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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fortress America's problem at the border

By Matt Frei
BBC Washington correspondent

Illegal immigration has become a major problem in much of the developed world. The US believes a million and a half immigrants cross its borders illegally every year. The majority of them do not come through its tightly-controlled airports - they wander in across the long and porous border which separates the US from its southern neighbour, Mexico.

It is always the unexpected detail that one remembers.

The bottles of Hellman's mayonnaise, strewn between the Saguaro cacti like the remnants of some hastily abandoned picnic.

"What's with the mayonnaise?" I asked Garrett Neubauer, the ex-marine turned border patrol "agent", as he insisted on being called.

He was spitting mouthfuls of phlegm pickled with chewing tobacco onto the parched ground when he was not trying to explain his mission to protect America from illegal aliens.

"They just love mayonnaise, these people. Mayonnaise and Taco chips. They also like this." He pointed to an abandoned sachet of caffeine pills.

"The coyotes, the people smugglers, give 'em these to speed them up. Trouble is, it kills 'em. Dehydrates 'em real fast!"

We were standing on top of a hill in the Arizona desert under a vast blue sky.


Illegal immigrants can face a five-day walk across the desert
All around us Saguaro cacti, the ones that grow arms and look as if they had been painted by children, were standing sentry.

In the distance you could see a huge white building.

The locals call it the Taj Mahal.

It is the border post between the US and Mexico. It graces a pristine, asphalted road, the legal route between the two countries.

It was completed after 9/11 and hardly anyone ever uses it. The customs officials sit around playing cards.

Cat and mouse

But on either side of this monument to futility, the flimsy barbed wire that separates the First World and the Third has been prised open.

The churned-up sand shows a veritable stampede of migrants.

In the high season, which starts after Epiphany, as many as 6,000 Mexicans and other Hispanics will sneak across the border.

It is a game of cat and mouse, in which the mouse tends to win


Only one in three gets caught. It is a game of cat and mouse, in which the mouse tends to win.

We were spending the day with the border patrol to see how they catch the "illegals", as Agent Neubauer called them.

But we were having little luck.

Our brand new Humvee patrol vehicle got a flat tyre and the helicopter was "10-7".

"10-7? What does that mean?" I asked the agent, whose eyes were hidden behind wraparound reflector specs. "It means it's broken down, Sir."

No migrants, then.

But we did find plenty of traces.

You wonder how desperate or tired some people are to ditch the few precious personal things that they have taken on this trek

Garrett Neubauer
The hill we were standing on was a staging post after the first two days of walking. From here, it is another three days to reach Phoenix, the capital of Arizona.

It looked like a municipal rubbish dump, strewn with precious personal belongings.

Rucksacks containing documents, family photographs, medication. A pink Slumber Party children's bike with a flat tyre.

Agent Neubauer shook his head. "You wonder how desperate or tired some people are to ditch the few precious personal things that they have taken on this trek."

The biggest disincentive to cross what has been called the "Tortilla Curtain" is not the border patrol, but the desert itself.

Every year about 600 migrants die, mainly from thirst. In the summer, the temperatures in Arizona soar to well beyond boiling point.

The most astonishing aspect of this migration is the scale of it.

Last year, one-and-a-half million illegals entered the US.

At America's airports, they take your fingerprints and do a retina scan. They require new visas that involve longer queues.

The number of foreign students studying in the US has shrunk by a quarter since 2001. So walking across the border in the middle of the night is still the best option.

It makes a mockery of the concept of Fortress America.

But the US needs these people. And they need the US.

Vital work

To see why, all I had to do was look down my street from my house in Washington this morning.

Next door, there were five Latin American men grappling with long ladders. They had come to clear our neighbour's gutters, still clogged with autumn leaves.

They were wearing blue jackets emblazoned with the company logo, The Gutter Gang - and were trying to understand what their employer was saying in broken Spanish.


The US needs Hispanic workers

On the other side of the road, two Mexicans - or were they from Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala or El Salvador, it is hard to tell - were using a machine to blow leaves into a large heap.

Antonio the tree man was due to turn up at our house at ten o'clock, to cut some dead branches.

He is from Colombia. His partner Jose comes from Chile. Our plumber Francisco is from Bolivia. His wife Rosa works at a McDonalds in Maryland.

There is a film out this year called A Day Without Mexicans.

Based in California, it imagines how the Golden State wakes up one day to find that all of its Mexican migrants have disappeared.

There is no one left to flip the burgers, clean the loos, blow the leaves or nanny the children.

For 24 hours, life in California grinds to a halt.

Mass hysteria breaks out.
 

