Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs

« Guest Blogger: Michael Zweig's Proposal for Economic Stimulus | Main | Standards for Voter Verification? »

Rethinking Immigration in a Tough Economy

(Photos by Robin Holland)

This week on THE JOURNAL, Bill Moyers spoke with political analyst Linda Chavez and writer Roberto Lovato to explore hispanic perspectives on the challenges America faces.

On the topic of immigration, Chavez called for a policy based on economics:

"We could end illegal immigration basically tomorrow if we enacted immigration policies that were market-based... We ought to have a policy that is attuned to what's going on in the economy. When you have unemployment, you're not gonna bring in a lot of new people."

Noting the precarious state of the economy, Lovato argued for a fundamental redefinition of citizenship:

"If you look at the market, the people that are running our economy don't know what they're doing. It's obvious... There's no logic, and it's naked to all of us. And so why not embrace the fact that this is stuff that's failed? And let's start with a new rationale, a new kind of citizenship that's more global."

Faced with the global economic crisis, European Union leaders agreed this week to a "European pact on immigration and asylum" pledging to expel illegal immigrants and enhance border controls. While many nations - including the United Kingdom and Australia - are moving to substantially reduce immigration, Spain has already announced plans to stop issuing visas to most migrant workers:

"No more visas will be granted to low-skilled workers, such as those employed in restaurants and shops, a spokeswoman for [Spain's] labour and immigration ministry said... 'It doesn't seem reasonable that with 2.5 million unemployed, we continue to recruit workers from abroad,' said [employment minister] Mr. Corbacho, who wants to pay unemployed foreigners to return to their countries... Unemployment has leapt by 500,000 in a year as the construction boom has evaporated."

What do you think?

  • What immigration policy should the U.S. pursue?
  • Do you think, as Chavez suggests and other nations have decided, that the new economy should factor into U.S. immigration policy?
  • Do you think that “global citizenship” is a practical approach to migration issues?


  • TrackBack

    TrackBack URL for this entry:
    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/mt4/mt-tb.cgi/1709

    Comments

    I'm from arizona, and ive seen a dramatic increase of illegal aliens! Our government dosen't process people that fast. They're reason is to come and make money to later bring back south. The majority of them hate americans and don't care at all of the laws or even bother to learn the language. Not to mention the healthcare issues. - when will this stop?

    I'm still waiting for a discussion on when Mexico will fix it's failed economy. Much of our immigration issues could be resolved if we put our energy into helping the people of Mexico fix Mexico. This can be done with trade sanctions and decreased federal aid if changes are not made by the current government.

    Mr. Moyers,
    I've been a loyal viewer
    of your current Journal and
    NOW before that and your
    spiritual shows before that. I differ strongly with the one-sided way illegal immigration has been presented on recent shows. Many of us who are very concerned about immigration are NOT racist xenophobes. I see it as a very practical issue. It has been asked, "What should be the limits of your generous giving? When giving more would cause you yourself to require charity." The immigration bills defeated
    in the last Congress would have added 40 million more Americans if passed (over the next 30 years). Some of thepractical affects are ignored by advocates : 1) The cities with the fastest growth in illegal immigrant population are near their limits of water supply. Global warming will reduce available water to cities like L.A., Phoenix, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas. Even Denver! 2) Increasing our population by 40 million will make it so much harder to decrerase our greenhouse gas emissions. 3) Adding 40 million mostly poor people will make it so much harder to have universal health care - it hasn't been achieved yet despite 60 years of effort.
    4) Just to keep up, we need to create millions of jobs every year. We have
    been creating jobs slower than new workers join the workforce. Adding half a million illegal workers every year makes it so much harder.
    5) I'll only mention the incredible pressure this puts on our education and prison systems, both of which are very disfunctional and stretched to the max.
    We often forgret that the great Cesar Chavez himself opposed ilegal immigration :
    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/aug22.html
    Barbara Jordan headed a comission that studied it and she concluded the trends were dangerous, especially for African-Americans at the bottom of the economy :
    http://www.utexas.edu/lbj/uscir/032995.html

    Whether you agree with me or not, I'd appreciate it if my views were treated as rational and a true discussion took place based on the factual realities.

    Thanks for the wonderful shows!

    A belated comment based on tonight's (11-28) viewer mail: There is an immigration problem and having two people speak on one side of the issue didn't do it justice.

    Bill, I know it's asking for trouble, but a more balanced panel would have produced a more realistic moment, and better served truthful inquiry.

    But something that has only been touched upon, and IS worth drilling down into, is how much of our immigration problem is blowback from NAFTA's decimation of Mexico's underclass; and also from our criminal Central American policies, especially – but not only – under Reagan.

    There is a double-bind in this problem.

    I am the daughter of an immigrant father and the great grandaughter of an immigrant family mother. My non-American born family made their trips to the USA in divergent ways-- steerage and lifeboats. They pursued education and were moderately monetarily successful until the 1929 depression when they lost their savings and had to start again -- which they did. They taught me to know the constitution, obey the law, think for myself, vote, participate in my community, and be a responsible citizen.

    I have tried to offer the same way of living to my grown children --work, leaarn,share, be a responsible and involved citizen, I am appalled at the folks who are carrying on about "letting other folks into the country" -- Our forefathers overwhelmed the Native Americans and took their land and homes -- are they concerned that the newcomers might treat them in the same fashion?

    Billy Bob from Florida wrote:
    Mr. Lovato's views call to mind a recent PBS radio interview of an elderly black man that said he was so gratified that in his life time a black man might become president, and the interviewer questioned, so your decision is based on race, & the reply was..Oh, No! The interviewer responded that was what had just been said & the responce was..Oh...Uh..

    Do blacks think they are exempt from racism? If it is good enough for whites, why can't it be good enough for blacks?
    *********
    I'm not sure how you got from someone being proud that a member of his race has, after some 300 years in this country, at last been nominated for President, to equating that with racism.

    The Merriam Webster dictionary defines racism as: 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
    2 : racial prejudice or discrimination
    ******
    I don't see either of these two traits being evidenced in the African American's happiness and feeling of pride that at last a member of his own race is the nominee of a major political party.

    To note a factis not rascist simply because the issue of race is part of that fact. Unfortunately, political correctness of a particularly unthinking variety seems to be trying to make us all color-blind to the point that we are afraid of acknowledging differences among people. To notice that someone has a different shade of skin color from me is not to evince prejudice. To credit certain traits, behaviors or attitudes to EVERYONE sharing a particular skin color, shape of nose or accent is.

    BTW, I do agree that any human being is capable of racism. To me, the important thing is to be capable of, and open enough to, recognize when we are generalizing about people based on some external trait, not to pretend that we are all the same.

