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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I'm generally an admirer of Barbara Ehrenreich, but I couldn't disagree more with her--and a good many other of my fellow liberals--on this issue. Every sovereign nation has the right to control the influx of people who would live within its borders. I am ashamed the US government sees fit to bow ceaselessly to the disingenuous demands of big (and not-so-big) business, which warns of economic catastrophe if any effort is made to curb this country's downward spiral of wages. Illegal immigrants--emphasis on the modifier, Babs, without the ironic quote marks--are a problem for a rapidly diminishing middle class (which, by the way, includes millions of legal immigrants) because illegals' willingness to endure a kind of indentured servitude only increases the downward pressure on wages. It's time true liberals as well as the Democratic Party stood up for America's middle class for a change and stopped slathering over identity-group politics.

Joe Boris

Arlington, VA

Jun 12 2007 - 8:36pm

Web Letter

I disagree with the author. The principal beneficiaries of allowing the illegals to stay in this country are the big-money employers who are able to keep wages low, thereby keeping many of our citizens unemployed or underemployed. I think that many of my fellow liberals are missing the point here. We do need to enforce the law to allow only qualified people to immigrate here and to be able to properly regulate the true minimum wage law.

The corporate folks who really set policy in this country have had a pass for too long. It is time to start really enforcing the law by imposing stiff fines on the employers who are breaking the law by hiring these illegals. No, we do not need a fence around our country. If the law were enforced we would find that the severely fined (or imprisoned) employers would stop hiring the illegals, thereby removing the incentive for the illegal border crossings.

Jim Thomas

Edmond, OK

Jun 12 2007 - 8:26pm

Web Letter

America does not owe the illegal aliens one thing.

As is usual with many who write articles stating how bad we treat illegals seem to forget that the folks that are causing the problems are not just Illegals, they are illegal aliens.

The stagnation of salaries and and the lowering of living standards of real American citizens has been brought about by the low wages that companies, cooperations and farmers can pay these illegal aliens, if in fact they do pay them.

This author's statements concerning the cost these illegal aliens impose upon US citizens are without doubt one of the most untrue statements written lately.

She certainly has not presented the real facts concerning the funds that are used on illegal aliens, therefore our citizens who need care and help are denied them due to these costs.

We need to pay living wages to our own citizens so they can live a decent life instead of channeling more to the companies and such by allowing them to hire illegal aliens and paying them low wages. The standard of living is dropping for many of our citizens but people like Barbara Ehrenreich do not seem to care, and refuse to address just what these folks are: Illegal aliens. They broke the laws of this country.

Ben Carnahan

Joplin, MO

Jun 12 2007 - 8:16pm

Web Letter

If journalists writing columns like this have any hope of trying to inform the public about the issues regarding immigration then it's no wonder Congress can't resolve it either. With all the space available to write on the issue there are way too many facts that are left out here to consider this article a viable opinion. I really don't see the pro-immigration stance that the author thinks liberals have. Liberals are typically Democrats, Labor unions are Democrat. You walk into any labor union with a Viva La Mexico T-shirt and the membership will throw you out on your tush!! The fact that immigrants vote Democrat is another misconception about why liberals favor more immigrants. Immigrants vote Democrat because as members of the working class, they do so in their better interest. What really baffles me is all the (R)s that aren't voting for this bill, which triples the number of H1B visas and legitimizes a possible 12 million more nonskilled workers to compete in what little construction and manufacturing base we have left. With all the "right-to-work" (pro-scab labor), agricultural states in our Union and the way corporations and farmers love to exploit immigrant workers--you'd think (R) lawmakers would be all for this type of legislation. What makes this bill unpassable is that it is coauthored by the White House and the US Chamber of Commerce. But I think the real problem with this Legislation is its timing--until we get out of this illegal occupation and weasel out of the grasp of Worst Presidency Ever--no substantial legislation should be considered.

Scott A. Urbanczyk

Warren, MI

Jun 12 2007 - 7:50pm

Web Letter

Like so many advocates for illegals, the author misrepresents Mr. Limbaugh's and many conservatives' position. Legal migrant workers are applauded, appreciated, and encouraged by this conservative and most that I know. The issue is illegal immigration! Why not try to report and comment accurately for a change.

Jim King

Lee's Summit, MO

Jun 12 2007 - 7:48pm

Web Letter

Ms. Ehrenreich seems to be one of those Americans who is adicted to illegal aliens. It is okay to mow your own lawn and raise your own children, ma'am.

Trust me, all you employers who are adicted as well. Once they get amnesty, they will no longer have to hide. No longer will they do hard work cheap, because they will no longer fear deportation. Count on them soaking up all the social benefits of living in America, and bringing in every relative they can think of. Count on them to unionize and outnumber us, and then try to run our country, even though they have failed miserably to run their own countries.

How about we enforce existing laws, build the fence that has already been authorized and hammer employers who hire these law breakers?

Hannah Katz

Los Angeles, CA

Jun 12 2007 - 5:39pm

Web Letter

You quote the website of the San Diego ACLU as saying that a study by the National Academy of Sciences reveals that "tax payments generated by immigrants outweighed any costs associated with services used by immigrants." But the problem is not with immigrants. The problem is with illegal immigrants. They are not the same. You people who support amnesty are always trying to trick the public with statistics about immigrants, hoping that we will not notice your efforts to conflate data about legal and illegal immigrants. But, actually, there are good studies about the costs imposed upon taxpayers by illegal immigrants. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation testified before Congress that a study of illegal immigrants revealed that they, on average, annually consumed $20,000.00 more in public services than they paid in taxes. Most illegal immigrants have less than a high-school education, and such people do not, on average, earn enough money to pay sufficient taxes to pay for the government services they receive. Nobody has refuted Rector's study. So why cite another study, which is not even germane. Why not simply tell the truth, Ms. Ehrenreich? Why the deceit?

Robert Wangeman

San Diego, CA

Jun 12 2007 - 4:52pm

Web Letter

I disagree completely with the author. All of the things cited that the illegals are supposed to be doing for me I already do for myself. As a teacher, however, I see them coming into my schools for a free education and free food and free healthcare while not even trying to assimilate into our culture. Family values? Forget it; They have a very high rate of out-of-wedlock births, and the so-called cultural work ethic typically disappears for the children of the parents who brought them or birthed them. There is very little effort by the children to succeed in school, dropping out at high rates, and you don't see these children in their teens taking the entry level jobs sought by their legal counterparts. I do not know of a single job that the illegals do that american citizens are not doing. I do see them supressing wages of our citizens by unfairly and illegally taking jobs at lower than prevailing wages. Let's not forget the original problem: They are here illegally, coming into this country in clear violation of our laws, and should not be rewarded for this or allowed to stay.

Owen Pool

Brunswick, GA

Jun 12 2007 - 4:50pm

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