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Custer said:
...It makes a mockery of the concept of Fortress America.
...
Good. Fortresses are not especially noted for the freedom they accord to their residents. If you like fortress mentality, you'll love Cuba.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not country can offer freedom if it is unable to protect itself. None. Zero.

I feel almost no loss of freedom from these matters but I sure do feel it from the big government the lefties have unleashed on us since the 1930's.
 

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Custer said:
Not country can offer freedom if it is unable to protect itself. None. Zero...
I agree with you entirely. So when are we going to begin enforcing the immigration law that prohibits hiring illegal aliens?

So long as we provide Mexicans with economic incentives for illegal immigration, border security is going to continue to be like pumping air into an innertube with a bunch of patches on it - the only question being which patch is going to blow next. Patch that hole, pump it up, psssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh. Patch that hole, pump it up, pssssssssssshhhhhhhhhh. Patch that hole...

As the article points out, the US economy has become dependent upon illegal immigration. Only when that stops will illegal immigration stop.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, Smeg, how about we put a bounty on them like we did in the old West?
 

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Oh, I dunno, something in me really resists encouraging folks to be snitches, but...

Sure. A bounty of 10% of the annual payroll of an employer you snitch off for hiring illegal aliens? We could do it through establishing civil forfeiture laws that kick into place contingent upon an employer's conviction for violating immigration law.

Next time you get served by an illegal alien at McDonald's or notice an illegal alien sweeping the floor at WalMart, just think of how much money you could make!
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sure, put the bounty on the employer, too but you are likely to put the mom and pop businesses in financial trouble or jail. But, you know that.

You'll find them at the the janitorial or lawncare service your neighbor owns. You know the one. The one with 5 people and the wife doing the books.You wont' find the illegals at Ford Motor or GM.

Does Walmart hire illegals? Nope, but I will bet some of their sub contractors do. I check my employees but I do not check the hiring practices of firms I hire or sell to.

And, of course, why pay any attention to the disasters the illegals are causing in our schools, health care and other social services.

Always blame some rich business. The deep pocket theory of legislation. Chicken soup. Cures nothing but it always makes the left feel better.
 

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Hey, Custer, bounties were your bright idea!

As both your post and the original article indicate, however, the answer rests in trying to figure out a way to make the US economy not dependent upon illegal alien labor. So long as that remains the case, this will devolve into a forced-choice question of two abyssmal alternatives with no third choice:
a. Continued illegal immigration; or
b. Collapse of the US economy.

I don't think we're capable of immediate independence from illegal immigration. I think we'll need to be weaned. Enforcement of the prohibition against hiring illegal aliens should be incremental.

FYI, you're right about WalMart's strategy. They got busted a few years ago for relying on intermediary companies to provide cleaning services to their stores, intermediary labor brokers who were blatantly hiring illegal aliens. Seems to me the issue was whether the "hold harmless" clause that one has with contractors holds one harmless when one knows that the contractor is breaking the law. Don't know how the case was resolved.

Most large-scale agricultural employers of illegal aliens use WalMart's strategy - i.e. Megalithic Farm Industries doesn't hire illegal labor; they instead contract with Sleazoid Labor Brokers to provide farm labor, and the illegal aliens are employees of Sleazoid Labor Brokers, not of Megalithic Farm Industries.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I keep hearing people say the economy is dependent on illegal labor and I say BS.

It is say so often that it is like the big lie. Too many people just accept it.
 

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Custer said:
I keep hearing people say the economy is dependent on illegal labor and I say BS.

It is say so often that it is like the big lie. Too many people just accept it.
Custer, please make up your mind. Here you say that the US economy isn't dependent upon illegal alien labor, in your previous post say that enforcement of the law prohibiting hiring of illegal aliens would break many small businesses - i.e. that American small businesses, the core of the US economy, is dependent upon illegal alien labor.

Please pick one:
a. The US economy is dependent upon illegal alien labor, and enforcement of the law prohibiting hiring of illegal aliens would have a negative impact upon the US economy; or

b. The US economy is indepenent from illegal alien labor, and enforcement of the law prohibiting hiring of illegal aliens would not harm the US economy.
 

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What about all the guys that need decent jobe here in the states already?

I see punk 19-20 yer old kids that seem to have nothing to do? When I was that age I was installing drywall, painting, doing electircal work which was my trade from vocational school and I did all kinds of other stuff. The money ain't great, but it beats sitting on your ass playing the PS2 all day wishing you had money.

I know so many kids that fit in that category it's not even funny, they don't go to college and they might work a part time job they can walk to or their parents provide them with everything.

Go get a hard ass job for a few years and that will focus your lazy ass is what I say.

