Jan 13, 2005

Remember where you came from (a rant)

The Mexican government last month began distributing a booklet titled Guia del Migrante Mexicano, or Guide for the Mexican Migrant. This isn't their first such publication, but it is novel, apparently, in its comic book format.

I don't know if this is big news in the U.S. or not; it would have completely escaped our attention here if not for a small page 5 article in yesterday's paper. But to this humble observer it just looks like an effort to protect those people who are tempted to make a potentially deadly border crossing. The Arizona Republic reports that immigration-control groups are, predictably, up-in-arms over the publication:
"This is more than just a wink and a nod," said Rick Oltman, Western field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "This is so transparent, this is the Mexican government trying to protect its most valuable export, which is illegal migrants."
Said John Vincent, editor of a newsletter published by Virginia-based Americans for Immigration Control: "It really looks like the Mexican government is encouraging illegal immigration. It shows the contempt that the Mexican government has for our laws."
At least one Border Patrol spokesman has his head screwed on right:
"If they've already gone ahead and made that decision to cross illegally . . . then anything that helps protect lives is worth it," said Andy Adame, spokesman for the Border Patrol's Tucson sector.

A quick Googling of the English title reveals a lot of bile and blather, starting with this bizarro racist site. They even go so far as to label the effort an "invasion," or tantamount to a declaration of war.

War? Contempt for laws ostensibly in the interest of public safety? The irony here is so thick I can barely breathe.

What these clowns seem to be forgetting is that ALL Americans - except those, of course, with Native or First Nations lineage - are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. We enjoy our exceptionally high national level of material comfort precisely because we accept immigrants and let them do the hard dirty work we won't touch.

Like to eat? Who do you think harvests and handles the produce that finds its way to your table? Enjoy the occasional steak? I challenge you to find a WASP (managers don't count) on the killing floors of America's slaughterhouses. The trains that carry all our stuff across the country? The Transcontinental was completed only with the help of thousands of Chinese laborers.

There seems to be a lot of hatred and bloodlust in post-9/11 America. But there's gotta be a more reasonable scapegoat than "Fur'ners."


At 1/16/2005 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"…But are there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the advantage expected from a multiplication of numbers by the importation of foreigners? It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize as much as possible in matters which they must of necessity transact together. Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its administration must be conducted by common consent. Every species of government has its specific principles.

Ours perhaps are more peculiar than those of any other in the universe. It is a composition of the freest principles of the English constitution, with others derived from natural right and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies [the equivalent of today's despots, tyrants and kleptocrats- think Vicente Fox]. Yet, from such, we are to expect the greatest number of emigrants. They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass."

- Thomas Jefferson

Pay particular attention to that last sentence, Bubba. The United States, when founded, was "diverse" only in the sense that "The People" (the vast, vast majority) adhered to the teachings of different Protestant denominations. The same could be said of most immigrants for the first 75 years as a nation. Then add some Irish and Italian Catholics to the mix and you still don't have "diversity" beyond that of 1900-era Western Europe.

Apparently, you're awareness does not extend to before the legislated stupidity of the 1965 reforms. Jefferson would vomit at the thought of all this multiculturalist b.s. soiling the founders intentions.

At 1/16/2005 6:38 PM, Blogger Safety Neal said...

Thanks for the xenophobia, Katie's Dad. Your views really hearkens back to the Know Nothings and when America treated the Irish like we do Mexicans today. So Vicente Fox is a despotic tyrant...what does that make George Bush?

I have great respect for Thomas Jefferson, but let's not forget that our founding fathers were slave-owning, hemp-growing, revolutionaries. Jefferson may seem liberal compared to James Madison, but his view of agrarian gentlemen running the country would be considered reactionary today.

At 1/16/2005 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see from your posts, Neal, that you have a libertarian, no-borders bent. Thank God there are so few of you blinded by idealism who cannot fathom the practical reality: putting people of radically different cultures in close proximity is a recipe for societal disaster.

You actually believe we're a "nation of immigrants," right? That is, you believe it literally.

Fact: Even the so-called "Native Americans" are descendants of immigrants.

Using a literal interpretation, no nation is a nation of immigrants. All people of every nation are descended from immigrants. America, in this respect, is no different from any other.

