Rethinking Paradigms

The Illegals: Another Angle

by Fred Reed

From many Americans, though from fewer who have any idea what they are talking about, you could get the idea that illegal immigrants are brown sludge, the lazy and shiftless, the least intelligent of their countries, those unable or unwilling to make a living at home, who therefore go the the US to live on welfare. A certain paucity of logic informs much of this. If they come to live on welfare, how do they take the jobs of Americans, a crime of which they are regularly accused? But I note this only in passing. I do not mean to suggest that logic or knowledge have a place in politics.

The fact is that the illegals come to work, and do, well and hard, which is why conservative patriotic businessmen block attempts to restrict immigration.

Which would be easy to do. Again, they come to work. Don’t hire them, and they won’t come. Illegals don’t take jobs from Americans. Americans give them the jobs.

But, whatever you think of the Latin hordes, it may be interesting to know a little about them. Let’s wing it.

Consider a man of twenty living in the slums of , say, Tegucigalpa with his wife and two small children. The local economy is a disaster. He can barely feed his kids, much less send them to school. “Barely feed them” is not a concept many Americans understand. It means that their stomachs hurt, that their physical development is threatened, that they cry and ask for food. Any parent who doesn’t do anything possible to feed them, to include robbing banks, is irresponsible. Ask yourself what you would do.

So Pablo and Maria talk it over, and decide that the only way out is for him to go to the US, work, send money home and, just possibly, eventually bring the family to America. There are good reasons why Americans might not approve his plan. From Pablo’s point of view, watching his kids starve, it is the only plan.

Getting from Honduras to San Francisco or South Carolina is dangerous, very dangerous. Crossing the Guat border means braving the Mexican police, who are brutal and corrupt.Typically the migrants go north through Mexico by riding on the roofs of cargo trains. It is not for the weak. On the trains they are subject to attacks by gangs, as for example Mara Salvatrucha, products of Reagan’s romantic meddling of El Salvador. The “Mara” is from “marabunta,” a swarm of army ants. The Maras are savage, sadistic, and live by robbing migrants of the money they have saved for the coyote, often beating them into cripples and raping the women. I would much rather do a tour on the ground in Afghanistan than ride those trains. It is safer. In Afghanistan you eat, do not have to drink from filthy pools beside the tracks, and do not spend nights on top of a box car in jeans and tea shirt during a sleet storm. Call the migrants anything you like, but leave out
“gutless.”

Women also make this trip, for the same reason: to send money home for their kids. Don’t, please, tell me about oppressed co-eds at Dartmouth.

So Pablo, perhaps months later, gets to Laredo. Let us say that he started out with $2000 US, which is roughly what a coyote costs, and has managed not to be robbed of it. If he has it, it was probably put together by his extended family by forgoing shoes, food, what have you. He now finds himself in a city that preys on people like Pablo. He has little idea what he is doing. Twenty years in a slum in Teguce doesn’t make you wise in the ways of the Mexican-American frontier. The police will rob him, perhaps torturing him to find out where he has stashed the money, if indeed he has any, and send him back to Honduras. Nasty gangs will do the same, except for deporting him. Migrants drown trying to swim the Rio Bravo.

Several ways exist of crossing into the US. You can find a desert crossing poorly guarded and hope not to be killed by rattlesnakes or get lost and die of thirst. In the Mexican press I have read of tunnels thorough which 150 illegals pass per night. At $2k each, that’s $300,000 a night in a great tax bracket. Or a coyote can get you across and, if he doesn’t just take your money and disappear, he may put you into a van, and off you go. Bingo.

Once away from the border, things get easier for Pablo. He may work a few days to get bus fare to Raleigh-Durham, where he has a friend. With the friend’s help, he gets a job in construction. Here the American national hypocrisy works to his advantage. The construction firm of course knows perfectly well that Pablo is undocumented. Companies love illegals. It means that they can pay him dirt, no benefits, no Social Security, and he can’t complain without getting deported. In any contest between money and patriotism, money wins. American immigration officials catch just enough Pablos to keep the rest intimidated, but not enough to reduce the supply of cheap labor. It is a sweetheart deal for businessmen.

