This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 3, 2005 7:38 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bonzi, glad you're gonzi. The next post in this blog is Dumbest Thing I've Heard in a While. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2005

A stroke of genius

Hey, I've got a great idea. You know all those illegal aliens who are running around the country? Let's make it impossible for them to get a driver's license. We don't want to actually test them to see if they know how to drive. Let's have them all drive without licenses!

When they run us over, we can say, "I'm proud to do my part to make this country safe from Osama bin Laden."

Comments (42)

Last night, Tina and I were watching my old TV alma mater KPTV. Last night, the story of the 30 something Mexican man…with two kids here in the states…two more south of the border…living in a motel with a 14 year old girl who says he kept her in methamphetamine. As one of my e mailers put it last night “Is there some reason that all of the recent, notable criminals have Spanish sounding names?” The governor locks up cold medicine while 80 percent of the meth comes from Mexico. The biggest gangs in the state are identified as Mexican. Little girls keep turning up in the hands of Pedophiles from Mexico. And nearly every night…there are new dead bodies…and the suspects are from…let’s all say it together now…Mexico. Every weekend, schools open up to let them get new matricula cards…and Oregon law forbids the cops to so much as touch them. Is there a culturally correct way to point out this pattern? Probably not. let’s just ignore it. It’s only sex drugs and violence from down south…and Senator Wyden would point out we’re still getting our strawberries picked…and that’s what’s important isn’t it

The Feds want to make our State driving privileges it’s business. The supposed justification? To improve immigration control. The real motive, to create a national ID registry. Excuse me, don’t we already have one - it’s called your Social Security Number! I’m getting sick and tired of ceding authority to the Feds in the name of antiterrorist paranoia. What next, a national citizenship tattoo! Just say no!

Lars, you are over the line, bud. I think you'd better move to Iceland, because the West Coast of the United States isn't for you any more.

The governor locks up cold medicine while 80 percent of the meth comes from Mexico.

I'd like to hear Lars' sure-to-be brilliant suggestion as to what Ted Kulongoski could do about improving border security in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Evidently there is some heretofore unknown (well, to everyone but Lars) section of the Oregon Constitution giving him the power to affect policy on our southern border. Amazing!

Conveniently left out of the above rant, of course, is the fact that the southern border is left wide open and uncontrolled by the man whose big "W" stickers Lars no doubt sports on his vehicle(s).

Exactly what I was thinking when I heard about this- Gov Swazinegger embracing volunteer "minutemen" to patrol Cahleefohnia's boarders to keep all the eemeegrunts out.

It would be hilarious to see everyone in CA have to mow their own lawns, wash their own cars, watch their own children and harvest their own food. L.A. would come to a grinding halt.

Wow Lars, extremely enlightened commentary. Exactly what I would expect from seeing your commercials on the idiot box. Oregon cops have to just sit back and watch as Mexican-looking people commit atrocious crimes left and right, eh? That's news to me.

Lars, why don't you support President Bush's guest worker proposal? It allows the border crackdown and the crackdown on employers you want, and still allows all of our strawberries to be picked. The workers stay here for a few years, make some money, pay some taxes, their families stay in Mexico, their families use the remittances to build up the Mexican economy to the point where Mexican workers will want to stay in Mexico, and when they're done working they go back to Mexico.

What's the problem with that, Lars?

And another thing, Lars. Your spouts on this subject bear an eerie resemblance to the spoutings of the "Know-Nothing" party (yes, that's what everyone called them) in the 1850's about the evils of Irish Catholic immigration. They bear an eerie resemblance to those who lamented the coming of Eastern European Jews around the turn of the 20th century, and they also bear an eerie resemblance to those who lamented all those swarthy Italian and slack-jawed Eastern European Papists infesting our shores at about the same time.

Somehow, all those people and their ancestors managed to become real Americans in the eyes of people like you.

Well, I've got news for you, Lars. For every Mexican immigrant, legal or illegal, who has become a criminal, ten have become "real Americans" too, just like the descendants of all those Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, etc.