So if Americans choose (and the majority of us do) to oppose all illegal immigration and support reductions in all immigration, then that's what our leaders should be striving to accomplish. If we want to make sure that our unique culture is preserved, we have the right to do so - Japan is a great example of a people who chose thusly.

Think about that. Calling immigration restrictionists xenophobes, racists, bigots, nazis or any other overused epithet favored by the leftists without clues class has no effect. That is, unless you get some particular rush from typing them. We basically shut the borders from 1924 to 1965 and we're going to do it again.

I'm not alone in my views, not by a long shot:Oh, and by the way, holding our Founding Fathers up to the prism of any modern standard to make any point in an argument is the epitome of unenlightened and intolerant arrogance. Sadly, that's the brand of both today's American political left and cloistered anti-American academicians.

At 1/16/2005 11:27 PM, Blogger eBohn said...

Do I hear the pot labelling the kettle?

Idealism takes various forms it seems, one of which is the assumption that closing the borders will somehow save our "unique American culture" from the evils of multiculturalism. (Too late... Adapt? Grow up?) Another is that the Founding Fathers' words can be paraded around like so much scripture without considering the vast differences between their world and ours. Not introducing modern standards to the argument would be the epitome of unenlightened and intolerant.

Yes, Japan. Fine example. Japan's borders were closed for some 250 years during the Edo period until they decided they wanted to modernize; Japan began to allow a trickling of foreigners into the country, realizing there was something they could learn from them. But it wasn't enough. Now the nation is facing a social security crisis as immigration laws are still tight and a shrinking native workforce can't support the aging population. Is this the model you prefer?

Of course, even though you recognize that jobs are being outsourced and that American multinationals aren't going to change this practice under the current business environment, I'm confident you'll still insist you favor closing the borders. Too bad they weren't already sealed when your "first American-resident ancestor" found himself an immigrant on someone else's land.

At 1/17/2005 12:16 AM, Blogger eBohn said...

For those who enjoy Jefferson quotes, here are a couple more:

On immigration -
 "It has been the wise policy of these States to extend the protection of their laws to all those who should settle among them of whatsoever nation or religion they might be, and to admit them to a participation of the benefits of civil and religious freedom; and the benevolence of this practice as well as its salutary effects renders it worthy of being continued in future times."

And to illustrate how pertinent Jefferson's thoughts are to our present-day situation, here's one on foreign entanglements, er, relations -
  "I sincerely join... in abjuring all political connection with every foreign power; and though I cordially wish well to the progress of liberty in all nations, and would forever give it the weight of our countenance, yet they are not to be touched without contamination from their other bad principles. Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto."

At 1/17/2005 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much, so much, so much...drivel. Where to begin?

1) First of all, that first Jefferson quote was not about "immigration" it was about asylum. Theres a big difference.

Governor Jefferson's proclamation said:
A Proclamation

Whereas Congress considering that it had been the wise policy of these States to extend the protection of their Laws to all those who should settle among them of whatsoever nation or religion they might be, and to admit them to a participation of the Benefits of Civil and religious freedom, and that the Benevolence of this practice, as well as its salutary effects had rendered it worthy of being continued in future times: That his Britannic Majesty in order to destroy our Freedom and Happiness, had commenced against us, a cruel and unprovoked War, and unable to engage Britons sufficient to execute his sanguinary measures, had applied for aid to Foreign Princes, who were in the habit of selling the blood of their people for money, and from them had procured and transported hither, considerable number of Foreigners; and it was conceived that such Foreigners, if apprised of the practice of these States would chuse to accept of Lands, Liberty and Safety and a Communion of good Laws and mild Government, in a country where many of their Friends and relations were already happily settled, rather than continue exposed to the toils and Dangers of a long and bloody War, waged against a people guilty of no other Crime, than that of refusing to exchange freedom for Slavery: And that they would do this the more especially, when they should reflect they had violated every Christian and moral precept by invading and attempting to destroy those who had never injured them or their Country, their only reward, if they escaped Death and Captivity, would be, a return to the Despotism of their Prince, to be by him again sold to do the drudgery of some other Enemy to the rights of Mankind: and that our enemies had thought fit, not only to invite our Troops to desert our service, but to compel our citizens falling into their hands to serve against their Country, Did resolve, that these States would receive all such foreigners who should leave the armies of his Britannic Majesty, in America and should chuse to become members of any of these States, and that they should be protected in the free Exercise of their respective religions, and be invested with the rights, privileges, and immunities of natives as Established by the Laws of these States, and moreover that they would provide for every such Person 50 Acres of un-appropriated Lands in some of these States to be held by him and his Heirs in Absolute property.

