Pharyngula

Bill Ingebrigtsen, Rethuglican

I live in the 11th Minnesota senate district, and I’m represented by a Democratic incumbent, Dallas Sams. I am not a fan of Sams; he’s one of those pro-life moderate Democrats, not particularly progressive (although he did make the effort to squelch an anti-gay marriage act), and if there’d been an alternative candidate at the Minnesota caucuses, I would have pushed for them over Sams. I will be voting for Sams on November 7th, though—I won’t even hesitate.

His opposition is a Republican, Bill Ingebrigtsen. Ingebrigtsen has been sending ads—expensive-looking (he has raised twice as much money as the incumbent), glossy, full-color ads—to my house all week. Ingebrigtsen has annoyed me with the implicit racism of his campaign. Ingebrigtsen is a thug.

One of the ads was a collection of mug shots, mostly of minorities, all labeled as “on parole”…apparently, thanks to Dallas Sams. Anyone remember Willie Horton? This was Willie Horton times ten.

i-2e904eb35344a635d66d7db61827da3f-out_on_parole.jpg

Oooh, scary. Better vote for Ingebrigtsen—he wouldn’t ever consider the particulars of a case, or worry about the rights of convicts, or allow the perfectly legal, reasonable process of parole to be carried out. Once you were convicted of anything, forget it—lock ’em up, throw away the key.

Another was a green-tinted, grainy picture, as if taken through night-vision goggles, of a group of dark-skinned people climbing over a wall. Stopping illegal aliens is Bill Ingebrigtsen’s #1 priority! It didn’t look like a sight I’d see at the Canadian border, though; maybe it was Iowa.

Another was astounding in its hypocrisy. He piously deplores the rising cost of college educations, ignoring the fact that it is his party that is responsible for the trend away from support for public institutions, and blames the problem on one horribly irresponsible proposal. Can you guess what it is? There’s a theme here, you know.

That’s right: illegal immigrants. Those damned undocumented aliens want to take your tax money to educate their children, which means you’ll be subsidizing the tuition of brown people while paying exorbitant amounts of money for your kids to go to school. What prompts this fear is that Dallas Sams supports the Minnesota DREAM Act. This truly radical proposal says that children of undocumented aliens who had attended two years of public school in Minnesota and who were enrolled in a Minnesota university would qualify for residency and be charged for in-state tuition.

That’s it.

Bill Ingebrigtsen thinks that if you are a Lutheran who grew up in a white, prosperous suburb of Minneapolis, you are more of a Minnesotan than if you grew up in a rural town where your parents were recent immigrants brought in to pluck chickens at minimum wage for one of the poultry factories in the area. He seems to believe that it is to our state’s advantage if we keep these newer residents of our state poor and uneducated.

That’s all he babbles about: the threat of a Mexican invasion of Minnesota. It’s true that we do have a growing Hispanic population, as our rich factory farms try to bring in more and more cheap labor to do the dirty and dangerous work. It seems to me more to our interests to bring these new people into our communities as full partners, rather than treating them and their children as outsiders who must be ostracized and blocked from becoming even more involved members of our society. But no…that’s not the kind of thing that comes to the mind of a thug.

Comments

  1. #1 Caledonian
    October 28, 2006

    So you’ll vote for a slightly less unsuitable candidate in order to prevent a slightly more unsuitable candidate from winning.

    What exactly is being accomplished?

  2. #2 Dan
    October 28, 2006

    Minor addendum:

    It seems to me more to our interests to bring these new people into our communities as full partners, rather than treating them and their children

    …most of whom were doubtless born on US soil and so are US citizens of the exact same legal stature as all those whitebread Lutherans up there…

    …as outsiders who must be ostracized and blocked from becoming even more involved members of our society.

    Yes, it’s racism, pure and simple.

    Oh, and Caledonian, we’ve told you time and time again that that’s how the system works in this country. Because there is no such thing as the perfect candidate (except in that utopian society you’re building on the inside surface of your skull), you vote for the best one available.