    Allowing illegal immigration is unfair economically and undermines general respect for law. Here in Northern VA, where until recently contractors made huge profits by employing cheap illegals, the real cost of labor is loaded upon public hospitals and various counties, who provide a social programs and police to deal with the resultant problems.
    At the same time, local businesses like electricians and plumbers cannot compete with legal, licensed workers and lose business. Illegals but legals out of work!

    Furthermore, because of the large numbers of immigrants, the traditional "melting pot" theory no longer applies, so that instead of being acculturated into American language and ideals, the groups remain distinct and the primary traditional culture risks destruction. America is more than wealth. It is founded on a set of ideals and shared traditions which I, for one, would like to see survive. Run-away, unregulated and illegal immigration is a threat to those ideals and values.
    Lastly, there is the issue of unfairness. For me to bring in my husband of 30 years from overseas is an expensive, difficult task. Since he has no desire to remain...it is not worth it. So, since he can't work legally, he remains overseas while I work here for a few years. I resent the fact that while I abide by the law, others flaunt it!

    I found this discussion of immigration to be constructive. One opinion I took exception to was Chavez's off-handed remark that the "liberal" cause of Zero Population Growth was an anti-immigrant movement. Zero Population Growth (ZPG) is a global movemnt to try to reduce the growth of the human population so that our enviornment is not destroyed, and the future is not full of wars and other conflicts based on dwindling resources. It is concerned about the population of the whole world not the movement of populations from one area to another. Unless Chavez is aware of an "immigrant" population from other worlds ZPG's concern towards immigration is nil.

    The only possible ZPG concern over immigrant/minority groups, is that some parts of the world do not see that population could be a future problem and don't encourage smaller families.

    We are allowing the government to frame the immigration problem for us. We must consider that in some cases, such as here, the government is not acting in our own individual best interest.

    Thus, the term "illegal" associated with "alien" or "immigrant" is one of the government's invention.

    What we as individuals must do is look at the problem from our own perspective. It is my understanding that this has not been done very often and has not been heralded very effectively.

    The reality is that foreign nationals are in every recognized nation worldwide, creating a nearly fully integrated polyglot. To somehow require all these people to get their "papers in order" with respect to the local laws of each country is crazy.

    There has to be a better, more accommodating, and global solution. Like a national identity card that is accepted worldwide. This different than a passport and should be a smart card with various data on it relevant to the bearer and the country he or she hails from.

    Take a look at the end-to-end treatment of the immigration problem that has been prepared by Trigon-International, Inc. This is actionable, affordable, and feasible and more aptly it addresses the problem in situ meaning that the fix goes in without having to reset the pieces on the game board.

    I couldn't sleep Sunday night (10/26/2008) and was watching Bill Moyers on the local PBS station; when they showed the "Stand By Me" music video in the "Playing for Change" segment. I was so stuck. And I wept. I have never had a feeling of belonging to a "global" community as this music video gave me. I will be buying the movie and any music DVDs from it. As I finish my comments, tears are still streaming down my face.

    The first words I heard as I flicked on the radio this Sunday morning were:

    “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
    I was thinking about overpopulation.
    I was thinking about what Linda Chavez said on Bill Moyers’ show last week. I was thinking how very sad that she is fighting so hard against the people who are fighting so hard to help the children.

    She said: “The whole population control movement is at the heart of the immigration control movement in this country.”

    That’s not love talk, and also it’s not true. Overpopulation of the earth has nothing to do with who lives where. Isn’t that obvious? The number of people on earth is not changed by wherever they are living -- and every one of them affects the whole earth. That’s basically why we have global warming. Because there are more people on earth than the earth can comfortably support. So it’s important to talk about it. Love talk, not hate talk.
    So let’s stop the debates, where everyone is out to get everyone else, and listen to the greatest commandment, as best we can. To love our neighbors.

    The real issue of population is global and has nothing to do with my ability to love my neighbor, Maria, no matter if she has one child or ten children.

    And because I do want the best for her children, I can cry for them when they are in pain.

    Overpopulation is not about Maria, or her children, and it is not about whether she lives in Latin America or the United States. Overpopulation is about the whole earth. Some people can love the whole of human kind so much that they cry over their neighbors around the world who are affected by genocide, or by global epidemics like AIDS and flu, or by hunger and thirst and war. People who know that in the modern world these things are mostly caused by global overpopulation can cry for the whole world.

    I care for my neighbors and their children, and I know a lot about biology, and I know what the world will be unless we talk about a these issues among ourselves, all over the world, and find a solution that is better than now – better than starvation and genocide and war and epidemic diseases. We can not solve these problems until we can talk with our neighbors about what primarily causes them – which is overpopulation. With love.

    The immigration debate is just another grand distraction from a more serious issue:
    the blatant offshoring of good jobs.
    While legal/illegal immigrants are mostly employed in more menial/low paying manual work from picking crops to cutting grass and wage-slave employment by the wealthy,
    there are millions of jobs going offshore that are generally in high paying tech and industrial areas from auto making to retail manufacturing, etc, etal.
    Focus attention of this area and you might also wish to investigate why off-shoring also brings incredible tax benefits to the corporations who are practicing it.

    There are some very insightful comments on this page. I especially appreciated Annie, Dave and Stanley W.
    There are two sides to the immigration debate. I think the truth is based in reason, not emotion. To determine who is NOT telling the truth, look for the anger and bitterness.
    I heard John McCain say some months ago that illigal immigrants are still God's children, and I did a double take. It was so refreshing to hear compassion from a Republican. I guess his advisers thrummed that notion out of him, because I haven't heard him say it in a long time. Wasn't getting any traction with the base, I guess.
    This issue with Mexico will never be resolved until we partner with Mexico to work it out. To persuade Mexico to put some resources into education and jobs and to develop the country so that people want to stay there.
    I feel sorry for immigrants--legal or un-- who come to the U.S. these days. It's tough for all of us (except that top 2 percent, of course).

    My comment is not precisely on the target of illegal immigration, but it does pertain to something Chavez said that I believe at least indirectly relates to immigration policy.

    Chavez commented that she believes "... a rising tide raises all boats ...". This has been a mantra of free market economists for many years, used to explain why such activities as deregulation and tax breaks to the wealthy are good for everyone. I have never heard anyone challenge whether this is a good metaphor for the economy. Clearly on the ocean a rising tide does raise all boats - and it does so equally, so that all boats rise to the same extent. But what does that have to do with the economy? Do they really believe that the economy is as simple and predictable as an ocean tide?

    It seems clear to me that the rising wealth of America in the past 30 years has not raised all boats, certainly not proportionally, and in many cases not at all. I'd love to hear someone ask Chavez or others who defend these policies why this is a good metaphor for the economy.