I therefore have thought fit, by and with the advice of the Council of State, to issue this my Proclamation, hereby notifying more generally the said Engagement of Congress, and further promising to all such Foreigners, who shall leave the armies of his Britannic Majesty while in this State, and repair forthwith to me at this place, that they shall receive from this Commonwealth a further donation of two Cows and an exemption during the present War, and their continuance in this State, from all taxes, for the support thereof, and from all Militia and Military Service. And moreover that they shall receive a full compensation for any arms or accoutrements which they shall bring with them, and deliver to the Commanding officer at any of the Posts holden by our Forces, taking his receipt for the same.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Quoting out of context to prove a false point? Do you work for CBS? If not, I hear Dan Rather needs some new staff - you'd fit right in.

The second quote is pertinent and proves my point. It also suggests we should not be "entangled" with idiots like those at the United Nations. It appears you mistake me for a neocon.

In the first five Federalist Papers, Hamilton, Jay and Madison expressed time and again the founders' admonitions that we avoid entangling alliances with alien sovereignties. Golly, I wonder if there was a reason they put this concern first that still might be valid today. Hmmm...

If an alien sovereignty - in this case, Mexico - goes about having its agents (consulates, politicians, etc.) politically organizing its citizens (and descendants of its citizens) who are now in America, provides them with instructions about how to invade (yes, invade) America, lobbies local, state and federal officials to assure that it can continue augmenting its economy by illegally exporting 10% of its people here, then surely thats something that fits the definition of the sort of entanglement to which they were referring. We ought to put a stop to it, militarily if necessary.

With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence [God] has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.

This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence[God], that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties.

-John Jay, Federalist Paper #2-------

If the Mexican government isn't hell bent on making sure that we all don't get along, don't have the same language, manners and customs, I'll eat my tin-foil-hat.

2) There's a difference between "introducing modern standards" and holding people from one era accountable for living up to the biases of any other era.

3)There's a difference between "a trickling of foreigners" and a flood. Historically there have been more years in American history in which net immigration has been negative, at zero or near zero than there have been years with high numbers. That, in large part, is why we've been able to assimilate newcomers. This is not happening and has not since 1965, when Teddy Kennedy decided that we not only should have affirmative action, but we needed to penalize our national-self for historically insisting that immigrants be relatively homogenous to our prevailing culture and ethos. So, today, we allow the UN to import animist Somali Bantus who mutilate little girls' genitalia as a religious practice. Whee!

Prior to 1965, one in four immigrants left. Usually it was because they just could not get with the program and become American. And that is how it should be, but it isn't. Now, there's just too much "help" available in the form of welfare for intransigent aliens to leave even if they hate us.

3) How much progress and innovation in agricultural science has been stifled because we've allowed farm wages to be kept artificially low through the importation of illegal aliens? How many Americans have died or been permanently harmed because their hospital could not afford a new technology or the salary of a new specialist because they were forced to shift funds to the cost of caring for illegals? How many American children, right this minute, are in the midst of educational mediocrity because their teachers have to target the lowest-common-denominator alingual and aliterate offspring of Mexico's cast offs?

No, we're not like Japan. We're at the opposite absurd extreme...which is probably an even more stupid and dangerous place to be.

And on, and on, and on.

Nuff said...this is too easy.

At 1/17/2005 9:52 AM, Blogger eBohn said...

1) I wasn't trying to prove anything except that Jefferson said lots of pretty words that don't seem to have any bearing on modern American reality. So get a grip. Then down your foil hat if you'd like.

2) Once again, my point was you can quote the Founding Fathers 'til you're blue in the face - which you seem to have done - but theirs was the 1700/1800s and ours is the 21st century. I'm just as disappointed as you that America today doesn't match up to some of the high standards their speeches and proclamations set for us. But that's how the cookies crumbled, and now we have to think modern thoughts. You with me?