  3. #3 j
    October 28, 2006

    I’ve been getting similar glossy brochures in my mailbox on a daily basis, all “Paid for by the [MyState] Republican State Committee.” (How much of that is my money?) My shredder has been working full-time.

  4. #4 llewelly
    October 28, 2006

    So you’ll vote for a slightly less unsuitable candidate in order to prevent a slightly more unsuitable candidate from winning.
    What exactly is being accomplished?

    If you’re sliding downhill, it is wise to prevent wackos from pouring lubricating oil all over the slopes.

  5. #5 llewelly
    October 28, 2006

    So you’ll vote for a slightly less unsuitable candidate in order to prevent a slightly more unsuitable candidate from winning.
    What exactly is being accomplished?

    If you’re sliding downhill, it is wise to prevent wackos from pouring lubricating oil all over the slopes.

  6. #6 llewelly
    October 28, 2006

    I’d apologize for the double post, but Caledonian often writes as if he needs to have messages of political realism repeated.

  7. #7 Caledonian
    October 28, 2006

    Perfect candidates? Perhaps they don’t exist. But I’m pretty sure that suitable candidates do.

    Limiting the damage done is just dandy, but by itself insufficient. When will you get around to actually making progress instead of merely retarding the decline?

  8. #8 G. Tingey
    October 28, 2006

    Why would any rational person wish to try to get IN to the USA at present?
    Never mind LIVE there?

    Can I have a simple explanation, please?

  9. #9 gwangung
    October 28, 2006

    Limiting the damage done is just dandy, but by itself insufficient. When will you get around to actually making progress instead of merely retarding the decline?

    What makes you think that this is damage at all? Ingebrigtsen sounds no different from the supporters of the 1924 immigration laws that stopped Asian immigration to the US. Goodness knows that we’re benefitted from the lack of Asian Americans in this country….

  10. #10 PZ Myers
    October 28, 2006

    The way the system works, you end up with a multiple choice test: you have to pick the best answer among a limited set.

    It’s earlier in the process where you get to have a say in who will be nominated. One message we ought to get out more is that the election itself isn’t the only place you can play a role: getting involved in local politics, in your local party apparatus, is the way to be more activist in shaping the direction of the party. Like I said, I would have endorsed a different candidate last spring — I did refrain from voting for Sams at that point.

    If nothing else, making a little noise at a caucus, withholding support at that level, can make a candidate take steps to appease the party base, even if you don’t get exactly the person you want.

  11. #11 Stogoe
    October 28, 2006

    Caledonian, you’re being obtuse. Voting third party doesn’t work in America. I wish it were different, but I’ve gotta stay in the Big Tent of American Values (i.e. the Democratic Party) right now; we’re fighting religious fascism, and there’s no room for dissent in those thumping bibles. The best way to swing American consciousness is to put progressives in Democratic primaries and get them to win.

  12. #12 j.t.delaney
    October 28, 2006

    Okay Caledonian, I’ll bite: who would you suggest PZ should vote for in the 11th Minnesota senate district? Perchance, PZ is simply uninformed about his options… but, perhaps you can enlighten him.

    You’re right; it is unfortunate that we Americans are stuck with choosing between the lesser of two evils every election. This will not change unless the entire electoral system is overhauled. I’m all for an instant run-off parliamentary system and I know I’m far from alone, but I don’t think that it’s going to happen in my lifetime. If you have any strategies on implementing that, I’m all ears.

  13. #13 Dustin
    October 28, 2006

    Here in Colorado, Beauprez has been doing the same thing to Ritter. He was running all of these ads that were blatantly exploiting rampant xenophobia — they got as near to explicitly saying “Mexicans are dangerous, and Ritter likes Mexicans” as they could in a political ad.

    But, Beauprez might be going to jail for that now… he went into the criminal records to get the information he used in those ads, and that isn’t legal. He actually has the FBI on his case now.

