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Immigration

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Quasimodo
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Immigration

Postby Quasimodo » Wed, 17 May 2006 6:53 pm

Let's take the first step of bringing to life this forum:

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush laid out plans Monday to send thousands of National Guard troops to bolster patrols along the southern U.S. border in a rare Oval Office address that was also expected to praise security co-operation with Canada.

Bush's focus in excerpts of his prime-time speech released early by the White House was on "dramatic improvements in manpower and technology'' at the southern border, including sending in as many as 6,000 guard troops as part of a $2 billion US security push.

"We do not yet have full control of the border and I am determined to change that,'' Bush said.


The president's push to bolster the Border Patrol with National Guard troops in the south is part of his attempt to win support for a compromise on major immigration reform in Congress, where legislators are split over how to deal with some 12 million illegal migrants already in the United States.

"America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time,'' said Bush. "We will fix the problems created by illegal immigration and we will deliver a system that is secure, orderly and fair.''

While the U.S. Border Patrol has been expanded from 9,000 to 12,000 people in recent years and has sent some six million people home, it's still not enough, Bush said.


Is Immigration , the searching for a better life, a right or is it the priviledge of the receiving country to say 'NO'?
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Wind In My Hair
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 17 May 2006 7:41 pm

good question. considering that the US, Australia, and Singapore are largely migrant nations it does seem unfair to deny others the same privilege of seeking a better life that our forebears had. and the lives we enjoy today as a result.

still, i wouldn't sleep as well at night if i knew that anyone was free to land on Singapore shores. last time i was on Pulau Ubin there were these horrendous metal structures in the water to prevent boats from landing on the beaches. i looked at them and thought "ugh, how ugly" but did not question their necessity.

in Singapore's case the argument (officlal one at least) is scarcity of resources. not sure the US can claim the same defence. the rationale would probably be more of the immigrants not being able to get jobs and therefore turning to crime and so on?

my stand would be that anyone is free to seek economic betterment, but not at someone else's expense. if that were the case, i would have the right to go live in my neighbour's house just because he has a nicer barbeque pit than mine.

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Re: Immigration

Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Wed, 17 May 2006 8:44 pm

Quasimodo wrote:Is Immigration , the searching for a better life, a right or is it the priviledge of the receiving country to say 'NO'?


Well of course it is both. I believe them to be mutually exclusive. It is simply the human spirit to try to improve one's life. I believe this to be innate in all of us.

Quite separately, the receiving country can say 'no'.

The problem is, in a country like the US which was founded on the principle of 'bring us your hungry, your poor' -- the health, education (and a few other systems) are so overly taxed in part by immigrants, that an overhaull of the laws of immigration is needed. Notice I didn't say illegal immigrants.

Yes, illegal immigrants are a huge burden, and do a lot of nasty jobs Americans no longer want to do. But when a state like California ranks 48th in education, and when it also has 5 of the richest counties in the country -- you know there is a problem.

And this is it: no one speaks English in California anymore. The teachers can't teach and they can't talk to the kids parents. The moneyed people run away to private schools and take their money with them. The teachers left in the public schools in Marin County, the richest county in the US, are using their own money to photocopy text books because there are no more. The school is that poor.

If I were the Queen of America I would:

make english the official language

give illegal immigrants a chance to make ammends by becoming citizens and paying taxes

keep the 6000 troops at the border if they proved effective at curbing illegals crossing the border

imprison traffickers of illegal aliens for life with hard labor

for immigrants and all citizens, you have 1 year on welfare, enjoy it.

deal with those that do show up on a case by case basis

revoke Tom Cruise's citizenship. And Jerry Falwell too. I hate those guys.

There is a lot more to this issue, and this is just the very beginning of my master plan...

Image

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Re: Immigration

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 May 2006 10:38 pm

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:Yes, illegal immigrants are a huge burden, and do a lot of nasty jobs Americans no longer want to do. But when a state like California ranks 48th in education, and when it also has 5 of the richest counties in the country -- you know there is a problem.

And this is it: no one speaks English in California anymore.


Last time I went home to the Eastern Shore of Maryland where farming and seafood are our primary crops we also have one other main crop and that is chicken farms (Home of Perdue Chickens). When I came overseas 20 odd years ago there weren't any migrant workers - legal or illegal. Now the entire industry is swamped by mexican & peurto rican workers of both types. We used to be able to leave the keys in our cars. Now my mother sleeps with a loaded rifle beside the bed and one in the kitchen. (and at 80 she can still hit the head of a blacksnake at 50 meters).