Are you too dumb to see it Lars? Or just too much of a demagogue?

So what's wrong with attempting to differentiate between "legal" and "illegal" immigration?

I don't see how requiring a federal standard for the ID that is most commonly used (and transferred) across state lines represents an intrusion into states rights. And what's the diff between the so-called minutemen on the border and your local neighborhood watch? Or is it now our duty as citizens to completely abdicate responsibility for protecting our community to the so-called authorities?

There does seem to be a steady and growing drumbeat of reports of serious crimes involving legal and illegal "guests" from latin America. Is this just another media construct or what?

Please. I worked in the courthouse for a year and a half, and the meth producers were almost entirely white, as were the tweaker petty crooks. Meth is easy and cheap to cook; it makes no financial sense to incur the risk and expense of trucking it in across the border and up the coast. Oh, wait -- I just realized, it must be that the cops look the other way when they find Mexicans making and selling meth. Because Portland cops are so bigoted against white people.
Also -- ALL of the recent notable criminals? Like whom? What is a "notable" criminal to you and your anonymous emailer? Again, wander by the courthouse. The criminals are mostly white guys.
And, "nearly every night there are new dead bodies," killed by Mexicans? Little girls "keep turning up" in the hands of all those Mexican pedophiles who immigrate to the US for the purpose of commiting their nefarious deeds? Jesus, Lars. Cite your sources, or keep this claptrap to yourself.

Oh, and sorry for the double-post, but... what on earth does any of the Lars bigoted freakout above have to do with the subject of this blog entry? If we deny them drivers' licenses, immigrants will stop... I guess, killing folks with their left hands, molesting children with their right, while making meth with their feet? What do drivers' licenses have to do with any of that?

Humor: The Minutemen thing might be a good idea. Maybe we should call up the ghost of Tom McCall and patrol our own southern border against Californians? As long as we're being isolationist we may as well go all out, eh?

Wow, how surprising that Lars hasn't returned. I guess he doesn't do so well in a medium where he lacks a mute button for troublesome guests.

Ignoring Lars...

The true issue is America's accessability to Mexico - or vica versa. Not to sound racist or bigoted in any way, there are just far too many entering the country illegally. The Minute Men, right or wrong, sit on patrol but only they can stretch so far. Who ever heard of a chain-link fence separating two countried anyway?

I say, get all of the bordering states, along with a HUGE subsidary from the Government and place a REALL WALL with REALL CHECKSTANDS along the entire border. Then man it.

Oh, wait... I forgot... there is profit to be made from these illegal immigrants entering the country. Money for both the private citizen as well as MANY of the governmental officials. Why fix it if it ain't broken, eh?


The sad truth is, this will probably never be fixed. It's just not a priority to The Cowboy and his troupe. There are REAL issues at hand... like how to keep our forces in Iraq as long as possible despite the number of deaths. After all, true threats come from afar, not from right next door, ya?

Come on Jack it is not like many illegals have automobile insurance and that doesn’t stop them from driving. Why would it matter if they don’t have a driver’s license?

The federal govt needs to do something and this is a step in the right direction. In many states obtaining a driver’s license is a joke and not worth paper it is printed on.

Oregon is one of those states. Google “Maxim Chow Sang Lam.” The guy ran a scheme where he flew in illegal Chinese immigrants from all over the US to Oregon and charged them $500 a head to get a Oregon driver’s license. It is in the Oregonian’s archives if you want to pay. I forget what he was doing, 40 folks a week or so for quite awhile. The Oregon DMV took the bold step of requiring a SSN to get a new Oregon Driver’s license. Please.

A state DL is the default ID in our nation and it needs to be improved.

One more thing...

