As a non-American, please explain to me the argument of Illegal Immigrants

So, as a Portuguese fellow who travels a fair bit around Europe, I still haven't been able to wrap my head around the issue of Illegal Immigrants around here.

The closest thing we have are the Refugees, who are fleeing an active war zone and so don't have literally nowhere to go. So we take them in, and as a leftist scumbag or whatever UKIP wants to call us these days I say "yeah sounds about right".

But Illegal Immigration is one of "those topics" like advanced gender issues (20+ genders and why we can't just have male and female sexes and not atribute any set of behaviours to those sexes) that sounds like a "Oh, America!" situation, so I usually keep my mouth shut on it since I don't even begin to understand it, and unfortunately it is too hard to find nonbiased sources with my limited time.

So maybe you chaps can help me understand the issue.

I have a few basic questions first:

> So, most illegal immigrants are people whose green cards expire and they haven't left or became citizens, so the right wants to kick them out. What's the issue here? If they don't apply to renewal, aren't interested in citizenship and don't respect the rules, why want them to stay? And if the problem is the rules, why wouldn't we want to change them so these people CAN actually be there legally?

> Why is the American left very protective of illegal immigrants to the point of making up new names for a very simple concept? And why is the American right so obssessed with kicking them out, especially the recent cruel measures of breaking up families?

> I hear people compare sometimes the Illegal Immigrants to the Refugees, because Mexico is a very violent place dominated by gangs. So why haven't the Democrats actually taken measures to establish refugee camps?

> Why doesn't America have measures in place to integrate refugees into society? And, as a bonus question, why is America so segregated? Despite the far right nutjobs that have infested our European politics claim, most of our different demographics (except Gypsies for far too complex reasons to explain here) are fairly well integrated, with only a few outliers. There are still a bit of ingrained racism here and there (We have "China stores" filled with cheaply made crap and ran exclusively by Chinese folk, not even Asians, chinese) but most of the racism here is leftover from our culture and not hard felt. Why is America so divided?

And if anyone wants to drop a wall of text on me explaining stuff in detail, I love to read, so go ahead and unleash your inner college political science professor.

Not from the US, but we have similar political issues in Australia. Over here at least, it's mostly xenophobia, and an easy win. The government can't easily provide more jobs or services or help the environment or indigenous people, but taking a hard stance against foreign types, locking them up in offshore detention centre hellholes, easy.

Problem is, applying for visa's is a pain in the arse, particularly where America is concerned. So if you are working a full time job in the country, married to an American citizen, there's still no guarantee that you will a) get approval, or b) get processed in time. If you don't get processed in time, it's either lose your job / get split from your family, or become illegal. The answer should be, speed up the process.

The left goes overboard, particularly at the moment because they can use it to shout at Trump, and generally focusses on completely the wrong things. But you have nutty loudmouths on both sides, so hey ho. Someone needs to try and actually do something about the situation.

Thing is, Mexicans are probably in more personal danger than a large number of European "refugees". While there was a core of actual refugees, you have large numbers of people migrating for economic reasons among them, from countries outside of any current conflict.

But I doubt Mexicans would want refugee camps, as they generally aren't in instant danger, the camps would likely be as dangerous as their current situation, and the US is near enough that you could apply for legal status and then move fairly easily, if it were easier to apply for. But to say they should be brought in as refugees is by and large crazy - if Mexico is so dangerous that everyone there should qualify for refugee status, a) that's the problem that should be fixed and b) America probably isn't much better off.

Illegal Immigrants have been one of the favorite scapegoats in American politics for decades:

- There is too much crime in your city? Blame the illegal immigrants. They are drug dealers and cartel members invading your neighborhood!

- You have a shitty job or no job at all? Blame the illegal immigrants. They are cheaper to hire and are stealing your jobs!

- Taxes are too high? Blame the illegal immigrants. They don't pay taxes and get all the same benefits as citizens do!

- Do you feel the country is going down the crapper? Blame the illegal immigrants. They are trying to make America just as bad as their homeland!

They usually go illegally to USA, because, as bad as they have it in America, it's even worse in their home country (at least until Trump Chavez came to power; now only time will tell).

JamesStone:

> I hear people compare sometimes the Illegal Immigrants to the Refugees, because Mexico is a very violent place dominated by gangs. So why haven't the Democrats actually taken measures to establish refugee camps?

It would be too costly. Wars end sooner or later; but what happens in Mexico has no expiration date on sight. Heck! The crazy idea of giving automatic citizenship to immigrants would be far cheaper at the long run (at least it would make them pay full taxes as any citizen do).

The gangs make their money mainly by drug trafficking to USA. Dealing with illegal drug trade is considered as a more effective way to help with Mexico's problems (while at the same time, helping USA too). Sadly, corruption in Mexico are the root of their citizens' woes.