    Linda Chavez: the issue of illegal immigration is certainly NOT manufactured! Ronald Regan opened the gates of Mexico to illegal immigrants when he first became governor of California. He did this so his rich ranch and grove owner friends could make more profit. In the mean time he took a financially viable state ( under the previous governorship of Brown) and proceeded to bankrupt it. Increased profit is the reason and the only reason illegal immigration was allowed to occur. Regan took this 'business' model nation-wide as President. The rest is history. Illegal immigration has placed a huge strain and burden on this country and has caused imbalance on many levels. I don't think that the term, 'illegal immigration' is slanderous or anything other than what it is: the truth. For example: I would like to retire and live in New Zealand. Unless I enter the country with $500,000, I am not allowed to live there. If somehow I decided to sneak in, I would be termed an "illegal immigrant". That is what it is...illegal immigration. Many immigrants wait years to gain legal access to the USA. Ask them if illegal immigration is a manufactured topic. It is interesting to note that Ms. Chavez is prejudice against American-born citizens, generalizing that all of them 'do not work and only show up a few days, if at all, on the job'. This statement is simply NOT true. The USA functioned without this huge glut of illegal immigrants prior to the 1980's. White teenage boys worked in gas stations, blacks and Asians worked in restaurants and hotels. Fruit and crop pickers traveled the country with the seasons. Citizens of our country worked at various jobs and business prospered. The illegal immigrant work force did one thing: it permitted an immediate and significant increase in profits. Once business owners had a taste of more profit, they looked for other 'ingenious' methods to obtain greater profits...off-shore service centers in India and Pakistan, Chinese manufacturing, etc. The huge negative impact this had on our GNP has caused numerous repercussions. Many individuals gained enormous wealth and a nation was placed in great jeopardy by altering our status as a leading manufacturing global force to a mere 'service' nation. I don't blame the illegal immigrants, I blame the greedy business owners, deceitful politicians, and Board of the Federal Reserve. Their foolish chain of decisions and resulting damage will require generations or more to mend. In the mean time these wealthy players can live anywhere they choose. Illegal immigrants will follow the money, the country really doesn't matter. In the end, US citizens are left with a mess. Manufactured or not.

    Linda Chavez: the issue of illegal immigration is certainly NOT manufactured! Ronald Regan opened the gates of Mexico to illegal immigrants when he first became governor of California. He did this so his rich ranch and grove owner friends could make more profit. In the mean time he took a financially viable state ( under the previous governorship of Brown) and proceeded to bankrupt it. Increased profit is the reason and the only reason illegal immigration was allowed to occur. Regan took this 'business' model nation-wide as President. The rest is history. Illegal immigration has placed a huge strain and burden on this country and has caused imbalance on many levels. I don't think that the term, 'illegal immigration' is slanderous or anything other than what it is: the truth. For example: I would like to retire and live in New Zealand. Unless I enter the country with $500,000, I am not allowed to live there. If somehow I decided to sneak in, I would be termed an "illegal immigrant". That is what it is...illegal immigration. Many immigrants wait years to gain legal access to the USA. Ask them if illegal immigration is a manufactured topic. It is interesting to note that Ms. Chavez is prejudice against American-born citizens, generalizing that all of them 'do not work and only show up a few days, if at all, on the job'. This statement is simply NOT true. The USA functioned without this huge glut of illegal immigrants prior to the 1980's. White teenage boys worked in gas stations, blacks and Asians worked in restaurants and hotels. Fruit and crop pickers traveled the country with the seasons. Citizens of our country worked at various jobs and business prospered. The illegal immigrant work force did one thing: it permitted an immediate and significant increase in profits. Once business owners had a taste of more profit, they looked for other 'ingenious' methods to obtain greater profits...off-shore service centers in India and Pakistan, Chinese manufacturing, etc. The huge negative impact this had on our GNP has caused numerous repercussions. Many individuals gained enormous wealth and a nation was placed in great jeopardy by altering our status as a leading manufacturing global force to a mere 'service' nation. I don't blame the illegal immigrants, I blame the greedy business owners, deceitful politicians, and Board of the Federal Reserve. Their foolish chain of decisions and resulting damage will require generations or more to mend. In the mean time these wealthy players can live anywhere they choose. Illegal immigrants will follow the money, the country really doesn't matter. In the end, US citizens are left with a mess. Manufactured or not.

    It's unbelievable that the two guests agreed that population control is irrational! On the contrary, it is irrational to believe -- as a matter of faith, with no scientific evidence -- that technology will always overcome the pollution and resource depletion caused by overpopulation.

    Did you say the term illegal alien is loaded and ideological to boot. WHAT CLAPTRAP. What is loaded about the illegal as in one who broke the law. An alien is one who is not a citizen. We have laws here but since you practice identity politics and hate my country you want to sanitize the language and think that these people are really acceptable. THEY ARE A BLIGHT ON OUR CITIES AND TOWNS. Take a look at Palisades Park, N.J.
    Also, there was a huge chasm in intelligence and knowledge between you and Chavez. YOU KNOW NOTHING AND LIKE OBAMA HAVE ONLY RHETORIC.

    I am glad to see that someone else finds the idea of "trickle down econcomics" is a way to rob the poor and build up the wealthy. Ms. Chavas comment about tides floating boats shows how out of touch those at the top really are. Anyone who cares to study the situation would realize that it is the consumer that drives the economy and the rising tide should favour the consumer's discretionary income to buy the goods and services that corporations produce. Corporations and Wall St. have drained 8 trillion dollars out of the American economy and this money will not be replaced in the next 20 years. Low wages, health concerns, rising prices will be all the consumer will be able to handle. There will not be money for vacations, new gadgets, new vehicles, pricey homes, and other consumer goods. the rising tide comes from the consumer's ability to consume and that is now a thing of the past. Any company that produces tooth paste, toilet paper and shampoo would be a safe investment.

    I'm not much into predictions, but, I predict that sometime between 2009/2010 the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. will be made legal.

    Many of those immigrants will be granted work permits, some will be granted legal permanent residency and a number of those will eventually become full fledged U.S. Citizens, who will contribute to the greatest rise in the Latino electorate in history. The significant increase in Latino voters is already being forecast for the general election and will contribute to the election of Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States.

    The harm that the GOP has brought upon itself by embracing anti-immigrant rhetoric which stems from a very small, but yet very vocal ultra-conservative and nativist base will cost them dearly. The damage sustained by the GOP will endure for at least a decade and their lose of the 2008 Presidential Elections will result in infighting. Once the GOP regroups and slowly begins to shed most of it's anti-immigrant-bashing-ways. It will be forced to re-connect with the very same immigrant groups it effectively alienated and find a new message, a message of inclusion and tolerance. Look for the GOP's leaders and standard bearers to begin feverishly recruiting Latinos who they can tap and place into elected office and demonstrate the they support Latinos and issues important to that base.