It is a fact that the majority of the meth in the US is produced in Mexico and smuggled into the US. The coyotes who smuggle people also smuggle various narcotics into the US. The local domestic tweakers are usually cooking for themselves and don’t have the sophistication to produce multi kilo quantities. Thankfully, I live in NE where crack is still king…

The following is taken from the DEA website: (http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/intel/01020/index.html#methamphetamine)
Over the last decade, the methamphetamine trafficking and abuse situation in the United States changed dramatically. In 1994, ethnic Mexican drug trafficking organizations operating “super labs” (laboratories capable of producing in excess of 10 pounds of methamphetamine in one 24-hour production cycle) based in Mexico and in California began to take control of the production and distribution of methamphetamine domestically. Independent laboratory operators, including outlaw motorcycle gangs, previously maintained control of methamphetamine production and distribution within the United States, and continue to operate today on a lesser scale. The entrée of ethnic Mexican traffickers into the methamphetamine trade in the mid-1990s resulted in a significant increase in the supply of the drug. Mexican criminal organizations, based in Mexico and California, provided high-purity, low-cost methamphetamine originally to cities in the Midwest and West with Mexican populations.


The primary points of entry into the United States for methamphetamine produced in Mexico have traditionally been California ports of entry, particularly San Ysidro. Although a great amount of methamphetamine still transits this area, ports of entry in South Texas are experiencing significant increases in smuggling activity. The most common method of transporting methamphetamine is within concealed compartments in passenger vehicles.

The supply of methamphetamine in the United States also stems from multiple small-scale laboratories, often operated by independent cooks who obtain the ingredients necessary for manufacture from retail and convenience stores. Methamphetamine produced in these “mom-and-pop” laboratories is generally for personal use or limited distribution.

I still find it really, really, REALLY hard to figure out what denying these folks a driver's license is going to do to solve any of the problems you are pointing out.

And the more of them who take a driving test, the better.

I'm much more worried about illegal aliens, some of whom may be real bad guys, using a license to board an airplane than I am about how well then can parallel park.

Licenses: I deal with DMV on a regular basis. I'm not slamming the people, I'm just slamming the bureaucratic craziness that inhabits that place. Don't mess with their computer, and never get the dates wrong on those forms, or wacky consequences will result. Making DMV the front line on the War on Terror won't work so well ...

Lars: are we sure it's really Lars, and not someone who posted pretending to be him? It seems a little too harsh, even for him. Doesn't he usually post again after throwing down on Jack's comment page? Or am I just a softie, someone who remembers Lars v.1988, who was known as a great investigative reporter, politics be damned?

You "progressives" are God's gift to talk radio. thanks for ensuring my continued employment. You are to me as the IRS is to BoJack. I love you man!

The 9/11 guys all had papers, right? I don't think any of them would have needed a driver's license to get on an airplane, even under the proposed new "system." Plus, ask any college kid -- phony driver's licenses are easy to get if you want one.

This is all just symbolism. It plays well with some constituents, not with others. It's dopey.

Regarding Lars' rant (if it was indeed Lars):
Whatever happened to federalism and separation of powers? Immigration is a federal responsibility. The states and local governments shouldn't care one whit about how a person came to reside inside their boundaries. Further, the feds shouldn't be tossing off their responsibility on immigration to the states just because it is convenient. We have a Constitution and its principles shouldn't be abandoned for transient reasons. Yeah, I know I'm about 200 years too late on that particular rant, but still...

While on the subject of the immigration, the federal requirement of employers to document their employees strikes me as an unconstitutional abuse of power too. The commerce clause was supposed to govern interstate commerce. How the feds can justify interference in employee-employer contracts on the chance that something the employer buys or sells might make its way across state lines is ludicrous. Anyone who claims that the government interferes too much in economics cannot support the idea that employers are responsible for the citizenship of their employees.

But then, most conservatives, like most liberals, are quite comfortable with expanding the power of the government. The two merely differ on which powers, to which ends. The result is the same: the erosion of constitutional government in favor of the policy du jour, and the fact that the erosion is allowed to stand just emboldens the other side when they reach power. Its a positive feedback cycle with erosion begetting more erosion.