3-1) Where do you get your immigration numbers? First you say net immigration was at or near zero, then you say one in four immigrants left prior to 1965. I realize math is not America's strong subject, but...

3-2) You're blaming "stifled" innovation in ag science on low wages for immigrant workers?! Stop and think about a few things: are the laborers responsible for the science? with these low wages shouldn't our agricorporations have more cash for R&D? what about the profit pressures that drive said corporations to seek low-wage workers?

I get it. You're afraid of Mexicans, perhaps because you can't understand what they're saying and perhaps because you're a protective father. You feel that your ancestors had a right to invade this land, but nobody after them does. Immigration control is your one pet issue and you let it cloud your thinking on all other issues.

Simple indeed.

At 1/17/2005 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Constant streams of illegal alien slave-wage-level workers entering the system freezes wages. Big agriculture, any business sector for that matter, spends no money to R&D a problem (harvest production) it doesn't have. If costs (wages) are allowed to rise in an orderly market-driven fashion, then eventually it becomes financially beneficial to seek alternate means of getting work done: Innovation. This isn't happening; thus, we're stuck not far beyond 1965 in harvest production technology. Failure to innovate is, if you think about it, un-American.

We don't "need" to import workers. It is a convenience for corporate interests and a desire of the left to create new voting blocs. It is in both camp's interests that the imports (and subsequent generations) never Americanize. It's working. Fourth generation Mexicans actually complete less school and fewer own homes than third generation Mexicans (Huntington, 2004). Their long-term outlook is bleak, which does not bode well for the the rest of us.

For stats on US immigration, see FAIRUS.ORG, CIS.ORG and the historical census browser project at the University of Virginia. All are linked from my site.

I'm not particularly "afraid" of Mexicans or any group per se. As my web site clearly outlines, I'm concerned with the continuity of American culture and ethos. Right now, our immigration policy is allowing for us to be overrun by inassimilable numbers of Mexicans. I've lived in Miami and, therefore, know exactly what happens when too many come too fast from one culture. It isn't pretty and it certainly isn't in this nations best long-term interests.

At 1/18/2005 5:58 AM, Blogger eBohn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/18/2005 7:18 AM, Blogger eBohn said...

(deleted comment above re-edited for links)Okay, Katie's Dad. Just to be fair I took another look at your site and sources. And based on the language you select - "hordes of incompatible, poorly educated, virtually aliterate (if not outright alingual) illegal alien border-jumpers" - xenophobia seems a pretty fitting description.

You have neither the common human decency nor the intellectual curiosity to try and understand today's immigrants. How close have you been to these people... Miami? Wow! I'm impressed. Try going to Mexico and see how alingual you become.

All the sources you cite, I noticed, share your bias to a greater or lesser degree. You want to send me to FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) for reliable immigration numbers? Next time try an objective source that isn't pushing an agenda. And how about this from the Huntington piece:

> Fourth generation Mexicans actually complete less school and fewer
> own homes than third generation Mexicans (Huntington, 2004).

You deride me above for quoting out of context, yet you're not even the slightest bit inquisitive about the reason for this "shocking" tidbit. If you gave it some thought, it might have occurred to you that, as mass immigration from Mexico is a "primarily post-1965 phenomenon," fourth generation Mexicans (by definition younger than the third generation) are likely to be still in the education system. In that light, the 4th gen. stats make more sense: almost 10% have recieved post-HS education and about 50% have completed high school... thus far. Not yet caught up with their parents, but trending better overall than their grandparents and great-grandparents. Let them grow up before they start buying homes.

You claim not to be "afraid" of Mexicans, but for someone so proud of his ocean-jumping outlaw forefathers you have awfully quaint ideas about who should and should not be permitted to start a new life on this land. Much of which was stolen from Mexico in the 1800s, if you recall.

I'm unimpressed.
Now pack up your hate and go home.

At 1/18/2005 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you actually understood the terms "aliterate" and "alingual" you would not be able to find them offensive. They describe perfectly the sort of Mexican citizen that Vicente Fox wants to send across the borders. He's only interested in shipping his problems out of the country and if a few al Qaida members slip through with the hordes, so what?

Of course, if I had pointed you to the ACLU, the SPLC or the UN for source documents, you'd have praised me for making good arguments. What a crock.