    10 will get you 1 that he wins the election anyway.

  14. #14 bernarda
    October 28, 2006

    Just when you thought that Rethuglicans could get no lower, they surprise you. There must be a bottomless pit of Rethuglican stupidity, dishonesty, and viciousness.

  15. #15 Mooser
    October 28, 2006

    We’ve got quite a few people from all over Latin America up here, and for the very biggest part, they will do nothing but improve things. Plus, you might get some fantastic restaurants out of the deal.

  16. #16 AlanW
    October 28, 2006

    Can we have a reprint of those scary brown people with the odd token white guy pictures with their religions stampred across the top too please?
    ‘On Parole: Babtist’
    ‘On Parole: Episcopalian’
    ‘On Parole: Church of Theocratic Lunacy’
    etc.

  17. #17 Caledonian
    October 28, 2006

    Okay Caledonian, I’ll bite: who would you suggest PZ should vote for in the 11th Minnesota senate district? Perchance, PZ is simply uninformed about his options… but, perhaps you can enlighten him.

    That’s not biting. To continue your metaphor, you haven’t gotten anywhere near the hook yet.

  18. #18 Charles Winder
    October 28, 2006

    This kind of unabashed racism against hispanics seems to be sweeping the nation in response to recent demographic changes due to ongoing immigration. But strangely, here in southern California it seems to be especially vicious, with local AM radio personalities defaming immigrants and spanish-speakers in the most racist terms imaginable, and with impunity. These people constantly obsess over things like bilingual billboards and Mexican flags, and see every latino as a second-class citizen at best, or an ‘illegal’ person at worst.

  19. #19 Steve McKay
    October 28, 2006

    G. Tingey: They’re coming from Mexico. Have you been there?

    Making no other statements, real or implied, regarding immigration, I should note that the correct term is illegal immigrants or illegal aliens. Illegal immigrants are breaking US law by being inside US borders; using euphemism or scare quotes only begs the question of whether the law is wrong or enforcement is lax.

  20. #20 G. Tingey
    October 28, 2006

    I didn’t ask WHERE they were coming from _ it was fairly obvious form the original post that the specific reference was to (mostly) MExicans.

    I still want an answer to my origianl question, speaking as a European….
    Why would any rational person wish to try to get IN to the USA at present?
    Never mind LIVE there?
    Given the failure of reason and the rise of religious/fascist totalitarianism that is leading the USA towards “Gilead” ….

    Can I have a simple explanation, please?

  21. #21 Viscous Wizard
    October 28, 2006

    Disgusting as this is, and I grant that this is significantly worse than the pounds of “OFF-HER-ROCKER LIBERAL” mailings I’ve been getting, this juvenile namecalling business (REPUBLICAN MORE LIKE RETHUGLICAN HO HO HO) needs to stop. Take the high road and don’t muddy yourself by behaving like the Freepers and creationists.

  22. #22 Dan
    October 28, 2006

    Caledonian:

    That’s not biting. To continue your metaphor, you haven’t gotten anywhere near the hook yet.

    What a complete cop-out. You don’t get to flounce in here, declare that we’re all doing everything horribly wrong, then cross your arms and stick your nose in the air whenever someone asks you to explain what we should be doing instead.

    It’s time for you to put up or shut up, Caledonian. If you’re going to complain about how broken the system is, the absolute least you could do is to pretend that you have an idea about how to fix it. You’re like those people who hate what the BCS does to college football, but object to having a playoff by whining about how deserving teams will be left out. You, like them, completely ignore the rather obvious and completely indisputable fact that no matter what we do, it’s all going to end with a designation of one single option from a pool of intentionally and artificially limited choices, which are sometimes limited in ways we don’t necessarily like.

    But you know what? Tough shit. Life isn’t always fair. You can either work with what you’ve got, or you throw up your hands in defeat and watch the Food Network instead. Your choice. I’d rather vote for the best available but not necessarily my all-time favorite candidate than not vote at all, just like I’d rather be watching the BCS National Championship Game than the Food Network on 8 January, even though I doubt my Longhorns will be in it again this year.