If the anti-immigration types are so gung-ho to draft the resources of the states, local governments, and employers into being de facto agents of the INS and Border Patrol, then do the hard work: pass an amendment to the Constitution. Otherwise, shut the hell up and get back to respecting the Constitution as written.

"Well, I've got news for you, Lars. For every Mexican immigrant, legal or illegal, who has become a criminal, ten have become "real Americans" too, just like the descendants of all those Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, etc."

From what I know of the numbers, Gordo, your politically correct heart is in the right place and your facts are just about in reverse. Most Mexican immigrants are illegal, and fewer than half, by generous estimates, are interested in the historical melting pots.

"You "progressives" are God's gift to talk radio. thanks for ensuring my continued employment. You are to me as the IRS is to BoJack. I love you man!"

Said it a hundred times myself. If you didn't exist, someone would have to invent you for Portland, Lars. For at least as long as Diane Linn (et al) reigns.

Thank god I'm white like lars?

Sally, I don't understand your response to Gordo's statements.

Gordo said that for every criminal Mexican immigrant, "ten have become 'real americans' too, just like the descendants of all those Irish, Italians, Poles, Jews, etc." In other words, there are many more non-criminal Mexican immigrants than criminal Mexican immigrants. Aside from the act of immigrating illegally, do you dispute the statement that non-criminal Mexican immigrants greatly outnumber criminal Mexican immigrants?

What do you mean by the statement "Most Mexican immigrants are illegal, and fewer than half, by generous estimates, are interested in the historical melting pots?"

Are you saying that less than half of Mexican immigrants, or illegal immigrants, are interested in integrating into American culture? Is that what you mean? If so, I believe the same point can be made with many immigrant groups other than Mexicans; so why do you single them out?

I think Gordo's point is that sooner or later, Mexican immigrants or their descendants will become integrated into American culture just like various groups have done historically. Hey, maybe they'll eventually become just like many "real" Americans: totally ignorant of cultures outside and inside their border.

Figures that's what he would come back with. Typical. Blah blah blah ain't sayin' nothing- blaming us for his pitiful existence. Too bad there's no money in reasonableness.

I'm not opposed to embracing illegal immigrants, provided they pay taxes to support the services they receive, don't ship their earnings back to their home countries, and actively pursue naturalization.

Will granting driving privileges to them further these ends? If not, why bother? Safety arguments don't fly - if they're driving without licenses now, what's going to stop them from driving without them if their licenses are later suspended or revoked?

I have only one true objection: embracing ILLEGAL anything. Illegal immigrants should not be embraced, IMHO. They should be gathered, detained, sent back (to wherever they came from, Mexico, Greenland, France), and advised that if they want to come to the "Good Ol USA" they are welcome as long as they do so legally.

Then find adequate protection along the borders to help stop additional immigrants from coming across illegally (which means paid manpower and funding for protection). Build and man companies and/or assemblies to directly assist in the legal transition from one country to another (Don't we have that already?), FIRE everyone in the INS from top to bottom and replace with compotent people who actually want to do their jobs, then - and this is key - make it UNIVERSAL. This means that an American fugative should have just as much trouble getting out of the country than anyone trying to get in.

But that won't stop the drugs, violence, prostitution, etc. There simply isn't enough funding and/or concern from the Cowboy to deal with this issue. Let some other president worry about it - he's got bigger fish to fry, like not finding Bin Laden and a continuing presence in Iraq.

Simply put guys, this is a problem which will not be fixed, even remotely, for some time to come.

son-of-d-o-s-o-i: From what I have read and heard (in forums such as C-SPAN) over the last couple or few years, most Mexican immigrants are not, beyond their immigration status, criminals, but most (an actual majority) are in the US as a home away from home rather than as a new home. Money earned here, sent there, is a mainstay of the Mexican economy. I believe the figure is now that 1 in 5 Mexicans live in the US.

The cost to US social services, meanwhile, is considerable and has been reported at length and depth in places like The Los Angeles Times.