You aren't even here, seeing that your visits come from Japan. Yet you pass judgement on what is really happening. That's a crock also.

America is a nation, and as such we took nothing from "native Americans" that they didn't take from the "more native Americans" before them (who took it from others before that). We have every right to decide who comes, who stays and who goes. Since the government of this republic's power lies in its people, then we have every right to do what we feel necessary to close the borders, as we did in 1924.

Every other nation that has allowed mass immigration from the third world is going through a phase of regret and rethinking. Europeans, especially the Dutch and Italians, are beginning to come to grips with the fact that heterogeny just isn't good for national unity. We're not far behind.

Thankfully, we only have to overcome the whining of a minority of morons who are so caught up in idealistic notions that the world would be a far more wonderful place without borders. Once people are exposed to aliens who only came for opportunity instead of a desire to become American, they figure out how stupid our immigration policy truly is.

As a final note, go look up the treaty of Guadelupe Hildago and stuff it up your ...

At 1/18/2005 10:41 AM, Blogger eBohn said...

I thought I asked you to leave your dirty laundry at home. But since you insist on returning...

>If you actually understood the terms "aliterate" and "alingual"

I can understand all the terms you care to use, don't worry. But there's a dictionary within reach just in case.

> and if a few al Qaida members slip through with the hordes, so what?

Saw that one coming a mile away. Yes, al Qaida is coming from Mexico. No, you're not paranoid.

> Of course, if I had pointed you to the ACLU, the SPLC or the UN
> for source documents, you'd have praised me

No. I'm honest. Like I said, objective sources not pushing an agenda. Or are you having trouble with the vocabulary here?

> You aren't even here, seeing that your visits come from Japan.
> Yet you pass judgement on what is really happening.

Are you telling me that my opinion doesn't count just because I'm out of the country? That by trying to learn something about the larger world and examining the US from outside I've somehow forfeited my right to comment?

What kind of freak are you? Oh, that's right... the kind who makes wild allegations, and then when someone is kind enough to listen and respond and raise points that challenge your allegations, you dismiss them without comment and move on to a new set of even wilder allegations.

Care to respond like an adult to my suggestion that India and China will enjoy a greater portion of our outsourced jobs if we close the borders? Or that we no longer live in Jefferson's world and you should be able to recognize that? Or that fourth generation Mexicans in the US might still be in school, thus skewing the data you rely on to belittle them? If not, I expect not to hear from you again.

> Once people are exposed to aliens who only came for opportunity
> instead of a desire to become American, they figure out how stupid

Because seeking opportunity is bad?
Again, I could point to your beloved alien forefather...

> go look up the treaty of Guadelupe Hildago and stuff it up your ...

Classy. But what's that supposed to prove?

At 1/18/2005 12:16 PM, Blogger Mel said...

Al Qaeda is, in fact, aware of the porous border and no doubt has sent a number of operatives into the USA by this route. I am worried. You will be once you get back here and see what's really going on.

At 1/18/2005 7:27 PM, Blogger eBohn said...

Great. Katie's Dad finally clamps up and now you're gonna chime in?

Look, Dad... I don't plan to live my life in fear-I-mean-terror.

If you think sealing the borders is gonna stop Al Qaeda, you're just as deluded as the wacko I've been bickering with. Obviously these guys (AQ), or at least their leadership, are smart and resourceful. They'd find a way in. And if push came to shove, all they'd have to do is email bomb plans to some sympathetic confused teenager who's advertised his suicidal tendencies in a chat room. Think Littleton. The problem is not open borders, it's our economic terrorism and dipshit foreign policy.

At 1/18/2005 11:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1/19/2005 2:06 AM, Blogger eBohn said...

Katie's Dad,

Tsk, tsk, tsk.
You weren't supposed to return until you were ready to reply to my previous questions like a grownup. Did you fulfil your part of the bargain? Nope.

Think of this as a form of "border tightening" on my part. I'm sure you'll understand.

I am not part of your Kernel, by the way. I am a latter-day mutt.
And my "subconscious self-loathing" - if that's how you refer to my disappointment with the current parochial fundamentalism in America - is not so subconscious.

Now please... don't bother me any more unless you're willing to provide answers. This is getting old.


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