The local grocery stores have cash registers (the new computerized ones that you can sign on the screen for credit cards) the instruction are all in spanish! I'm talking about 70 miles outside of our Nations Capitol! I hope they close the boarders tighter than a diving duck butt.

That said, I am all for immigration done legally and keeping English as a requirement for citizenship or a Green Card or an H1B Visa for that matter.

WIMH, We have to include Singapore in your list as well as onlly 15% of the population is indigenous, the rest are immigrants or their offspring as well. Using land constraints isn't fair when you consider that they have increased Singapore's total landmass by 20% over the past 25 years. In addition, when I moved here the government said this island could only hold a maximum of 3.5 million people. Now they are talking over 5 million and how are they going to get their unless there is a lot of inbreeding going on?

So my answer to V's question is It is a right, nay, it is a duty for a person to try to better their position but within a legal context only. It is the right of a country to either accept or deny either legal immigrants or illegal Economic migrants.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 17 May 2006 11:12 pm

SMS, i did include singapore in the list. and i agree that land constraints is a red herring, it is just the 'official' reason as i mentioned. there are other issues at stake that i'm sure you know as well as i do but that would be slightly off topic.

seems we are all agreed that any sovereign nation has the right to decide who to welcome into its flock. perhaps the real question then is, do some countries have a greater moral responsibility to do so?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 17 May 2006 11:28 pm

Oh boy. That one is a real slippery slope isn't it. Do some countries have a greater moral responsibility? Are you intimating that some countries don't have nor need to have the same morals?

By what yardstick would you measure moral responsibility? Landmass? Better birthcontrol? Better Leaders in the past? More humanitarian leaders? Per capita/landmass ratio? The last one puts singapore as the densest and the Sahara Desert as the least but who wants to go to the latter?

I think we should back off of that tangent as I don't think there is an answer.

I could really go on at some length after haveing worked with UNHCR resettling Vietnamese Refugees from '88 to '91 here in S.E.Asia where none of the Asian countries - I mean absolute zero would take any of the refugees. On that I'll stop there.

edited for worse typos than V :wink:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 18 May 2006 12:00 am

i wasn't intimating anything, just asking another question to keep the discussion going since we seemed more or less agreed on the original question. i agree there is no objective yardstick and hence open for debate. we can strike the question off the record if any mod or everyone wishes. this is after all meant to be a moderated forum.

but if it is allowed to stay, then where i am coming from is this: i personally think some people have a greater moral responsibility than others to contribute to society and help other people, because they have been endowed with greater vision, greater intellect, greater physical strength, greater worldly exposure... again there is no objective yardstick, neither is it an externally imposed duty. it is just something that i believe some people feel inside. and i'm not talking about elitism either but a genuine sense of duty, not exactly chosen, but accepted.

i was simply extending that to a national scale and asking people if they think it applies. are decisions on immigration purely socio-economic or is there a sense of moral responsibility when governments consider the issue?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 18 May 2006 12:16 am

Alright, as one who as done my share of humanitarian work, I'll put it this was. I think that ALL countries that claim to be developing countries or developed countries have a moral responsible for putting in the mechanism to allow for the intake of refugees (I cannot give an example to use for guidelines for same however) from the tyranny of oppressive regimes if at all possible. Again, how would they develop a measurement of the quantum they could accept? I also believe a country doesn't have any moral responsiblity to take in Economic Migrants (But the odds of a country taking these people in is actually greater than taking the refugee who is the victim of persecution). Why? Because the refugee is probably bringing nothing to the bargining table as it were. The Economic Migrant probably has something to offer.

Illegial Immigrants on the other hand, only deserve to be deported if caught as the put a hidden strain on the economy. Putting them in Jail is not a solution as it strains the prison system as well which the average taxpayer has to support with his taxes as well.

Anyway, enough for tonight. Been Yawning since 3 this afternoon.

NB: Immigration is a big subject - I think you know what is meant by going off topic! :wink:

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Postby riversandlakes » Thu, 18 May 2006 2:03 am

No man's an island, hence treat others as one would like to be treated.

I won't want my neighbours to crash-land in my house just because he feels justified to do so (?!). BUT if the refugee has many to offer - as in already educated, productive, etc, then why not?
It shall benefit the recipient country in the long run.
Hey, not only for academic paper holders but if the population won't wash dishes for a living, why not let in willing foreigners?