JamesStone:

> Why is the American left very protective of illegal immigrants to the point of making up new names for a very simple concept? And why is the American right so obssessed with kicking them out, especially the recent cruel measures of breaking up families?

Because both sides view illegal immigrants as overwhelmingly supporters of "the left", which panders to them. Which is also the major reason for their respective views on demanding voter ID.

One of the bigger issues in the US, is the US immigration often does not even follow the US's own laws. Groups that actively oppose immigration such as the KKK actually have people working in the immigration department itself. They deny asylum to numerous people who qualify under the law to enter the country. The laws and system itself are one issue, the people working in that system actively trying to undermine it create even more issues. Many of the "illegal immigrants" in the US have no options and will indeed die and suffer terribly if they return to their homelands and risking coming into the US to be persecuted was the only option they saw to be able to give them and their children any sort of life, even if it is a persecuted one. Sadly the vast majority of those who oppose immigration do not care if they live or die, as their bias, ignorance and greed is far more important to them than their compassion for those whose lives are at risk due to these inhumane decisions.

Granted, you can be damn sure that they would start singing another tune very quickly should the US have to be evacuated due to an extreme environmental disaster (aka even a minor eruption at Yellowstone for example) and they were the ones needing to seek refuge elsewhere. What is humane and inhumane only matters to them when it affects them and their families. They care nothing for others.

StatusNil:

JamesStone:

> Why is the American left very protective of illegal immigrants to the point of making up new names for a very simple concept? And why is the American right so obssessed with kicking them out, especially the recent cruel measures of breaking up families?

Because both sides view illegal immigrants as overwhelmingly supporters of "the left", which panders to them. Which is also the major reason for their respective views on demanding voter ID.

Oppressed underclasses tend to be ideologically left leaning and immigrants naturally favour policies that improve social mobility. The American mainstream left has actually been pretty luck warm on immigration for a long time but the right has embraced the issue so strongly recently that the left really had no choice but to double down on the other side of the issue.

There is also the entire issue of most of the illegal immigrants being hard working people who endure extreme hardships and dangers to make their families's lives better. It seems highly immoral to punish them for an accident of birth.

Nielas:

Oppressed underclasses tend to be ideologically left leaning and immigrants naturally favour policies that improve social mobility.

But do they improve social mobility? Or are they creating a caste of dependents?

Nielas:

There is also the entire issue of most of the illegal immigrants being hard working people who endure extreme hardships and dangers to make their families's lives better. It seems highly immoral to punish them for an accident of birth.

A great many undoubtedly are. But enforcing borders is not a matter of "punishment". As I just saw someone succinctly put it, "Good governance depends on an effectively regulated boundary." Having a nation state is kind of exclusionary by nature.

StatusNil:

Nielas:

Oppressed underclasses tend to be ideologically left leaning and immigrants naturally favour policies that improve social mobility.

But do they improve social mobility? Or are they creating a caste of dependents?

Nielas:

There is also the entire issue of most of the illegal immigrants being hard working people who endure extreme hardships and dangers to make their families's lives better. It seems highly immoral to punish them for an accident of birth.

A great many undoubtedly are. But enforcing borders is not a matter of "punishment". As I just saw someone succinctly put it, "Good governance depends on an effectively regulated boundary." Having a nation state is kind of exclusionary by nature.

The immigrants in the US are not "dependents", they actually create jobs instead

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/05/actually-immigration-can-create-jobs/391997/
https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/does-immigration-create-jobs

It has always been a pro immigration stance in the US that grew US economy, not the reverse. When you look at the impact of immigration in the US throughout it's entire history, it has always been a positive, not a negative.

Those causing the actual financial Crisis in the US are just scapegoating immigrants to get the bloodhounds off their scent. They prey upon tribalism and irrational fear to prevent people from acknowledging the real issues.

The real issue is the wealthiest have milked everyone else dry and will cause civilization to collapse if they do not reverse their siphons.
image
http://capitalinstitute.org/blog/why-extreme-inequality-equals-economic-collapse/
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/03/heres-how-nasa-thinks-society-will-collapse/441375/

StatusNil:

Nielas:

Oppressed underclasses tend to be ideologically left leaning and immigrants naturally favour policies that improve social mobility.

But do they improve social mobility? Or are they creating a caste of dependents?

So if they were creating a caste of dependants and America has had an illegal immigrant issue for a long time, wouldn't there be hundreds of thousands in this caste. Is that showing up in the stats?

There are probably going to be some free riders. There is in any system, like social welfare or food stamps. But they have to be small enough in number for the government not to see. How many do you think are free riding?

trunkage:

So if they were creating a caste of dependants and America has had an illegal immigrant issue for a long time, wouldn't there be hundreds of thousands in this caste. Is that showing up in the stats?

