every illgal immigrant in the US what his or her for getting there was”.

    How odd that you, normally Mr. Anecdotes Are Not Facts, suddenly starts hand-waving about psychology and ice cream because an unproven assertion is near and dear to your heart.

  56. 156
    Robert says:

    It’s not particularly near and dear to my heart. It’s just appears to be common sense.

  57. 157
    Tuomas says:

    . You and Tuomas are pretending that “Please show me the basis for ‘this is a SIGNIFICANT draw’” is synonymous with “Nobody could ever have such a motivation”.

    Please read what I have written before, about the combined incentives, and the admittance of work being a more relevant factor in the case of US illegal immigration.

    Tuomas is also pretending that the only way to prove his point is “poll results that have been achieved by asking every illgal immigrant in the US what his or her for getting there was”.

    No, I simply think that you’re asking for evidence that you already know doesn’t exist in a form that you would accept as evidence. The polling of all illegals would be one example of those.

    How odd that you, normally Mr. Anecdotes Are Not Facts, suddenly starts hand-waving about psychology and ice cream because an unproven assertion is near and dear to your heart.

    Why is it “dear”? You seem to hate the suggestion that this (citizenship by birthplace) could be a significant factor, so you assume that others must be motivated by ideological love to the assumption.

    I would also point out that “where is the evidence that this will happen” would apply just as well to this article in itself, altough I would (despite my initial opposition) agree that this will indeed result to some babies not getting healthcare.

  58. 158
    mythago says:

    No, I simply think that you’re asking for evidence that you already know doesn’t exist in a form that you would accept as evidence. The polling of all illegals would be one example of those.

    So, wait–you’re saying that evidence for your proposition that ‘anchor babies’ are a ‘significant draw’ doesn’t exist? Or that it does, but in some form you have telepathically determined I would never accept, so you don’t have to tell me what that evidence is?

    I’m simply asking on what you base that claim. You got angry and made the ridiculous claim that the only way to prove that claim would be to poll *every single illegal immigrant*. Which is nonsense on a purely statistical level; unless your population is tiny, you needn’t poll every single member of a group to find out what they think abuot any issue.

    It’s just appears to be common sense.

    “I can make a plausible argument and it pleases my sense of outrage” is not the same thing as “common sense,” Robert. Especially since having a citizen baby does nothing to one’s own immigration status.

  59. 159
    Tuomas says:

    So, wait–you’re saying that evidence for your proposition that ‘anchor babies’ are a ’significant draw’ doesn’t exist?

    It’s not my proposition, to US anyway.

    I’m simply asking on what you base that claim. You got angry and made the ridiculous claim that the only way to prove that claim would be to poll *every single illegal immigrant*.

    You’re being hysterical, Mythago. Calm down :P.

    I know that the problem of pregnant immigrants attempting to get illegally to a country that has Jus Soli does exist — No, I don’t know it “telepathically” I know it from news etc. that I have watched (you can attempt googling on the issue etc.), of course, your “significant” clause is vague, as I have no idea what you would consider significant enough. In other words, I suspect that you’re asking for evidence, yet you retain the right to simply claim anything that I present as not significant enough, or too vague, or from a wrong source (too racist etc.).

    Then there is the tiny fact that I have, again, never claimed that the major reason (or significant, or whatever, but this is all so very vague and unspecific) for illegal immigration to the US (I know we’re discussing that now, mostly) is the possibility of dropping an “anchor baby”.

    I have repeatedly claimed that the possibility for better-paying work is in that case the major motivator in the case of US. But it is hard to break down the combined motivation (let’s call it “better prospects for future”) to specific parts while pleasing your sensibilities that this or that incentive is significant.

  60. 160
    mythago says:

    You’re being hysterical, Mythago. Calm down :P.

    You’re being disingenuous again, Tuomas. Calm down, because “hysterical” is not going to scare me off.

    The original proposition (which, you’re right, was Ron F.’s) was this: “I don’t think it’s a big draw overall, but it’s a significant draw for pregnant women who want their kids to have the advantage of U.S. Citizenship and who will then be able to stay in the U.S. themselves.” So apparently asking what the basis for ‘it’s a significant’ draw is, is teetering on the precipice of hysteria?

    (The proposition is also flat-out wrong in its claim that having a baby in the US normalizes the mother’s immigration status.)

  61. 161
    Sailorman says:

    myth,
    You’re not being hysterical (Tuomas, that was an obnoxious ad hom).

    I just think you’re missing the fact that it’s in the statement itself:

    “I don’t think it’s a big draw overall, but it’s a significant draw for pregnant women who want their kids to have the advantage of U.S. Citizenship and who will then be able to stay in the U.S. themselves.”