My co-workers sister is 20 and never held any job. She sits on her butt all day at home, He pays her a few bucks to come baby sit his 2 year old daughter, but she can't make it half the time because she's busy! Busy doing what? Sleeping usually or hanging on the phone!

Sounds like princess needs to have pretty little ass kicked into the snow for a bit!

Same goes with Johnny I drove a riced Honda Mommy bought for me and I have a PS2 with 100 games needs to be kicked in the head by brutal reality!

These illegals take over som of the jobs here because Princess and Johnny slacker can't figure out how to find their pie hole if ther damn life depended on it.

Can anyone tell, I super freakin annonyed today!
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My point about small business is the fines and/or jail sentences you propose. I am just pointing out that it is not the deep pocket, evil big businesses that are the guilty parties the left traditonally likes to punish.

When the left proposes to go after the employers, all I am saying is you are not going to be fining the jailing the people the left normally likes to to jail. Go for it. It makes my life easier not having to compete with moms and pop start ups.

I don't think they would go out of business if there was no supply of illegal workers.
 

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So, Custer, you're OK with small and large businesses both making the sacrifices necessary to quit attracting illegal alien labororers over the border?

Or do you think the sacrifices should fall entirely upon the taxpayers, who must pay for the futility of the Border Patrol playing tag with illegal aliens in the desert?

Myself, I think it's going to take sacrifices by all of us. Preferably of virgins.
 

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Custer said:
We will adjust and a lot of it would be good.
Can you elaborate? Are you saying that it would be a good thing for the US to learn how to get along without illegal alien labor? If so, any ideas for how you'd encourage US business to do so?

While I am a firm believer that any law should be either enforced or repealed, and clearly think that it would be a good idea to enforce the law prohibiting employment of illegal aliens, maybe there's a better way to wean us from quasi-dependence (hey! good weasel-word to avoid the dispute over whether or not we're dependent upon it, dontcha think?) upon illegal immigrant labor than incremental enforcement of that law as I propose.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Plentiful labor (and it does not have to be cheap, but that does help, too) tends to depress capital spending and in the long run you do not get the technical achievement required.

We have a lot of Americans who have put themselves into a position where they either will not work or are essentially unemployable. Then there are the chronically underemployed who will not make the personal investment to work their way up to something better.

We need to change the safety net so it is not so safe to live like that. Much like we did with welfare reform.
 

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What I ranted about above is mostly what Custer is saying above. We have people here who have put themselves above doing what I used to do just 15 years ago!

All better of parents expect their child to go to college and some don't fit that mold, but we don't like to think our kid could be an electrician or plumber. Instead of pushing towards being product we hand thema rice rocket. PS2, and some spending money to get dope and condoms. Then we wonder why him and his buds hangout in the basement 24/7 doing bud and playing PS2.

I see it all the time, $6-8 an hour at 19 is better than knocking your girly up because you were high.

Anyway, I'm ranting again....
 

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While I'm no advocate of social darwinism, and I don't think very many folks went into the breeding business to live in the projects and get those lucrative welfare benefits, there's some truth to what you say, Custer and SangRun.

But there's a bit of an inconsistency in what you're saying, Custer: Folks who are unemployeable or who are just deadbeats and don't want to work are not part of the labor pool, and do not contribute at all to plentiful labor. The labor pool is comprised only of those who can and will work.
 

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Well Dzerzhinsky,

I agreee with you on deadbeats as well and it's a damn shame that people from a 3rd world have more appreciation for a better life than Slacker Sally and John.

I'm afraid of what will happen with so many of these young people I know who are wasting away in their parents basemenst.

The parents need a kick in ass as well because they allow this crap.

It's more than just one problem, IMHO.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Dzerzhinsky said:
While I'm no advocate of social darwinism, and I don't think very many folks went into the breeding business to live in the projects and get those lucrative welfare benefits, there's some truth to what you say, Custer and SangRun.

But there's a bit of an inconsistency in what you're saying, Custer: Folks who are unemployeable or who are just deadbeats and don't want to work are not part of the labor pool, and do not contribute at all to plentiful labor. The labor pool is comprised only of those who can and will work.
Smeg, they drift in and out of the labor pool for amazingly whimsical reasons.

The first weekend they have to work and it interferes with the Phish concert, they quit.

For others, getting fired means nothing to them so they are not interested in reasonable behavior at work. Then there are the others who, as we call it here "terminate by spontaneous combustion". They quit showing up, never to be heard from again and no one knows why.

I see many, many people who concoct various schemes to get the government freebies. Many are adults with wives and children. They do not live well but they get by and apparently that is all they want.

Make it less easy to get by and they might discover the benefit of getting ahead.
 
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