The bilingualization of the US and its schools is likely a major point that sticks in the craws of American citizens.

A recent pro-immigration commentator I heard said that a fair number of Mexicans are interested in adopting a new homeland, but that the percentage stands at a minority.

Each political party seems to have its own reasons for not addressing this, but the American population at large is more unified, in my opinion, in their suspicion and resentment than they are on any single issue.

Some information on attitudes among the Hispanic population in America:


The patterns, especially the assimilation of 2nd generation immigrants, seems an awful lot like the patterns we've witnessed throughout American history.

Any comment, Lars?

TTM - I used to hold similar views regarding round-up, detention and deportation. As you point out, adequate staffing and funding of those activities would be onerous. Kinda reminiscent of the "war on drugs" throughout the 80s and 90s.

IMO, the way to wage the "war on illegal immigration" is (a) to get illegals who already are living here assimilated into our taxing structures as quickly as possible, and find a way to keep as much as possible of their incomes right here in the US and (b) stem the flow of new illegal immigrants by reducing the incentives to come to the US: no work opportunities, no social welfare programs and the existence of severe penalties for illegal immigrants = no new illegal immigrants. Pretty simple forumla.

Lars, you're such a weenie. Answer the critiques!

And, by the way, by your name you are most likely the product of bone-headed Scandinavian immigrants that we let into this country 100 or so years ago. While not has hated as other immigrants (after all, they had white skins and were Protestant), by your logic we should have kept them out too.

And if so, you'd be peddling your nonsense in Goteborg instead of Portland.

About 4 years ago, I accompanied my nephew to traffic court in Gresham (he got his ticket at 122nd & Glisan but had to go out to gResham for court). Since his name ends with a "W", we got to watch every single person in the room go up before the judge before he did. I counted 19 Mexicans who were all in for driving without insurance,licenses, etc. Two had caused accidents and ran off from the scene. None spoke any English worth mentioning, and all were accompanied by interpreters paid for by our tax dollars.

2 years later: My uncle was killed in a terrible car accident caused by an illegal driver who had no insurance or license. The only reason the guy didn't leave the scene of the crime was because he was trapped in the wreckage (although not hurt at all, amazingly enough.)

Last week: my favourite bank teller's daughter and two friends attempted to cross a large street. They carefully waited at the edge of the crosswalk until all of the cars had stopped. Stepped out into the crosswalk and were struck by a car that came flying out of nowhere. The first girl pushed back my friends daughter, who shoved the third girl out of harms way. But my friend's daughter and the first girl were both hit by the car, which took off down the street, ended up on a dead-end street. The driver jumped out of the car and ran off. The car's registration was expired. The driver (an illegal alien) had no insurance. Bothof the girls had surgeries pins in their legs and so on. Because the guy had no insurance, part of the medical bills are being picked up by my friend's car insurance, even tho she and her car had absolutely nothing to do with the accident. I'm sure her rates will go up because of this.

I don't have a problem with people wanting to immegrate to the USA. But I'd like to see them do it in the way that our ancestors did. Dig in. Work hard. Learn the language. Pay taxes.

If you can't afford to pay car insurance, then you shouldn't drive a car. Period. It's immoral. I no longer have a car, can't afford it, so I had to give up owning a car. If you can't speak or read English, then why should you get a driving license? The signs are in English. Driving licenses are a privaledge not a right.

I can't beleive someone actually thought disallowing illegal immigrants driving licenses would even make a scratch, let alone a dent.

Let's not ignore one fact, however, as we discuss all of these immigrants driving illegally (Lilly, I sympathize with your experiences. They should not have happened. I am just thankful you didn't state a fatality in these "accidents") let us keep in mind that not all illegal drivers are immigrants. Growing up in Alaska I’ve seen my fair share of drunken, reckless and uninsured driving. Most drunk drivers are repeat offenders driving WITH SUSPENDED LICENSES – or worse, no license at all.