  23. #23 Caledonian
    October 28, 2006

    You don’t get to flounce in here, declare that we’re all doing everything horribly wrong, then cross your arms and stick your nose in the air whenever someone asks you to explain what we should be doing instead.

    But that’s not what you asked me, Dan. delaney said that I explain how PZ should vote; he didn’t inquire as to what I thought you should be doing instead.

    Do you know what “functional fixedness” is, Dan?

  24. #24 dcb
    October 28, 2006

    This sort of thing seems to be nearly universal this year as the Republican machine scrambles to do something – anything – to pull up their numbers, or at least push down their opponents’.

    The always excellent Billmon has a post up about it.

  25. #25 Stogoe
    October 28, 2006

    Alright, Jackass. Your purposeful obtuseness just makes it clear you’re just in it for bemusement.

    And lay off the Food Network. Alton Brown rocks, and so does Anthony Bourdain.

  26. #26 Charles Winder
    October 28, 2006

    Illegal immigrants are breaking US law by being inside US borders…

    As if filling out the right paperwork would satisfy the nice folks who refer to immigrants as ‘illegals’ and accuse them of plotting to occupy the southwest as ‘reconquistadors’. This bile is pure racism, and reflects a misguided sense of American racial and cultural purity.

    There are lots of ways to break US law, as every good American knows.

  27. #27 Rob
    October 28, 2006

    The Hispanic is the new Black for Republicans. All over we are seeing anti-hispanic ads rising up. In Wisconsin, Mark Green/RNC are running ads blaming Doyle for illegal imigration. Of course Mark Green is currently in Congress, you know the body repsonsible for borders, and he’s running for a position that has nearly no responsibility for borders. So if this was about illegal immigration, Mark Green would stay in Congress, but of course it isn’t. Its about the “brown menace.”

  28. #28 Dan
    October 28, 2006

    Caledonian:

    But that’s not what you asked me, Dan. delaney said that I explain how PZ should vote; he didn’t inquire as to what I thought you should be doing instead.

    Do you think that really matters to anyone but you? I’m sure you think you’re quite the clever little monkey, but — speaking only for myself, of course — I’ve never seen you post a comment on the topic of voting that was even remotely substantive or reality-based.

    And I’m sure that you know just as well as the rest of us do that you don’t have any answers to either question, so stop trying to hide behind a smokescreen of “that’s not what you asked.” That’s dishonest and cowardly.

  29. #29 plunge
    October 28, 2006

    “Limiting the damage done is just dandy, but by itself insufficient. When will you get around to actually making progress instead of merely retarding the decline?”

    Stop being an ass. When the general election rolls around, it’s too late to do anything more as far as politicking than vote for one guy or the other. But there are of course a lot of other ways to make progress than just who is elected.

    So yeah: when it comes to a choice between two, we’ll choose the person who is best for our interests. The end.

  30. #30 Caledonian
    October 28, 2006

    And I’m sure that you know just as well as the rest of us do

    That certainty you possess is the root of the problem.

    Do you know what functional fixedness is?

  31. #31 N.Wells
    October 28, 2006

    I have a degree of sympathy for Caledonian’s reluctance to vote for a slightly unsatisfactory Democrat over a truly unsatisfactory Democrat, but I disagree totally. Caledonian asks “what’s being accomplished”? The answer is that with any luck, the election of PZ’s slightly unsatisfactory Democrat will help create a Democratic majority in the House. With that, we get Pelosi as majority leader, and democrats not only in charge of all the committees but also with the power to haul all the Bushies into hearings and to make them justify their actions over the last six years. We also get a discussion that lies largely between PZ’s slightly unsatisfactory democrat and Dennis Kucinich, rather than one that starts to the right of PZ’s SUD and shuts out everything farther to the left.