Pablo may or may not be a model uncitizen, may drink too much, may use drugs,or go into crime. Or he may not. He is very likely to send money, substantial amounts of it, back to Tegucigalpa. In Jalisco, where I live in Mexico, remittances from migrants are a crucial part of the economy. Pablo also is not unlikely to begin planning to bring his family to the US.

Family values. Putting his life on the line for his children. The work ethic. All that.

Is massive immigration good for the US? I doubt it. Are all the illegals wonderful people? No. In the long run will there be a happy ending? I don’t know; to date there hasn’t been.

Yet men and women who will claw and save for a coyote, and ride that godawful train, at dead serious risk of being raped, robbed, tortured and beaten into medical curiosities left beside the tracks, who will cross into a hostile country whose language they do not know, and live in constant fear of being caught, all to feed their families and just maybe give them a better life in a better place—I think they deserve other than utter contempt.

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Militant Libertarian

Site owner, philosopher, certified genius, and general pain in the establishment's ass.

20 Comments

GoneWithTheWind

It would seem that if Juan has to come up with $2000 to get here that your story falls apart. Given the conditions you describe $2000 would feed a family of four for about 4 years in those slums. How does someone who can’t afford two pesos to buy his kids food come up 26000 pesos to pay someone to take him here???

Reply
Aaron

The same way someone here and facing foreclosure suddenly comes up with the $3000 lawyer fees to delay or change it. The same way Joe Nobody working on a startup funds his fledgling company that nobody’s heard of and that doesn’t have any products.

In other words, the same way anyone who seems to have absolutely nothing suddenly has just enough to do whatever it is they need to do.

Reply
GoneWithTheWind

Maybe it is “the same way” but why come up with 1000 times your yearly income to commit a crime??? Why not come up with the 26000 pesos to feed your frigging kids!! DUH!!

Reply
John and Dagny Galt

For the same reason as the human being desires to improve their condition from eating a fish as a child, to using a fishing pole as a teenager, and to nets and boats as an adult. All human beings on the planet have that basic human right to improve their conditions through peaceful means.

GoneWithTheWind

What is “peaceful” about invading a country, breaking their laws, stealing an identity, and tax evasion?

John and Dagny Galt

The CIA does all those things everyday in various sovereign nations across the planet.

Aaron

The first thing those who cry “illegal” about people who come here need to do is find out what is required to become a legal citizen and/or get a work visa here when you have absolutely nothing but the money to get here.

Once you see what a joke it is and how impossible they’ve made it, you’ll have to change your tune.

Aaron

Go see how many investors you can drum up for your new business venture when there is no venture. That should answer your question. The money wouldn’t be there if the chance that the guy (or girl) wasn’t going to get here to make some to send back weren’t there.

DUH!! right back.

GoneWithTheWind

Actually not a half bad point. The “new business venture” point. I’ll give you that. However where there is that kind of will there is certainly a way to improve their life right where they are. You cannot simultaneously claim they don’t have two pesos to rub together to feed their kids and then show the depth of their desperation is proven because they have to raise 26,000 pesos to pay someone to get them across the border. So I raise you one DUH!

Aaron

Your “point” makes no sense. If they are so desperate that they will basically sell themselves into slavery to get the money to get across the border so they can build a better life for their children, you somehow see that as not being desperate?

“How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!” -Samuel Adams

John and Dagny Galt

Interestingly enough, most of the racists and nationalists would be horrified at the IMMEDIATE and DRAMATIC increase in the pricing of almost all foodstuffs…were all the supposed undocumented human beings to decide, voluntarily or not, that finding greener pastures was in their best interests…

by their very own standards, the racists and nationalists who claim the Cross and Christ…would be required to treat Jesus Christ the same way they treat Jesus Martinez…

Shameful…

Reply
GoneWithTheWind

I think somewhere in Alinsky’s rules for radicals it says if you don’t have a legitimate comeback then throw out the racist charge. You need to find a way to respond without using ad hominem attacks.