There are probably going to be some free riders. There is in any system, like social welfare or food stamps. But they have to be small enough in number for the government not to see. How many do you think are free riding?

A "caste of dependents" doesn't necessarily mean "free riders", so let's not reduce this to some caricature about "laziness" to be easily dismissed. No doubt many illegal immigrants are working very hard, at unpleasant jobs, for very little pay. (This, by the way, is one of the more cynical "open borders" arguments: "they're just doing work Americans refuse to do!" Yeah, because if there wasn't an unlimited supply of cut-rate labor, those unpleasant but necessary jobs would have to pay more to overcome such "refusal".) But it simply means a demographic that has something that can be held over them, such as (non-)resident status, preferential legislative treatment ("protected classes") etc. Or indeed access to employment.

StatusNil:

trunkage:

So if they were creating a caste of dependants and America has had an illegal immigrant issue for a long time, wouldn't there be hundreds of thousands in this caste. Is that showing up in the stats?

There are probably going to be some free riders. There is in any system, like social welfare or food stamps. But they have to be small enough in number for the government not to see. How many do you think are free riding?

A "caste of dependents" doesn't necessarily mean "free riders", so let's not reduce this to some caricature about "laziness" to be easily dismissed. No doubt many illegal immigrants are working very hard, at unpleasant jobs, for very little pay. (This, by the way, is one of the more cynical "open borders" arguments: "they're just doing work Americans refuse to do!" Yeah, because if there wasn't an unlimited supply of cut-rate labor, those unpleasant but necessary jobs would have to pay more to overcome such "refusal".) But it simply means a demographic that has something that can be held over them, such as (non-)resident status, preferential legislative treatment ("protected classes") etc. Or indeed access to employment.

many of those jobs are being replaced with automation as we speak and will cease to exist. Instead of increasing wages, they will just use less costly automation instead. Many of the immigrants here where I live (one of the highest immigration areas in North America) actually Provide jobs to citizens rather than just take them. I do not see it helping increase wages to reduce immigration, instead it will just lessen the number of jobs that are provided to US citizens as the stagnation sets in. Much of the growth is due to immigration and that will cease reducing the number of jobs needed as a whole.

OP: I think that the Right you are talking about in the initial post are nationalists. A part of nationalism is homogeny. Some on the right would see that as race homogeny. While some on the Right would be where the left are - homogeny of values. The Left would take that further and say - you can have your religious values as long as it doesn't break the law (secular values).

Some on the Left detest all religious values. Some on the right see Christianity as being morally superior to the exclusion of all else. Both of these group wouldn't tolerate religious attitudes of immigrants,

When you say the Left bends over backwards, you maybe be talking about Liberals, as they want everyone to have the same rights. The Left want to cal Illegal Immigrants some else becuase that phrase has a negative connotiom. The easiest way to ignore someone's rights is to dehumanise then. Calling some racist means that they are morally inferior. Their ideas can be ignore. Racial slurs are meant to devalue a person. The word illegal specifically states that they've done something wrong. We use it for crimes, and criminal loses rights if convicted. These refugees are doing illegal things and should be locked up. You can't get rid of these negative connotation until you change the word.

About 20yrs ago, Australia brought in a Temporary Protection Visa for illegal immigrants. They weren't allowed to work under this visa. This means they were dependant on the state. This built up a reputation of immigrants as lazy and sponges on society, even though legally they could do nothing about it. This lead to many in Australia supporting immigrants being put into indefinite detention. I can't remember exact number but I think it's 20,000 and they've been imprisomed for 7years now with not much hope in site for getting out.

Also note that Mexican illegal immigrants have reduced in numbers each year. Other Central America countries immigrate illegally to the US. Obama say this and saw the Mexican president's track record against immigrants (way more hard core than Trump.) Obama partially paid for a border fence at the bottom of Mexico and thus got around human rights violations. Since Trumps threats, Mexico have been ferry illegal immigrants to the US to get Trump back. A few hundred thousand are now marching through Mexico, under the watch of Mexian troops to make sure they don't stay, and will be dumped on the US.

I don't think EU and US are that different on this, maybe magnitude but ultimately its mostly the same issues.

The first important split is between refugee and immigrant, a refugee is temporarily fleeing a country due to danger in some form, they don't want to leave but have no choice and are suppose to go back once things calm down. Immigrant move to country on more permanent basis, some of them are economic migrant, so they leave poor country to find work in richer country (often to send back home).

There's upside and downside to accepting immigrant/refugee. The downside are usually immediate and visible while to upside are long term and hard to see.

Downside: they often takes governmental resource which could be spend on other things (welfare if they can manage to qualify, kid might go to school, increase usage of public resource and so on).