    The way the example was phrased limits it to a subset of women who care about U.S. citizenship. For that subset of women, it’s probably safe to say it’s a significant draw, wouldn’t you say?

    After all if I want my kid to be a U.S. citizen (for whatever reason) and I’m not a citizen, there are two ways to do it:

    1) immigrate post birth; or
    2) give birth in the U.S.

    Only one of those is within my complete control, and guaranteed to have the desired outcome. Option #2.

    (The proposition is also flat-out wrong in its claim that having a baby in the US normalizes the mother’s immigration status.)

    There may also be a selfish contingent, because there is CERTAINLY an advantage to having a U.S. citizen for a child, when they grow up. See, e.g., Form I-130. The parents will get extremely preferential standing for immigration under current U.S. immigration law.

    From the USCIS site (emphasis mine):

    Preference Categories

    If you wish to immigrate as a relative of a U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident, you must obtain an immigrant visa number based on the preference category in which you fall.

    People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a preference system. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by USCIS. An immigrant visa number will become immediately available. The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:

    *
    First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
    *
    Second Preference: Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children (under twenty-one), and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
    *
    Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens.
    *
    Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. Citizens.

    Once USCIS receives your visa petition (Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative), it will be approved or denied. USCIS notifies the person who filed the visa petition of the petition was approved. USCIS will then send the approved visa petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available. The Center will notify the foreign national when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is available. You do not need to contact the National Visa Center, unless you change your address or there is a change in your personal situation, or that of your sponsor, that may affect eligibility for an immigrant visa, such as reaching age 21, marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse.

    direct link to full doc at:
    http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=0775667706f7d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=4f719c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

  62. 162
    Tuomas says:

    You’re being disingenuous again, Tuomas. Calm down, because “hysterical” is not going to scare me off.

    If you’re just continuing the joke, then I love you, but if it so happens that you didn’t get it, then let me explain:

    I don’t think you are hysterical, I was poking fun at your insight to my emotional state in comment:

    You got angry and made the ridiculous claim that the only way to prove that claim would be to poll *every single illegal immigrant*.

    I admit that I do occasionally write on “gut feeling” rather than logic (as much as I’d like to deny that), I was poking fun at the general tendency in internet discussions to label someone “angry” or “hysterical” to cast oneself as the more rational and even-minded one.

    /drift

  63. 163
    Daran says:

    Sailorman

    “I don’t think it’s a big draw overall, but it’s a significant draw for pregnant women who want their kids to have the advantage of U.S. Citizenship and who will then be able to stay in the U.S. themselves.”

    The way the example was phrased limits it to a subset of women who care about U.S. citizenship. For that subset of women, it’s probably safe to say it’s a significant draw, wouldn’t you say?

    Strictly speaking, you are correct. Without a comma before “who” the clause should be treated as restrictive, i.e., defining. However the statement is then tautologically vacuous, because the set so described is possibly empty.

    Assuming the statement wasn’t intended to be content-free, we should interpret the clause as non-restrictive, i.e., describing.

  64. 164
    mythago says:

    The way the example was phrased limits it to a subset of women who care about U.S. citizenship. For that subset of women, it’s probably safe to say it’s a significant draw, wouldn’t you say?

    “Care about US citizenship” here mistakenly assumed that women who have a baby on US soil not only give birth to a citizen, but have their own immigration status normalized. That subset doesn’t exist. It also assumes that “pregnant women who immigrate for the purpose of insuring their children are citizens” is a large enough subset that it should drive Medicare policy.

    because there is CERTAINLY an advantage to having a U.S. citizen for a child, when they grow up.

    Yes–WHEN THEY GROW UP, as I’ve already stated many comments ago, the child can then apply for legal immigration status on behalf of his or her relatives. Who, by the way, need to be in compliance with US immigration law. So you’re positing a pregnant woman going through the physical stress of sneaking across the border, purely on the hope that in the next 18 years, she won’t get caught and deported, and then she can return to her home country and wait several more years for her child’s immigrant-relative petition to make its way through the system.

    Even assuming such planning and foresight, the far easier way for Mom to normalize her status is to marry a US citizen. Banking on your kid bringing you in two decades from now seems rather far-fetched. Even Robert was only claiming that Mom is leaving her baby in the US and hoping he has a better life than she did.

    I was poking fun

    “It’s a joke! Whydoncha have a sense of humah?!” is a pretty lame way to back off a comment you regret, Tuomas.

  65. 165
    Tuomas says:

    “It’s a joke! Whydoncha have a sense of humah?!” is a pretty lame way to back off a comment you regret, Tuomas.

    It is, which I don’t regre it.

  66. 166
    Tuomas says:

    Which is why I don’t regret it, I mean.