What is a racist? Would a racist be someone who forms a group called La Raza? Would a racist be someone who advocates reconquista? Would a racist be someone who makes a living as a race baiter like Al SHarpton or Jesse (Hymietown) Jackson? Would racist be the New Black Panthers outside the voting place with clubs in Philadelphia or would it be Eric Holder for dropping the prosecution based on their race? Would racism be the rape and murder of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom by five blacks or would it be the media who kept the lid on the gruesome details of their crime? How do you define racism?

If those who hire illegals, be they farmers or contractors, were required to pay the costs of having illegals here then they would probably prefer to hire legal American workers. I suggest that anyone found hiring an illegal be fined $100 a day per worker to offset the costs to the taxpayers for the billions and billions it costs us to take care of illegals.

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John and Dagny Galt

So 330 million inhabitants of the geographical region commonly known as the United States of America all get to pay billions more per year in food costs and suffer from the scarcity that would result as many producers would simply shutter their operations…hmmm…

Here is just one commentary regarding the millions of dollars worth of produce that would rot in the fields without farm workers.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/10/14/2228646/gov-gregoire-to-congress-help.html

Producers from California to Maine all say the same thing…food prices would quadruple almost overnight if they didn’t have migrant farm workers.

This is also the case for other producers as well, from ranchers in big sky country to dairy farmers in New England.

Also consider a reader’s grandmother who can only afford to maintain her independent living arrangement with the help of friends, neighbors, and acquaintances who may…or may not…be officially approved by the racists and nationalists…

Then there are the doctors, nurses, and surgeons who are quitting because of obamacare…we are fast approaching rationed-care and death-panels strictly from a lack of providers…regardless of how much tax-loot is thrown at the industry…

There are an ever-increasing number of Producers and Providers of all types that are Going Galt and Starving The Monkeys…more power to them!

GoneWithTheWind

If the farmers paid the real costs of illegal and even legal farm workers the costs would then be appropriately added to the cost of food instead of to individual taxes. Additionally the higher costs would be reflected in a higher wage making it possible for low income and those on welfare to be used to harvest crops. That would be a good thing.

John and Dagny Galt

Sounds like circular logic. Right now the worker gets $100.00 a day and spends $100.00 per week on food. You want to pay the worker $400.00 a day and have them spend $400.00 per week on food. Next you’ll point out that the worker’s overall wages went from $500.00 per week to $2000.00 per week due to the vastly increased cost of food.

So at first this might seem like a win-win situation until you remember that taxpayers are currently footing the food bill for around 47 million people. So the taxpayer gets saddled with a 400 percent increase in their own food bills AND a quadrupling of their taxes to facilitate an ever-increasing number on the welfare roles.

Then there are the hundreds of thousands who work the underbelly of the personal care industry. You know, the ones who come in and do the cooking and cleaning and help grandma get dressed, bathe, eat, etc.

So what happens in your scenario is that these workers are either displaced, replaced, paid four times as much, or they leave grandma to go work in the fields for more pay. Obviously this causes grandma to be required to pay four times as much for the workers then.

The seen and the unseen…

http://bastiat.org/en/twisatwins.html

Aaron

The only “costs” of having illegals in the U.S. are the freebies we willingly give to them from our own useless social programs.

Somehow, “conservatives” hate Mexicans for coming here and “stealing our welfare” instead of seeing that it’s the WELFARE that’s the problem.

Seems simple: remove the welfare programs and the “illegals” aren’t costing us a dime. Such an easy fix that no “conservative” will consider. They’re always too busy coming up with new fences and border checks and national ID cards and whatever else to “fix” the non-problem.

John and Dagny Galt

it is mostly racism, nationalism, and unionism…

they hate humans of other ethnicities…
they hate humans born in foreign countries…
they hate humans who might work for a lesser wage…

Sexists, Racists, Religionists, Nationalists, and Unionists are all around us…even in our own families, congregations, and communities…some you can divorce…some you find more difficult to escape.

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