They can have different custom, some of which might be problematic (intolerance toward certain group of people).

Native sometime just don't like foreigner and this can cause social trouble.

They can compete with native over jobs. There's some debate about what would happen if they were to disappear and what would happen to the job they typically occupy (low pay, no education required). They would probably end up mostly automated (you can look at the farming industry for many example of that) since most would not be viable if they employed well payed worker. The few that couldn't be automated would see a big spike in production cost, which would force a big price increase, potentially so high that consumer would stop buying said product.

Upside: Most end up paying more taxes than they use up in there lifetime, this is also important as most rich nation (like the US) are becoming older and have less kid, while migrant are typically young and have more kid.

They're consumers as well as workers. This means they buy stuff that has to be made/serviced by people. Since they typically come in with almost nothing, they have to buy a lot of things (they don't inherit house and such).

They're typically more ambitious than native, they start more business and work more. Second generation also tend to have higher education rate than native (controlling for income). This hold even when factoring racism (African immigrant typically have higher employment than native black in the US, it's also typically higher than native white).

You can see that most upside require the immigrant to be allowed to stay and work a long time. When country/state make it harder for immigrant to stay/work, the downside continue while the upside never materialise. So area that are harsh toward immigrant typically become harsher over time (since they never see the benefit) while area that are generous tend to become more generous (since they get to experience the upside). This means states that have democrat in power and tend to help the immigrant become more pro immigrant over time, while states that have republican tend to become more anti immigrant. The immigrant themselves will intergrade better where resentment against them are low, and as such become better member of society (and also turn less toward crime since they don't have to) which makes them more appreciated. The opposite happen in more restrictive area.

An important caveat is that you need to manage and disperse immigrants. If a large number of immigrant arrive and all live within the same small area the downside start a chain reaction that spiral downward. Because there's a large number of them they can form ghetto that limit integration, the number of job cannot support them so they never turn into consumer and are more likely to turn to crime and public infrastructure is push beyond it's limit. This tend to push native (consumer) out of the area and reduce the number of job even more, further limit the chance of integration and lower the local taxbase, negatively affecting the public service budget. That's why area close to border typically become poorer and more hostile to immigrant.

StatusNil:

JamesStone:

> Why is the American left very protective of illegal immigrants to the point of making up new names for a very simple concept? And why is the American right so obssessed with kicking them out, especially the recent cruel measures of breaking up families?

Because both sides view illegal immigrants as overwhelmingly supporters of "the left", which panders to them. Which is also the major reason for their respective views on demanding voter ID.

That's not true. Illegal immigrants aren't allowed to vote so there is no point in which side they are politically. Now you do have minorities who tend to vote for the left but I think that's more because in this country the right tends to scapegoat them at best and try to take away their rights at worst. I think the view from the left is more "these are people who are just trying to get by, we don't have to accept them but we should at least treat them with dignity" and from the right its more "these people are stealing from our country and causing crime and making everything worse."

Voter id is more about preventing citizens who are minorities from voting. Since minorities tend to vote democratic it makes it easy to take votes from the democrats by just making it harder for minorities to vote. I think really the only minority group that tends to vote republican are Cubans and as I understand it, its mostly because of the bay of pigs going so badly under Kennedy.

They're folks from poorer countries that either are looking for financial opportunity or they're fleeing some kind of violence. Shady employers pay them under the table and generally get away with it due to every attempt at immigration reform not actually targeting the root of the problem.

That said, despite literally millions of undocumented people living in the US, the total number of immigrants is no higher, proportionally, than it was a century ago, because our legal immigration limits are so infinitesimally small that it doesn't show up statistically. Less than a million in total a year, including refugees, in a country of 325 million people. Our legal immigration system is a bad joke.

It's absurd. I say, and I can't believe I'm gonna advocate something done by Ronald fucking Reagan, we grant amnesty to any and all undocumented people currently in the United States who want it, provided they've got no felonies and a limited number of misdemeanors which are unrelated to being here. Make them proper citizens, give them worker protections and voting rights, tax appropriately.

Political parties will eventually erode residual goodwill from that supposed voting bloc. The GOP's done a really good job alienating Latino voters since Reagan after all.

Meiam:
snip

Also note that they are a financial benefit to the government because they've already got some education that taxes don't need to be spent on. Not necessarily at the same level, but the cost is far reduce for the government. Obviously, this is counteracted by the initial resources spent as you said. 12/13 years of schooling is expensive.

The last paragraph is really important. In Australia, the rich have not wanted immigrants near them, so they built up around poorer area, causing resentment. The immigrants want to choose at least a major city, so they aren't going out bush. I don't know how useful they would be in the country - farming is a lot more complicated than it used to be.

But they need a support network and having someone from their culture nearby can help

 

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