    The importance of realizing this is even more relevant to the senate, where a victory by Webb or some other middle of the road democrat could make the difference between a nation that operates its foreign policy on the loonier sider of Joe Lieberman or on the saner side.

  32. #32 N.Wells
    October 28, 2006

    That was supposed to be “over a truly unsatisfactory Republican”. Sorry.

  33. #33 llewelly
    October 28, 2006

    I quite like the asterix, but think it would only be a matter of time before the theists identify it as a styalised pentagram… See! Those heathens really ARE Satanists… look at their symbol!

    Hard core theists have always insisted atheists are satanists. In their universe, we support satan by definition. That connection to satanism, valid or not, is far stronger and more widely recognized than any tenuous resemblance between a pentacle and 5-lobe asterix. Pareidolia will ensure any symbol we choose will be similarly close to something negative.

    Whatever symbol we choose, we must continue to say: There’s no reason to believe Satan exists. Satan is nothing more than a scaremongering tactic – an idea that exists to enable the unscrupulous to exploit the unwary. There is no reason to believe a 5-lobe asterisk as our symbol will change the amount of energy we need to expend countering the ‘satanist’ strawman.

  34. #34 Caledonian
    October 28, 2006

    Caledonian asks “what’s being accomplished”? The answer is that with any luck, the election of PZ’s slightly unsatisfactory Democrat will help create a Democratic majority in the House. With that, we get Pelosi as majority leader, and democrats not only in charge of all the committees but also with the power to haul all the Bushies into hearings and to make them justify their actions over the last six years.

    I can accept that as a valid justification for voting Democratic. Thank you, N.Wells.

  35. #35 llewelly
    October 28, 2006

    My prior post belongs in a different thread. I apologize for any confusion

  36. #36 Mike Haubrich
    October 28, 2006

    I took a look at the Ingebrigtsen site, and he has all the usual stuff about family values, one man one woman stuff. Also a pro-life stance is listed in there.

    Pro-life. What is the opposite? Pro-death. So people that are “pro-life” also are usually pro-death – War in Iraq, Capital Punishment, stoning homosexuals, etc etc.

    I was in Anoka, MN today working a parade for Patty Wetterling. A woman walks by, I ask if she would like a sticker. She nods no. I ask her little girl. The girl wants a sticker, but her mother looks down at her and tells her “Patty Wetterling is in favor of abortion.”

    I would like to clear someting up here. Nobody is in favor of abortion. Pro-Choice people have learned from history that making abortion illegal does’t reduce the incidences of abortion, what happens is that the rise in the black market of hacks leads to the deaths of both mother and fetus. Pro-choice people would like to use methods that work in order to decrease abortions, not constitutional amendments or restrictive state laws. Conservatives think that abstinence education is all the sex education that kids need.

    So, back to Sams. No, he is not perfect, but the whole system works to narrow choices on the ballot, and when it comes time for the actual election you choose between who is there. I worked for Steve Kelley for Governor and he is not on the ballot. So, I get to choose between Mike Hatch and Tim Pawlenty. I like Hatch better than Pawlenty.

    Wanting to vote for Kelley even though he is not on the ballot would be like cheering for the Twins in the world series this year. I could grouse about them not being there, or I could pick from the Cards or Tigers. I am lucky in politics this year that I can vote for people I like in state races, but it may not always be so.

  37. #37 jay denari
    October 28, 2006

    This sounds a lot like the governor’s race here in Mass.: Republican Kerry Healey (currently lt. gov.) has been trying to tar Democrat Deval Patrick with an old association with a convicted rapist, even to the point of having Healey supporters attend functions with fake “Inmates for Patrick” signs. Patrick admits he wrote letters on the guy’s behalf to the parole board and even helped pay for his DNA test (which, ironically, helped prove his guilt). The voters aren’t buying Healey’s nonsense — she has no record of accomplishment and is being successfully tarred with the Big Dig mess & Mitt Romney’s ineptitude.