    After everything is said and done most in America will wonder what the fuss was all about. They will wonder why we ever got into all this immigrant bashing anyways, because their immigrant neighbors basically only want the same rights and freedoms that we've long taken for granted. We will come to realize that freedom and democracy work best when we extend equal rights and labor protections to all including those transient immigrants, those "global immigrants" Lovato speaks about, who temporarily come and go.

    Immigration is complicated issue but many of the reasons people cite in opposition to immigration are often based on misinformation. Everyone from the far right conservative economists at the RAND Institute to the liberal groups acknowledge immigration has no effect or a very small positive effect on our economy as a whole. There is no evidence that shows higher unemployment levels because of immigraiton and conflicting results on wages and even those that show a wage depression show a very very very small decrease.

    Studies show immigrants commit fewer crimes than us citizens but watch the news and you would think otherwise.

    Too often we only get one side of the issue and it's the nativist side in the media.

    Once again Moyers is intellectually dishonest and addresses the immigration issue only with one side of the debate: shortsighted people advocate opening the borders. There are many many reasons to want the border secured, including jobs. We always hear about jobs Americans don't want to do, but it's never mentioned in context with outsourcing. Jobs are disappearing with a gigantic sucking sound overseas, so it's ridiculous to bring in people to take those jobs that will remain, especially when they lower the wages in those jobs. Plus when people come you just encourage the corrupt leaders of Mexico to not change their explotative ways. Not to mention that our social services are already basically bankrupt and that our school system is broken. People are choosing of their own accord to break American laws and enter a no-win situation in terms of terrible schools and bad jobs, and then when they and their children don't get ahead Americans are accused of racism. Global citizenship is a big lie and its also a lie to say that people who want to close the borders are racist. We just want to protect what's left of America after years and years of being hollowed out. Mr. Moyers, PLEASE have a balanced discussion of this issue!!!!!!


    It scares me that anyone still believes in trickle down economics. A rising tide does not lift all boats.
    Trickle down economics greatly increases the wealth of the people at the top while other incomes reamin nearly flat. The average income goes up and that increases prices through supply and demand. The poor did not cause prices to rise but they get drowned by the excess wealth at the top.
    Trickle down economics seems like a pyramid scheme to me. Its designed by the rich for the rich.
    Consider the human body - when you get an infection, antibodies are sent to site of the infection and not to the healthiest parts of the body in the hopes that help will trickle down. its absurd. I think its criminal. It seems to me that trickle down economics created this concept of 'too big to fail'. we'd be better off if power and wealth were not so concentrated at the top. what needs to stop is the rich and powerful getting their way with all the laws in this country that just make it easier for them and harder for those with less.

    This issue of illegal immigration can be resolved when the USA begins paying close attention with the economic situation South of the border-instead of sending jobs to China we can help both our economy and the Mexican economy with economic development.The other issue is we can have a work program with some sort of legal id cards for workers to come and go.It is true that there are many jobs in our economy that average American citizens dont want to do.

    I support a complete MORATORIUM on legal immigration immediately.
    Illegal immigrants should be sent back to their birth countries.
    I do not support the ''Birth right'' immigrant.
    The economic crisis demands that we stop all expenditures relating to immigration - which can be done by a moratorium on legal immigration.

    The immigration video ''Gumballs'' is for those americans who just can't figure it out that this country doesn't have unlimited resources to support the flood of immigrants legal and illegal.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7WJeqxuOfQ

    Illegal robbery, illegal murder, illegal immigration are not the same. Immigration has been an important part of the American Experience!

    Illegal, however, has never been an accepted part of the American Exp.

    Illegal combined with any term hurts your feelings? If it is outside the laws of the land, then illegal it is! Or, maybe making a rule that 'illegal' cannot be applied to anything Mexicans do. Illegal, drug trading, murder--wait--they look Mexican--so they are exempt from 'illegal'.

    Mr. Lovato's views call to mind a recent PBS radio interview of an elderly black man that said he was so gratified that in his life time a black man might become president, and the interviewer questioned, so your decision is based on race, & the reply was..Oh, No! The interviewer responded that was what had just been said & the responce was..Oh...Uh..

    Do blacks think they are exempt from racism? If it is good enough for whites, why can't it be good enough for blacks?

    Billy Bob, Florida

    Good point and dead on, Monica. I also was surprised and taken aback that Bill just smiled and nodded as Linda let loose. Maybe he slipped into believing this was a continuation of his Campbell Mythologies interviews. Just a couple of weeks ago a guest was on the Journal (maybe it was Kevin Phillips or Emma Coleman Jordan) stating that the Reagan myth was of small gov’t and less spending. This guest pointed out that historically the greatest increases in both were during this administration. Bill nodded and AGREED. To paraphrase Soros’ last words on a previous show: all that’s needed is some critical thinking here.

    Background:

    I am a political independent, more prone to Nader on a lot of things, a 52 yr old engineer, 24 yrs in Silicon Vly. I grew up w/ the Vietnam War heights, riots and aftermath, in NYC. I was always a 'progressive' more or less. I worked hard at degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering. I believe I'd like to teach in a poor area in NYC someday. I've seen violent protests firsthand (Wash DC and NYC) & been arrested fraudulently in a political protest.

    I've had mostly hard jobs up through college: digging ditches, hauling drywall, ripping up concrete. For about 30 yrs our Congress & WhiteHouse have defrauded us because we cannot keep our Democracy, as Adams warned. This is economic & political fraud, for the sake of power of both kinds. The bubble-destined shadow financial system was created over the last decade or so by Paulson (2000: lobbied SEC as head of Goldman Sachs) and enabled by Greenspan and the SEC from 2004 on. It's all the same thread. rgemonitor.com. Same as it ever was. In the background, Moyers' guests are involved effectively on the same side that has outsourced labor _within our own country_ for corporate profit. Interesting.

    Be advised, my arguments have nothing to do with xenophobia, though I'm sure I'll push enough of your buttons to convince you otherwise. That's to be expected.

    I'll abbreviate 'illegal immigration' as "II" hereafter.

    Now we have activists, such as Moyers' guests, with a racially biased agenda insofar as it relates to illegal immigrants or Latinos on one side vs. 'the other side'. Their very words defining a division give the lie to their denial of same. How could they be anything but racially biased when exercise of sovereignty and rule of law becomes something discriminatory against Latinos? Grow up; if it were purple striped Caucasians from here or another planet my position would be the same.

    The following will be quotes from the Moyers show followed by the obvious, easy rebuttal.

    ------ 1 ------

    "...illegal aliens, they're like the canaries in the mine shaft. ...they give us early warning signals that there are problems. ... most people in this country, I think, would believe that illegal immigration right now is at an all time high.