    Look, I’m going to apologize only if I have something to regret about.

  67. 167
    mythago says:

    Look, I don’t care whether or not you apologize. But if you’re going to sling insults, own it, instead of pretending that you were just funnin’, or that “:P” indicates that one’s preceding comment was merely a witticism.

  68. 168
    Tuomas says:

    Mythago, I was genuinely not attempting to insult, anymore than I was insulted by your suggestion that I got angry (because, as far as I remember I was mildly bemused).

    I meant what I said in comment #162, I wasn’t sure if you weren’t just funnin’, either. (Argh, the perils of Internet communication)

    But I do realize now that it can be read as an obnoxious comment with an attempt to intimidate.

  69. 169
    Rachel S. says:

    Let me interject a real life case I know of an “illegal immigrant” and his/her American citizen child. I know this case very well, and I know the law regarding this issue. First let me say, that parents are not allowed to stay and work in the US if they have an American born/citizen child. Mythago is right. The child cannot file until the age of 18, and the child must also make 1.5 time the poverty level, to show that he/she can support the sponsored parent.

    What most people are missing in this debate is that a high percentage (I think over half) of illegal immigrants come here legally, but they overstay visas. Immigration policy differentiates between those who come here illegally and have no status and those who come here legally but overstay visas. If you come here illegally and stay you have to return to your country for a period of time before a sponsor spouse or child can fully process a status adjustment. People who overstay visas do not have to do the same.

    Here are two stories that demonstrate the complexities of this:

    Case one: Person comes to the US legally on a college student visa. This person marries a US citizen in college because she/he is in love with this person and knows that she/he will have to leave the US upon graduation. The US citizen spouse becomes a sponsor, and they have a child together. The relationship gets rocky and the couple breaks up. The immigrant is now in the US illegally and cannot work. If the person leaves the US she/he won’t be able to see the child or support the child financially given the desparte economic conditions in the home country. The immigrant works illegally, getting fired a couple times, but finally staying at a job that doesn’t appear to check immigration status.

    Personally, I think this whole situation is unfair, and it is anti-family.

    Case two: Immigrant comes to the US illegally by using a permanent residents papers (with permission). This immigrant also brings her biological child and spouse. They have a child in the US, making this child the only US citizen. The immigrant child has been raised in the US, but will be ineligible for any social assitance for college even though the child had no say in his/her immmigration status. When the citizen child turns 18 she/he can apply for her parents, but not the sibling.

    These are both real cases, and they both demonstrate to me how our immigration policies are anti-family and harful to children.

  70. 170
    Sailorman says:

    mythago Writes:
    November 11th, 2006 at 1:04 pm
    …Yes–WHEN THEY GROW UP, as I’ve already stated many comments ago, the child can then apply for legal immigration status on behalf of his or her relatives. Who, by the way, need to be in compliance with US immigration law.

    OK, we don’t seem to disagree on the facts here.

    So you’re positing a pregnant woman going through the physical stress of sneaking across the border, purely on the hope that in the next 18 years, she won’t get caught and deported, and then she can return to her home country and wait several more years for her child’s immigrant-relative petition to make its way through the system.

    No.
    I’m positing:
    1) There is a real benefit to being a U.S. citizen. It is even better than being an illegal working in the U.S. (a status for which many, many people risk considerable harm, travel long distances, and plan to attain).
    2) There is (generally speaking, not just for illegal immigrants) a strong tendency for mothers to do everything in their power to help their children. We can disagree about this if you want, but I’m hoping we don’t need to.
    3) Nobody has to remain in the U.S. for the benefit to accrue to the child. Not even the KID has to remain in the U.S.: the mother can give birth in the U.S. (the kid is now a citizen) then leave (no immigration violation if she’s not caught–and the chances are infinitesimal she’ll be caught while leaving.) She’s giving her kid quite a benefit by doing so.
    4) Nobody has to remain in the U.S. for the benefit to accrue to the mother. See #3.
    5) Non-citizens are capable of planning for the long term.

    Now, I personally believe that the enticements of #1-3 are much greater than the enticements of #4 and 5. I don’t think that changing the ability to petition would remove a significant incentive to come illegally and birth a child in the country.

    I retain the belief that #1-3 are a decent incentive. The incentive may not be at the level where women are intentionally getting pregnant just to come here. But I can easily see it as creating a tipping point for those women who are ALREADY pregnant and want to try to ensure the best future for their children.

    Not incidentally, the degree to which it’s an incentive can be easily tested: Just make the “birth=citizenship” dependent on either LEGAL immigrant status, or citizenship of a parent. Wait a year or two for this to propagate out, and see if the births to illegal-immigrant parents go down.