Existing mechanisms of ensuring only potential contributors are accepted in a society just needs to be refined. I am of the opinion that it is for the best.
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But the world is full of fluffier ones.

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Postby CardZeus » Thu, 18 May 2006 11:11 am

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.

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Postby Baron Greenback » Thu, 18 May 2006 1:09 pm

Imagine the planet as a park, and the people are ants. In the park there are a number of picnic hampers. If the ants are allowed to go where they want the picnics will be demolished one by one until there is nothing left.

If however the flow of ants are somehow controlled, a little of each picnic is eaten & the people who bring their picnics to the park will not be tht bothered & will come back - ensuring that there will be more picnics in the future.

Does that analogy work?

It is a difficult question because as an expat I am an immigrant, so in a way I am an ant allowed to go to another picnic because I can tell those ants something that they didn't know already. hhhmmmmmm maybe it doesn't work :?
"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."
Hemingway

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Postby CardZeus » Thu, 18 May 2006 5:25 pm

Baron Greenback wrote:Imagine the planet as a park, and the people are ants. In the park there are a number of picnic hampers. If the ants are allowed to go where they want the picnics will be demolished one by one until there is nothing left.

If however the flow of ants are somehow controlled, a little of each picnic is eaten & the people who bring their picnics to the park will not be tht bothered & will come back - ensuring that there will be more picnics in the future.


I believe this is the first draft of 'Imagine' :cool:
The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.

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Postby Baron Greenback » Thu, 18 May 2006 5:45 pm

you could be right CZ :wink:
"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."

Hemingway

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Postby jpatokal » Thu, 18 May 2006 6:21 pm

Baron Greenback wrote:Imagine the planet as a park, and the people are ants. In the park there are a number of picnic hampers. If the ants are allowed to go where they want the picnics will be demolished one by one until there is nothing left.

Does that analogy work?

No. It's us ants who make the picnic hampers, Why should the brown ants in Mexico have to starve when the white ants in the US gorge on the best picnic food the world has to offer?

As a person with no stake whatsoever in the US-Mexico immigration thing, I think the US is going about it in entirely the wrong way. It's obvious that there is way more demand for cheap labor than current immigration policies can supply; the solution is not to build higher walls, because as long as the demand is there, the supply will make it through. (You could make some analogies to the "War on Drugs" here, but that's another thread.)

Instead, it should be made extremely easy to immigrate in search of work, so that the legal supply matches demand. This way the foreign workers can be tracked (good for the state) and they have their basic rights protected (good for them). After -- and only after -- this is done does it make any sense to start getting very harsh on illegal immigrants.

In my personal opinion, we should just tear down all borders and let people move to wherever they want to. It'll mean a bit of havoc in the beginning, but nature will reach equilibrium soon enough. And before you laugh and call me a fool, tell me this -- would the US be better off if every state suddenly erected borders around itself and New York started to require a one-year application process with visa fees, personal interviews, etc every time a New Jerseyan wanted to cross the border?
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Postby Plavt » Thu, 18 May 2006 7:21 pm

jpatokal wrote:
In my personal opinion, we should just tear down all borders and let people move to wherever they want to. It'll mean a bit of havoc in the beginning, but nature will reach equilibrium soon enough. And before you laugh and call me a fool, tell me this -- would the US be better off if every state suddenly erected borders around itself and New York started to require a one-year application process with visa fees, personal interviews, etc every time a New Jerseyan wanted to cross the border?



I really do not see this working; in the UK there is insufficient housing for its resident population. A great number of families who cannot buy their own homes live in accommodation that is too small with little chance of being allocated a council house (public housing which is rented). The situation has already been made worse by immigrants since this housing is allocated on a points scheme. The larger a family the quicker they amass points. Since a number of Asian families that have come here in recent years are considerably bigger than many English families they amass points very quickly and not infrequently obtain council housing in a few months whereas our own families wait years. I am sure you can imagine the resentment that causes and may well be the root of some racism.

In addition if people were allowed to go where they please I for one foresee The Philippines becoming a wasteland, a large proportion of Japanese females making a bee-line for the US and UK likewise most of the female population of the Korean Republic doing the same. As I write this there is a considerable influx of Poles into the UK along with recent addition of Kurds. Add to this the cultural and language problems and surprise surprise you have got real problems. Singapore would be full of Indonesians. These are just a few examples of the problems with a free for all. The havoc I'm afraid will be there for long time to come.


Plavt.


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