    The latest polls give Patrick a 25 point lead. Barring incredible stupidity, he’ll be our next governor (the first democrat in 16 years, IIRC.)

  38. #38 Dark Matter
    October 29, 2006

    PZ Myers wrote:

    Ingebrigtsen has been sending ads–expensive-looking (he has raised twice as much money as the incumbent), glossy, full-color ads–to my house all week. Ingebrigtsen has annoyed me with the implicit racism of his campaign. Ingebrigtsen is a thug.

    Can you write “return to sender” on the crap and stick it back in
    the mailbox? If the Post Office has to take care of it eventually there
    will be so much being returned that the Post office will demand the
    repubs be responsible for handling the returned mail…..

  39. #39 j.t.delaney
    October 29, 2006

    I can accept that as a valid justification for voting Democratic. Thank you, N.Wells.

    Then I regret to say, you’ve demonstrated that you have a limited understanding of the electorate you’re talking about, as well as American civics, for that matter (probably “functional fixedness”, too.) We’re talking about Minnesota politics and the Minnesota Senate — this is not about the Senate in Washington, D.C. The person who gets elected goes to St. Paul, MN (my old hometown.) Here’s a map of the Senate district we’re talking about:

    http://www.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/gis/l2002/pdf/11.pdf

    Nancy Pelosi, while being a very nice lady, has nothing to do with this. The Minnesota Senate has Dean Johnson as it’s senate majority leader — a Democrat. In the Minnesota Senate, there are 38 DFL’ers, and 29 Republicans, which means we hold the majority fairly comfortably (for now), which is a very good thing, considering Tim Pawlenty(R) is our governor.

    No my friend, I’m afraid this is not a case of “functional fixedness”. There are precisely two candidates to choose from on the ballot: A or B. ‘A’ is a milquetoast moderate with some occasional ethical daliances, and ‘B’ is a reactionary flaming racist. Really, on November 7th, those are the choices for that State Senate race. Neither is perfect, but one is a whole lot more imperfect than the other.

    This is one thing that has troubled me here in Europe; more than a few people here make the assumption that Americans really don’t know how this whole confangled voting thingy is supposed to work, and that we’re all politically unsophisticated doofuses that haven’t thought our options through; while this is true for some Americans, it’s not so for all of us.

    In my original post in this thread, I asked you to suggest a better voting choice for PZ, which you have inclined to ignore. Now, I’m dying to hear your “functional fixiedness” solution to our political problems in America. Go on, great Swami: thrill us with the magic answer to our broken political system, which has baffled 300 million of us for so long. What trite, simple solution have we all been too stoopid to see?

  40. #40 Ruhgozler
    October 29, 2006

    Actually, in the mug shots that you posted, 5 of the pictures are of Caucasians, 3 are African Americans, 1 is Hispanic, and 1 appears to be Asian…. Not that I disagree with most of your post, but the mistaken observation might misrepresent your view.

  41. #41 Steve McKay
    October 29, 2006

    G. Tingey: Your insults are over-the-top and offensive. But that’s beside the point.

    Whatever you might think about the USA, Mexico is worse. It’s a Third World country, and if you haven’t thought about the Third World much (I didn’t until fairly recently) you might not know that means two things: squalor and needless death.

    Do you think that if Thailand shared a border with Britain, all the Thai would be saying “No war for oil! Let’s stay out of that shitty country!” Or would they be getting in any way they couild?

  42. #42 Caledonian
    October 29, 2006

    Then I regret to say, you’ve demonstrated that you have a limited understanding of the electorate you’re talking about, as well as American civics, for that matter (probably “functional fixedness”, too.)

    Oh, no, Mr. delaney. You’re still foolishly wasting your time. But N.Wells was kind enough to provide me with a proper justification for voting Democratic in the national elections, which is still more than you’ve done for any election.