I’ve brought up the suggestion before of labeling or marking these offenders in the past on various other blogs and forums. It’s simple: If you are caught drinking and driving you get the standard warning – however, you also have to get a new license with a specific insignia on it. Secondly you have to get a sticker or new license plate for your vehicle, displayed visibly for all to see, that you have been caught drinking and driving. Now, this is the only truly “invasive” part of my idea (although desperately needed, methinks) – if a police officer or state trooper sees one of these stickers on a vehicle he/she can pull the driver over for a routine breath test. If another driver is in the car and has not been drinking, no worries. If the original driver is driving and has not been drinking, no worries.

If either driver has been drinking, the car is impounded and the driver is arrested. Repeat offenders are, in my opinion, to be hit with the maximum the law allows.

If a car is pulled over for erratic driving but does not have the label, and the officer finds the driver not only to be intoxicated but a repeat offender, the car is impounded, and the same follows.

Pussyfooting around the issues are only going to get more innocent people killed. This goes for illegal and legal immigrants as well as natural-born Americans. Things are out of control – the old ways aren’t strong enough any more to deal with the sheer number of people committing these crimes. New, more aggressive laws must be written in order to even stand a chance!

However, with the current funding, it doesn’t really matter. People arrested today for crimes as heinous as rape are being set free to commit again in 24/48 hour turnovers because the jails lack the funding and space. Meanwhile, prisoners on death row get 20-40 years of life before they have to carry out their sentence. But that’s another issue altogether.

My original point is that not all offenders are immigrants, legal or illegal – don’t forget we have our share of native-born idiots as well.

The big problem I have with the loose drivers license system is our method of "motor-voter" registration. The drivers license is the gateway to registering to vote. How much compunction will someone who is here illegally have about checking a box on a form to affirm they are a citizen? The one line I refuse to cross in the debate on this issue is voting by non-citizens. That really sticks in my craw.

Allowing that Mr. Larson may indeed be the descendant of relatively recent Swedish immigrants, there's always the chance that he's descended (as I am) from some of the colonists of New Sweden, a colony on the Delaware River founded by Sweden on March 29, 1638 and given over to the Dutch in 1655.

And I bet the Indian "know-nothings" were pretty lathered up by New Sweden! Recipes for lingonberry jam are not much reward for the destruction of a native civilization ...

The Feds are not dictating to Oregon on requirements for a drivers license. What they are doing is setting standards for ID that will be considered acceptable in circumstances where they do have the power to set the standards, such as when flying or making certain financial transactions.

Oregon will still be able to issue drivers licenses and voters registration to anyone they please, legal or illegal. They just won't be accepted as valid ID by the Feds.

As for whether or not illegals are criminals, well, the tar heroin trade in Oregon is acknowledged to be dominated by the "Mexian Mafia." Any bets on whether they are legal or illegal?

If you find it acceptable for them to come here in violation of our immigration laws then it should follow that you find it acceptable for them to ignore other laws as well. So, no punishment for the fellow that Lars mentioned who was holed up in a motel room with a 14 year old girl.

Since citizens of other countries are not to be held accountable to our laws, he should be turned loose with an apology and reimbursed for the meth taken from him.

You can't have it both ways. Either they are subject to our laws or they're not. Take your pick.

Well said John.

Maybe I am naïve. Hell, I probably am – but I think laws are in place to be adhered to by everyone. Come into my country and obey my laws just as if I were to come into your country and obey yours. I think that’s a pretty fair deal, don’t you? The problem is, there simply isn’t enough funding and/or personnel to enforce these laws, and the criminals know it. We’ve exposed out belly on so many fronts it’s not funny. I know everyone knows this but I am going to risk bringing it up again – September 11th should NEVER have happened. We’ve grown fat and lazy as a country and those who wish us harm know it. They know we’ve stretched ourselves so thin that we could never defend ourselves or follow through on any enforcement measures.

But it did happen. Is it the Cowboy’s fault? No, as much as I hate to admit it, it’s not. As much as I dislike the man I felt a terrible amount of empathy for him that day as he – all of us – were suddenly thrust into something for which we were not prepared. Something that, again, should never have happened.