    In fact, it's not. It's about half what it was at the peak period, which was in 1995 to 2000. So, you know, I actually believe that what you're seeing in terms of the illegal immigration issue, a lot of the people who were here, working hard, very productive folks, were trying to get a foothold, trying to get a slice of the American dream. And many of them actually did try to buy houses, and some of them did succeed ... they were many of the people in these sub-prime loans. That was the beginning. "

    OK, so Linda has authoritative info on the II rates. We'd all like to know from where. And during the '95-'00 peak where was Lovato & Chavez while the illegals, their traitor employers / lobbyists & their govt enablers were depressing wages and, according to Chavez, contributing to our financial calamity? Do tell. Don't deny. Instead, tell. What I state is _fact_. US wages have been falling (esp in construction trades) for 30 yrs., after inflation. So, she therefore knows how many are here illegally, otherwise only estimated as 12 to 20M. Impressive. Tell us these sources, Linda.

    The "slice of the American Dream" turned out to be part of the straw (only a part) that broke the camel's back. Doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement of anything but felony charges for hiring an illegal, to enable their self-deportation en mass (at little cost to us; yes, that's right _us_ -- the 'us' behind sovereignty). It's called "enforcement through attrition".

    Now the "working hard, very productive" bit. Uh, what? Working hard and productively disenfranchising American workers and their tax base. Congressional testimony last year established in a non-partisan fact-based way (I know it's inconvenient) that ANY low income household is a net drain on the municipal budget. Please, please, please ... stop offering no-think to us. It's nauseating.

    ------ 2 ------

    "I wouldn't call people illegal aliens, because I think that term's loaded and very ideological. And problematic and dehumanizing to boot."

    Uh... this is weird. Therefore, I should sue when I'm called 'anti-immigrant white', now that I'm a minority in CA and offended somehow? You have the PC disease (political correctness). It inhabits most who are no-think. What about the problematic and dehumanizing effects of II on citizens over the last 13 yrs? What? Cat got your tongue? One can only take your position if one has internalized a profound repudiation of the concept of sovereignty. Dude, they ARE illegal aliens; get over it. What is 'very idealogical' about the term? Newsflash: your feelings about the simplest possible adjective + noun for these people are irrelevant. Understand? You must've took many of those Twilight Zone episodes about 'aliens' too seriously as a kid. Nothing personal. This PC disease just appears to be more expert (or knee-jerk, more likely) flinging of FUD - fear, uncertainty and doubt - as opposed to dealing with reality. But, reality is inconvenient. I understand.

    ------ 3 ------

    "...there's an unstated consensus between the two candidates not to talk about an issue that they don't see any political benefit in."

    Exactly. But I would add: they know most of America is so frikkin ignorant about it and so vulnerable to demagoguery about it and will start mass riots over it, for no reason. Now, if you stretch those brain cells one last bit you'll see that it's a great litmus test: these two are not leaders; they only pretend to be. And since most of us are no-think we swallow another theatre act in our play about democracy. These are more of the images you'll see as you race down the rabbit hole, to meet Alice.

    ------ 4 ------

    "McCain-Kennedy bill ...700 pages of which were primarily about putting more children in jail, more families in jail, more stuff that's going to facilitate more raids, stuff that's going to kill more people in the desert."

    Again, though important after-effects of II, these are your focus because you must first deny American sovereignty. If you didn't deny it your first concern would be to establish protection of the citizen with 'enforcement through attrition'; ie: self-deportation mentioned above. The latter is called the rule of law, accompanying a nation's sovereignty. Without your denial of our sovereignty, your agenda wouldn't be tenable. Again, no mention of the ill-effects of II on the citizens of this country. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. The ill effects on illegals is a result of their actions. Get it? Just checking. Yes, illegals should be rescued and dealt with humanely. We can afford this if we have enforcement through attrition, which obviates most raids. But, I guess that's too logical. Again, accepting the blatherous Lovato quote first requires one to repudiate American sovereignty, and logic.

    Now read this s l o w l y. The workplace raids, arrests, desert deaths and poor conditions (and robbery of the American people), and all the rest, are the _effects_ of II that the corrupt corporate Congress is _imposing_ on the American people. It's called an economic 'externality'. Now, repeat after me: cause and effect, cause and effect. Come back when you can distinguish them.

    Secondarily, it's the result of the illegal's decision making, too. And Lovato/Chavez, in effect, have supported these results. It has perverted our labor markets and standard of living. Its first requirement is the suspension of our sovereignty, and that requires a corrupt Congress. Lovato/Chavez seem, prima facie, to be part of that corruption. How? Uh... Duh... just look at what they do and recent history. Not that they have commanded things directly but they certainly haven't been shouting in favor of the U.S. citizen's interests. Why is this so hard to 'get'? Why do I feel like I'm trying to teach astrophysics to an cricket?

    ------ 5 ------

    "We could end illegal immigration, basically, tomorrow, if we enacted policies, immigration policies that were market-based ... that did take a look at our need for labor in this country, that allowed enough people to come in to fill jobs that Americans will not take, or even if they take them, will not stay in.

    I mean, we've seen all these raids in some of the meat processing plants. When those companies have gone out and actually hired the American-born, what they find is, yes, they show up for work the first day. Many don't the second day, and by the end of the week, they're gone."

    Ms. Chavez shows her colors. Wrong; we could end it tomorrow by enforcement through attrition. She'll never mention this, for it requires support of the rule of law and sovereignty. They are the light which must be hidden from the darkness loving lie.

    Market-based immigration policies. A true Reaganite. Good ol' labor arbitrage. Impose the externality (see #4 above). She actually believes this stuff. To justify it, you must first deny our sovereignty (and the common sense of most of us). Newflash, since she didn't get the memo: Americans won't take certain jobs because they're designed to unecessarily poor conditions by those not interested in conditions, but which the poor II will tolerate since they earn more than they ever have.

    It's called arbitrage, Linda, or leverage. Our sovereignty (self rule) would demand a native right to work for the citizen, not to be taken over as the 'property' of the govt policy or corporation to redistribute to a lower wage in order to satisfy a 'market' that is defined by a corporate controlled Congress. More socialism for the wealthy & redistribution to those controlling capital. It's called institutionalizing "privatized profits, socialized costs", and got us into our latest meltdown.

    Now, Linda, you apparently imagine that we Americans are no-think enough & really willing to be robbed of even the possibility of a job by this theatre? "See, these jobs suck [ha ha] so we have to bring in the illegals to legalize them so it's all good there, good buddy, Mr. Congressman." You were sleeping when your arguments were debunked over a year ago: most Americans know all about hard jobs and will work for a _living wage_ and decent conditions befitting a super-economy (uh, at least it used to be). You're getting rusty, Linda. Notice how the decrease in unions matches the increase in poor conditions and labor arbitrage. You call this 'market based'. You appear to think we're stupid.

    ------ 6 ------

    "I think the whole debate on illegal immigration was largely manufactured. I mean, I wrote columns about this. I think talk radio had a lot to do with it, cable news had a lot to do with it. Lou Dobbs inveighing every night against illegal aliens had a lot to do with it. ... Illegal immigration is down. I think it will largely disappear."