  43. #43 Ick of the East
    October 29, 2006

    “Do you think that if Thailand shared a border with Britain, all the Thai would be saying “No war for oil! Let’s stay out of that shitty country!” Or would they be getting in any way they couild?”

    Writing from Thailand, I can assure you that the Brits would be lining up to cross the border the other way.
    Count the number of Brits in Phuket compared to the number of Thais in Blackpool if you doubt me.

    Hell, the exiled ex-prime minister of Thailand has been banished to London and can’t wait to get back to Bangkok. As does my Thai wife every time she flies out of the country.

    This “Third World” lumping together of places like Thailand with places like Haiti has got to stop. It’s just plain stupid.

  44. #44 Steve McKay
    October 29, 2006

    My apologies. Haiti would have been a much better example.

  45. #45 Keith Douglas
    October 29, 2006

    j: I hope at least you are able to recycle them …

    G. Tingey: Because, I assume, for all its faults, the US is still in a lot better shape than Mexico. I read somewhere that Mexico is also suffering from wage depression due to migrant workers coming there from further south …

    Ick of the East: I don’t hear much in the news about the rural parts of Thailand. What’s it like there? I suspeect that’s part of the motivation for the classification. And of course it isn’t as bad as Haiti. But is it like, say, Mexico?

  46. #46 Ick of the East
    October 29, 2006

    I have never been to Mexico, so I can’t do a fair comparison to rural Thailand. But even in the poorest parts of Thailand, I never sense the feeling of hopelessness that I see in the poorest parts of America’s greatest cities.

    And for quality of life (especially safety), I’ll take the poorest part of Bangkok over the poorest part of Washington D.C. any day.

    *Not being one of the poor, you should take what I say with a grain of salt and a dash of fish sauce. Just my impressions.

  47. #47 Flex
    October 31, 2006

    As usual, I’m late in replying, but one of my co-workers is an engineer we brought from our plant in Mexico, and we’ve had some in-depth discussions about illegal immigration and the motivations of Mexican illegal immigrants.

    It all seems to come down to money.

    He pointed out that there are problems being caused in Mexico because of illegal immigration into the US. Mexican citizens from the skilled trades know they can go to the US and earn 10-20 times the money they would make in Mexico and it’s all tax-free. Whole towns in Mexico are losing their skilled workers.

    It seems to me, however, that the problem is not to try to restrict immigration. If the wages being offered by employers are better than they can get elsewhere, people will be willing to take risks to get the work.

    The problem, as I see it, is in the lack of effective enforcement of employer taxation requirements and minimum wage laws. Rather than combat illegal immigration, which is a fight doomed to fail, the illegal immigrants should be able to get temporary work permits.

    Make them legal workers. Require their employers to pay them minimum wage. Require their employers to withhold the city, state, and federal income taxes and social security taxes. Audit the employers regularly to ensure compliance, and fine employers heavily for non-compliance.

    If illegal immigrants are taking our jobs it’s because employers can make more money by employing illegal aliens than by employing local workers. Equalize that playing field and employers will not discriminate between local labor and illegal aliens.

    Illegal immigrants do not deliberatly avoid paying into our social system of roads, schools, hospitals, parks, etc. But they do use them, and since they provide labor for our capitalist system they should be allowed to use them. However, their labor should be taxed at the same rate as local labor.

    This is not an argument for discrimination, but for equality. Non-citizen labor and citizen labor should be treated equally. But as long as the rhetoric is about restricting immigration rather than workforce equality we will see this problem presented as a patriotic issue rather than a labor problem.

    One solution which has been suggested is to grant illegal aliens citizenship. I’m against this. The path to US citizenship is a long one. Simply granting a block of illegal aliens citizenship would unjustly discriminate against the legal aliens who might have spent five to ten years working toward US citizenship.

    I’m willing to consider a faster path to citizenship, but those people who have been working for years for citizenship should be considered first.

    Just a few of my thoughts, with the caveat, of course, that I am in no way an expert on immigration issues.

    Cheers,

    -Flex

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