But now we face a more local issue – our streets, neighborhoods, and homes becoming unsafe due to the influx of illegal immigrants coming into our country with nefarious intentions. I refuse to be so ignorant as to state all immigrants, illegal and non, are up to no good. Nor am I so stupid as to assume that ONLY illegal immigrants are the ones causing the trouble. But, in the end, what can we do? What can we, as Americans, do to protect ourselves when our own police and special forces are so undermanned, under-budgeted and overwhelmed?

What’s my point? Simply that nothing’s going to change because it cannot be stopped at this point in time. I am not trying to be a pessimist – simply a realist. Our borders are wide open, we can’t stop, detain, register, and monitor each immigrant that enters out country, regardless of from where, illegally. It’s not going to get any better any time soon.

And, on a side note, do you actually think there aren’t already HUNDREDS of defense lawyers just waiting for some poor, innocent illegal drug runner to get caught so they can state with utmost ferocity how prejudiced and bigoted we are? How everyone, illegal or not, should have the same inalienable rights America has to offer it’s natural LEGAL citizens?

I miss Alaska…. All we had to worry about were local druggies and the 3 AM rush from the bars every night.

It appears that this comment box has died, but as a last word, let me offer my small collection of pennies to spread on this discussion of immigration. I have worked in a public interest law firm whose clients were migrant farm-workers.

This country has no coherent immigration policy and the immigration problems we have are self-made.

AgBusiness depends -DEPENDS- on low paying immigrant labor who which we give H-2B Visas to come and work. The laborers come willingly because of poor economic hardship in their countries of origin (some of my former clients held college degrees). When they get here, legal or not, they are treated as indentured servants held incommunicado at forest camps, farms, plantations, and sweat shops. However, even though the visa is an outgrowth of 1950s policy, the Department of Labor STILL has no policies for employers using migrant labor.

Culturally, they have no faith in the police and besides, the whole host of hostile attitudes above are carried by much less sophisticated rural sheriffs anyway, so why bother. They are promised good wages and are often cheated. They pay fed/state/FICA/soc. security taxes for benefits they will never see, and their goal is to spend 6-8 months here to send some money home to support their family (and usually extended family).

The S.Ct. refuses illegal immigrants standing to sue employers for a vast array of abuses and according to the H-2B Visa, if they are fired, they have to immediately return to their country of origin so there is a VERY strong incentive not to complain. Many resent how they are constantly cheated, prejudiced, and discriminated against but have no choice but to submit to the regime. In fact many choose a life-threatening journey for the chance to get cheated out of minimum wage (often the $5.25 Federal minimum wage).

AND THE KICKER: We benefit! They pay taxes and receive little/no services (and often times to someone else's SSN). AgBusiness gets really cheap labor and can compete overseas. Sure they tax local social services, but most want to stay below the radar because they are treated so poorly in this country that the 'breaking the bank' argument really is a politician's excuse to explain a politician's budgeting ineptitude.

Immigration policy is an excuse and a pretext. The real problem is labor policy that allows migrants to work and be abused here. If you fix the labor problem, the immigration problem will disappear overnight. Granting or not granting licenses will have no effect, in Mexico many have no licenses. They will drive anyway. You might as well give a license to them and make them as legitimate as possible. At least then you get a chance to tell them to not run away from an accident (which is what is the common practice in Mexico to avoid being jailed by the police).

To answer’s Lars’ question: The reason they have Spanish sounding last names is that “we” want to think “our” problems are caused by someone else. Blaming someone else is the name of the game. But of course, Lars, you already knew that.

Matt's post reminds me of an old saying I am SURE resonates in every corporate and governmental office today:

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."


How timely!

"A 24-year-old Mexican charged with the Oregon murder of a father and the shooting of his 16-year-old son in a home-invasion robbery is an illegal alien with an Oregon driver's license who has been previously deported from the United States."


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