    Ah, yes. I'm sure you wish it was manufactured. Would be nice, eh? This is a transparent attempt to make the stupid believe 'ok, we can forget about that stuff now; it's gone'. No. This is the time to drive a stake through it. Enforcement through attrition, with felony penalties against employers. Again, if Linda believes what she says, then it proves the repudiation of sovereignty at the very core, and her ignorance of real America and what's really taken place, from her comfy perch inside the Wash. DC bubble. Even just the enforcement of existing law would wipe out most or all II. Now Linda, don't you support the rule of law? Pray tell. Linda, yer batting zero. Again, remember, it doesn't matter what you believe should happen. We live under a mandate for democratic rule of law.

    ------ 7 ------

    "Who is the real sovereign? It used to be the king. Then it was the citizen. Now it's the corporate citizen. And so, who better to blame for the end of our sovereignty than a border crossing, illegal alien?"

    Wow. Robert knows a thing or two. Well, Robert, you only made it halfway; your last sentence made my heart sink. I just saw that thought process take a dive down the usual greased rabbit hole. Nobody's blaming the illegals, get it? Not yet? Someday? Please?

    ------ 8 ------

    "But the whole population control movement is at the heart of the immigration control movement in this country. Groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform, The Center for Immigration Studies, all of these groups grew out of anti-population groups, zero population groups, negative population growth ... So there is a segment on the left that is also deeply anti-immigrant."

    Uh, there you go again (a la Reagan; couldn't resist). Yes, I'm very familiar with those groups. You forgot numbersusa.com, which is apparently most influential on Congressional votes. The evidence they present is fact based and convincing. That's inconvenient. I understand. Deeply anti-immigrant, no. You, in a racist way, imply xenophobia. No, they are anti-out of control population growth. Simple arithmetic is involved. And reality. Not racial agendas. Your fallback is the ol' accusation of a political or racial agenda against others. That is racist. You don't fool those who can think. You will fool the no-thinkers, and those are the only ones you'll end up with. Birds of a feather. If I'm in favor of those groups for simple conservative (classically meant) and fact-based reasons supporting by citizen sovereignty (and ecological evidence), then again you silently deny that sovereignty as you claim they are simply "anti immigrant". So, there's not even any depth to your argument. That's another telltale. All spin, no cattle. Newsflash to Chavez: a sovereign people decide for themselves what's in their best interest, most benignly in a functioning democracy, not the purely biased interests such as yourselves, especially when your positions require the repudiation of that sovereignty.

    ------ 9 ------

    "Irrationality has taken hold of our lives. ... If you look at the market, the people that are running our economy don't know what they're doing. It's obvious. They let one company die, like Lehman Brothers. And they let another survive, like AIG. What is the logic behind it? There is none. There's no logic. And it's naked to all of us. And so, why not embrace the fact that this stuff that's failed. And let's start with a new rationale, a new kind of citizenship that's more global."

    Irrationality has indeed taken hold; look in the mirror. :-) Yes, they don't know what they're doing in the societal sense. They know very well what they're doing in the short-term sense. You appear to share that short-term thinking. Lehman was repudiated by suitors who looked at they're internal assumptions, and the Feds agreed it was bull. And it was too much moral hazard. The stock selloffs have everything to do with that unwinding. But AIG had offsetting assets and a business future. Do some research.

    How do the failures mean we must "start with a new rationale, a new kind of citizenship that's more global"? You made a leap that is pure sophistry, with no flair. I can hear the crowd now... "No-thinkers of America! Unite!". I think Paulson & Co. has a job for you in the new, new, much better than new, new world order. But, seriously, we see your admission that repudiation of U.S. sovereignty is the goal. Global citizenship. Memo to Robert: your illegal immigration agenda doesn't trump what citizens demand.

    ------ 10 ------

    "One of the things I worry about when I look at the financial sector now is that we're having more and more concentration."

    Wow. One sane sentence. Jeez, I guess it's too much of a stretch to ponder that, just maybe, that's the secret goal? Doh! Not convinced, myself, but it's creepy.

    ------ 11 ------

    "I think we're in flux, like a chrysalis, in the sense that the ... black-white dichotomy that defined freedom, that defined democracy in the United States, is over. Clearly, I think Latinos, 45 million of us, are the embodiment of that, if you will. And I think whites in some parts of the United States, especially in the southwest, are having to adjust to the fact that they're minorities."

    OK. What's the point? Oh, I forgot. Nevermind.

    ------ 12 ------

    "I think that the Republicans have really done themselves great damage by alienating the Hispanic vote."

    How did they alienate the Hispanic vote? You assume that voting block is unanimous in wanting all the illegals legalized? Really? Now I KNOW I need what you've been smoking. You insult Hispanics, in my opinion; you imply they also don't know what sovereignty means. Increased illegals will hinder the citizen Hispanics' progress economically. Hmmm, but you claim they're all just like you, eager to participate in their own denigration. Hope springs eternal. Likewise, then, you imply the Repulicans have done themselves 'great damage' by supporting sovereignty? Holy crap. Must be a mental side effect of what you've been smoking. You MUST have just come from a visit with Alice or the Mad Hatter.

    ------ 13 ------

    "I think you're going to see Latinos increasingly rise up to the call of history in the United States. Latinos will have a fundamental and definitive role in shaping what becomes the United States. And I think we're going to give birth to a more global citizenship."

    Like I said. The real agenda. Some change is natural. But Mr. Lovato has made clear he wants an engraved invitation to all illegals and their families.

    I wrote this entire comment starting at the top of the transcript, without reading the whole thing. Now, note my comment at the top: "[Lavato & Chavez] with a racially biased agenda insofar as it relates to illegal immigrants or Latinos on one side vs. 'the other side'. Their very words defining a division give the lie to their denial of same." Amazing.

    Well, the typical no-think American better wake up and get some awareness about this racial agenda. No, it's not an obvious "let's take back America from the gringo, man!", but just a weird psychology that operates where up is down and in is out. You know, Alice-land. Still, he seems to perceive some blockage he says must be overcome and it has mainly to do with legalizing millions of non-citizens. At no time has this been explained by Mr. Lovato.

    ———– epilogue ————-

    Lastly, to Mr. Moyers for having zero balance to the fraudulent blather on more than one occasion than this: you’ve lost your way; all your other positions, most of which I fully support, matter not a wit in the face of your no-think support of destroying a sustainable society (because of age, incompetence or whatever else, it matters not). The funny thing is that it’s all just a play by the no-thinkers, engaging in their no-think, effectively distracting the no-think public with endless blather that echoes those who disinherit the citizen, while the capital “play” of the disinheritors proceeds apace. You know, the real play. It would be tragic if it wasn’t so funny.

    OMG... What planet has Linda Chavez been living on? She needs to check her history. Ronald Reagan was a HUGE SPENDER! I don't care what he said his economic policy was, he spent and spent then spent some more on useless defense junk that we are still disposing of. His spending has only been exceeded by the spending by George W Bush! I am stunned that Bill let Linda's comment about there not being a follow up to Reagan as being the reason why we're having problems in the economy. W is the follow up dummy! She must have been smoking crack in the 80's.



    This spend til you drop... let the market run amuck.... Tax cuts for the Greedy... are the trademarks of the Republican economic policy and it's killing this country. Thank GOD Reagenomics is dead!



    -Monica.

    I was very surprised that folks who had no trouble discussing ethnic/racial diversity and the evolution of not only their own families but America itself as something other than “White, Hispanic, Afro American or Asian” had so much difficulty imagining economics as other than either capitalist or socialist. Indeed, with all the reference to global citizenship and the global dimension of America post election, there was a complete elision of the reality that a hefty chunk of our global competitors are precisely that, an amalgam/hybrid of various economic systems and strategies. Talk of market fundamentalism is lost unless those in the conversation are able to recognize it within their own day to day. The three part discussion of Bill, Linda and Roberto certainly revealed the lack of comprehension for the inherent practice of market fundametalism within their own day to day lives.
    Dovetailing in with this was also the unspoken factor of conservative “traditional values” ALWAYS trumping “the market.” Linda embodied this (her own personal) core belief precisely when she said that immigrants are needed to do certain work. She justified this by saying that the American born may show up for these jobs on the first day, but by the end of the week they are gone. Conservative “traditional values” definitely adhere to the hierarchy of the servant being at the discretion of the one being served, and that someone mucking around in the mud isn’t of the same caliber as someone wearing a white frock and mucking around in viscera. Until conservatives recognize the “traditional value” of every productive job being of value, a contribution to the betterment of society, and worthy of a living wage, the “market” will always be trumped by this “non market” factor of “traditional value.” This was something that Martin Luther King gave his life for (if you recall why he was where he was on his last days). The value of labor, within the market, changes drastically when “traditional values” do not decide but free (unconstrained), collective bargaining does

    I am very liberal on most counts, but an illegal alien is an illegal alien. We are a country ruled by laws. What does it say about local and the federal government and illegal aliens if these three groups can chose to ignore our laws if it does serve their purpose? Nothing in our Constitution says we must let everyone come into our country. Yes, illegal immigration is a serious problem and I have not met anyone that supports it.
    Bailey Armstrong

    A big miss on this little debate that was allowed to go un-challanged is that old, lame excuse of why meat packing plants use illeagles. The real reason is there is no employee safety in those plants and americans no that they don't have to work in those conditions and Mr. Moyers knows this all too well and he did not correst her on it.

    I was very surprised when Linda Chavez said that the anti-immigration movement sprung from the zero population growth movement.

    For years, I've held pro-immigration views while firmly believing in zero population growth.

    I'd prefer to the immigration system we had before 1870: come as you will, stay for 5 years, find a local judge, swear allegiance and you're a citizen! No quotas, etc.

    I was free to choose Kansas over New Jersey (no quotas). Someone else is free to choose New Jersey over Kansas (again no quotas). Why must it be different if the choice is between Chihuahua and Kansas?

    On the other hand, as a world policy, we need to acknowledge that most of our problems (e.g., climate change, energy shortages, etc.) stem from the fact that the world is amply populated already.

    You go John Damien! Yeah, What he said!

    I'm from a mid-size town in the state of Indiana. In the last 3 or 4 years I've seen a dramatic invasion of what can only be ILLEGAL ALIENS! Thats right, I said it, I know this because our government dosen't process people that fast. That said I know that MOST, not all of these invaders are comming to the states to stay only a short time. Their only goal is to make as much money as they can to send back to Mexico and further south. I have seen a boom in places like Wal-Mart and my local grocery stores for check cashing and money order sales so the Illegals can send money out of the country. I live in the poor section of town and most of the houses around me are rental properties. Landlords are having a hard time finding renters so the end up allowing a dozen or so ILLEGALs to rent the place, only to stay for 6 months or so, then pack up and leave. That's not bad you may think? But when I see the attitude of these people toward Americans, how they genuinly dislike us and don't act as if they respect our laws or even care to learn our language, let alone become citizens, that is alarming. We are being told on TV that these people want to get some of the "American Dream" but I am afraid they think that means to come here, send our money back home, not pay taxes, and get free healthcare for the millions anchor babies (my local gradeschool sent flyers out in spanish and english telling parents to bring their kids to the school for free vaccinations)HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!

    As if Linda Chavez is an expert on working people,poor people,what they will or won't do, or menial jobs and those who fill them or won't fill them.

    I respect Bill Moyers and Journal is an unusually informative show that tackles tough issues. However, to have tonight's guests, Linda Chavez and Roberto Lovato, state that they believe the illegal immigration problem has been largely "manufactured" by the media, and for Bill Moyers leave that claim uncontested is simply beyond belief. I've lived all over these United States, including California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York, and I've watched the illegal immigration issue develop for over a decade. Illegal immigration had gone unchecked and unreported in the media for a large part of that time, but the problem was not manufactured by the media nor by anyone else. The problem was, and is, very real, especially in smaller communities that cannot deal with the criminal elements that come along with the hard working family people. To say that all immigrants (illegal or not) are hard working family people is a simplistic falsity. Certainly, major metropolitan areas like New York City or San Francisco can afford to be sanctuary cities. They have the budgets to accommodate the education of the children of immigrants and police forces that can deal with the crime, not to mention am abundance of the types of jobs which brought the immigrants to America in the first place. Smaller communities do not have the financial luxury to accommodate everyone and anyone who might want to move to a minor metropolitan area or a small city or town that offers lower rents. Such communities job markets, school districts, and police departments have found themselves overwhelmed. No, the problem was not manufactured, and I believe that Bill Moyers should not have left such an obvious falsity go unchecked.

    Market fundamentalism is not the cause of our economic problems, but the absence of it, a result of fiscal and monetary irresponsibility, and the failure to deal with our trade deficit. This, not market fundamentalism, is the reason why so many Latinos are here in the first place, and the reason for disparities in wealth and income that make many assets beyond the reach of the lower and middle classes. More fiscal and monetary irresponsibility is certainly not going to do anything but make the situation worse, as it did in the 1970's. Market fundamentalists have probably been too blind to the moral hazards behind economics, but Keynesians have been just as blind to everything but them, always drifting into government interventions as a result. Both, however, have been guilty of monetary and fiscal irresponsibilty, and the only difference between them has probably been what they spend the money on. I think, btw, that a much more important factor in this election than the Latino vote is the political emergence of the New South.

    Immigration is a prime issue tonight? Seriously? You gotta be kidding.

    And what jobs will go to illegal immigrants in a Depression when we bona fide citizens will be out of work?

    Listen, when the shite hits the fan next year, no one will have the slightest concern for the "problem" of immigration. When it gets to the point that we Americans will take ANY job that pays a real wage, then the 'problem' of illegal immigration will take care of itself. It will evaporate because this will no longer be "the land of opportunity."

    Whoa!! The opening shot of Bill Moyers whose shoulders can't fit into the screen is seriously disorienting.
    Then, the website indicates that Mark Crispin Miller will lead, but no.

    Who cares what Republicans think? Hasn't it been definitively proven that we should NOT care what Republicans think?

    Alas....PBS has become increasingly mainstream, and by that I mean increasingly a kind of FOX lite - the status quo as defined by centrist Republicans, by dentists who are afraid of losing their golf club memberships.

    Uck! Fie on it.

    I think that all of the ICE resources being used toward these raids should be redirected in toto to humanitarian aid and self-development jobs and housing resources in the countries of origin.

    When people don't need to flee to the US because of extreme poverty, joblessness and homelessness, they won't do so.

    The US has criminalized almost all people who are vulnerable - those with mental illness, those who are homeless, jobless and impoverished, those with addictions, and now those who are undocumented immigrants.

    Just where will it stop? It's become a clear two class society: predators and prey.

    The for-profit prison system is profiting at the direct expense, suffering and misery of people who are desperate simply to earn enough to sustain themselves and their families.

    We've become brutal beasts. We torture, we imprison, we ostracize, we torment and we oppress.

    We must face ourselves, our action values, and we must take significant steps to redress the wrongs we are committing.

    While immigration policy is a very complex issue, we can at least take initial steps to stop hurting people who are more victims than anything, and can provide win-win scenarios by investing in their home country population sustainability.

    I think that all of the ICE resources being used toward these raids should be redirected in toto to humanitarian aid and self-development jobs and housing resources in the countries of origin.

    When people don't need to flee to the US because of extreme poverty, joblessness and homelessness, they won't do so.

    The US has criminalized almost all people who are vulnerable - those with mental illness, those who are homeless, jobless and impoverished, those with addictions, and now those who are undocumented immigrants.

    Just where will it stop? It's become a clear two class society: predators and prey.

    The for-profit prison system is profiting at the direct expense, suffering and misery of people who are desperate simply to earn enough to sustain themselves and their families.

    We've become brutal beasts. We torture, we imprison, we ostracize, we torment and we oppress.

    We must face ourselves, our action values, and we must take significant steps to redress the wrongs we are committing.

    While immigration policy is a very complex issue, we can at least take initial steps to stop hurting people who are more victims than anything, and can provide win-win scenarios by investing in their home country population sustainability.

    It's a global economy - and a global workforce - every worker should be protected from abuse.


    Immigrants have been blamed for everything bad in the country recently by well-funded nativist groups and "populist" media demagogues. They're even trying to blame immigrants for the mortgage crisis, even though facts demonstrate how laughable that premise is. So let's think through what's really been happening in our economy...does anyone really think that unemployed investment bankers or computer programmers are ever going to move to California or Florida and take up fruit-picking? do you think autoworkers would move to Iowa and start working in meatpacking plants or move to cities and start washing dishes on the overnight shift at hotels, bars, and restaurants? Not any UAW worker I know. Why? The workforce of the US has gone through significant changes over the last fifty years. Jobs are now highly specialized, industries are segmented, and jobs are now very different between industries. Gone are the days when the majority of jobs in the US didn't need a high school diploma. That's why unemployment was fairly level even though industries like agriculture, meatpacking, etc have been experiencing severe worker shortages over the last decade. And even though the economy had been slowing down, even in housing for several years now, the US economy had been creating about 400 thousand new entry-level low wage jobs EVERY year.


    Yes, we are all concerned about the impact of an extended recession. Yes, we should all be worried. But pushing nativist knee-jerk policies is irrational, impractical, and self-defeating. We must try to get Congress to fix the immigration system to reflect the economic realities of our country and our neighbors, and design a system that protects every worker, and every family in America. That's by making sure that no employer can skimp on wages, that every worker is protected by wage and labor laws, and that immigrants who are entered into the system to the benefit of all. All the claims that undocumented immigrants are taking away jobs, welfare, and medical services are lies and propaganda by folks who're using the old politics of division and fear.


    Remember, the baby-boom generation is retiring. Who's gonna pick up the Social Security tab?

    According to a recent Des Moines Register, the Postville raid set taxpayers back $5.2 million-- just for one enforcement operation that tore families apart and failed at first to adequately punish corrupt employers (who had been physically, verbally, and even sexually abusing employers). Now there are charges and suits against the plant, but at what cost are we rounding up and deporting productive members of our work force, instead of putting them on a pathway to earned citizenship? Instead of ensuring safe and humane conditions for all workers?

    Using the Des Moines Register's latest figures, it would cost $154 billion to deport all 12 million undocumented men, women, and children in our country.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-sharry/whats-another-154-billion_b_134700.html

    I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a good use of taxpayer dollars during an economic crisis...

    Last spring Jim Hougland wrote in the wASHINGTON poST THAT WE SHOULD "POOL SOVERIEGNTY" and form an "American community" like the EU... YET ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING OPEN BORDERS.

    Lavato is a socialst who hates America - Moyers lacks balance. I agree with the above...YUCK

    Lavato has been preaching open borders for years, but lacks the courgae to use the words.

    "global citizenship is merely his code for eliminating Ben Franklin's Republic and replacing it with a Marxist world community run by this communist and his fellow traverlers.

    Borders and immigration laws being so very xenophobic and racist you see. There is no universal civil right to live in the USA - and now that the open borders crowd can't sel the " we need more workers" nonsense, they are warmng up the citizens of the world pitch.

    Moyers also lacks the courage and journalistic integrity to put anyone with an educated and articulate case for controlling immigration opposite these people.

    Yuck.
    D.A. King
    Atlanta - occupied Georgia, USA

    Post a comment

    THE MOYERS BLOG is our forum for viewers' comments intended for discussing and debating ideas and issues raised on BILL MOYERS JOURNAL. THE MOYERS BLOG invites you to share your thoughts. We are committed to keeping an open discussion; in order to preserve a civil, respectful dialogue, our editors reserve the right to remove or alter any comments that we find unacceptable, for any reason. For more information, please click here.

    THE MOYERS BLOG
    A Companion Blog to Bill Moyers Journal

    Your Comments

    Podcasts

    THE JOURNAL offers a free podcast and vodcast of all weekly episodes. (help)

    Click to subscribe in iTunes

    Subscribe with another reader

    Get the vodcast (help)

    For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

    © Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