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Bush to push for more lenient immigration laws

 
 
ehBeth
 
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 08:08 pm
errrrrrrrrrr, what?


Quote:
WACO, Texas - President Bush told Mexican President Vicente Fox on Wednesday that he would keep pushing for more lenient immigration laws, but said he couldn't guarantee that Congress would go along.

Bush renewed his commitment to a guest-worker program during a daylong summit with Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin. The leaders pledged to work together on a host of issues, but they acknowledged some of the differences that have strained relations in the past.

Bush's failure to win congressional approval for more lenient immigration laws has been a sore point with Fox.

"You've got my pledge - I'll continue working on it," Bush told Fox during a joint news conference here at Baylor University. "You don't have my pledge that Congress will act because I'm not a member of the legislative branch."

Bush's guest-worker plan would let several million immigrants who are in the country illegally become legal by getting temporary work visas. The idea has stalled in Congress because of opposition from both parties.

Some Republicans oppose Bush's call for more open borders. Some Democrats think Bush is more concerned about providing cheap labor for businesses than he is about making life easier for foreign workers.

A study released earlier this week concluded that the illegal immigrant population has reached an all-time high of nearly 11 million. The study by the Pew Hispanic Center, a private research group based in Washington, also found that undocumented Mexicans accounted for 57 percent of all illegal entrants.

Bush said his goal is to match workers with jobs.

"That job ought to be filled on a legal basis, no matter where the person comes from. That makes sense," Bush said. The president also echoed Fox's criticism of citizen groups in border states that seek to catch and detain illegal immigrants entering the United States.

"I'm against vigilantes," Bush said. "That's why you got a border patrol, and they ought to be in charge of enforcing the border."


http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/11212160.htm

(subscription - so I've posted a big hunk of the article)


I'd thought this
Quote:
President Meets with President Fox and Prime Minister Martin
Bill Daniels Activity Center
Baylor University
Waco, Texas

11:22 P.M. CST

PRESIDENT BUSH: Good morning. It's my honor to welcome two friends to Baylor University.
odd enough, but I'm really not sure about the more lenient immigration laws. The U.S. is already much softer on immigration than Canada - how far do they plan to go?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/03/20050323-5.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,013 • Replies: 26
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 08:19 pm
Bookmark with interest.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 08:22 pm
I guess part of what I'm finding odd is that I thought Bush, via the Republican party, had control of the Senate and Congress, so if he really wanted to do this - it should be a slam dunk.

I must have misunderstood some of the hoorayHarry's.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 08:24 pm
He's been pushing for a more lenient immigration law ever since he got into power hasnt he? Not out of charity, but because its good for businesses. In Texas he was a conspicuously immigrant-friendly gov too.

Previous thread: What do u think of Bush proposing major immigration reform?
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 07:48 am
bm
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 08:49 am
My first thought was: Republicans need cheap live in help. But then...

and I find this scarey: I might be in agreement with Emperor Bush on this one. I work in agricultural (greenhouses, plant nurseries, small scale farming etc.)and it is very difficult to find American workers in this area of the economy. The labor is very hard, physically painful and the pay is low. Any American is going to figure out quickly that working in a Crapmart is better than picking lettuce in the hot sun or being stuck in a pesticide loaded greenhouse all day.

Most workers in this field are Mexican, some legal, some not. Many are abused by their employers and do not speak out because of the legal implications. Almost all are sending money home to families and risked their lives to get here, so if they find they are abused on their job they just suck it up. If they had legal status they would have some rights. I could probably argue on both sides of the fence on this issue, but having known a number of illegal immigrants, it's hard for me not to take their side. I just hope this proposal doesn't turn into a new form of human slavery that will only make things worse.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 09:09 am
Green Witch wrote:
I work in agricultural (greenhouses, plant nurseries, small scale farming etc.)and it is very difficult to find American workers in this area of the economy. The labor is very hard, physically painful and the pay is low. Any American is going to figure out quickly that working in a Crapmart is better than picking lettuce in the hot sun or being stuck in a pesticide loaded greenhouse all day.

I am in agreement with more lenient laws for immigration and legalisation too (in my own country as well). But the example you bring does highlight the tension between immigrant access and workers' rights, pay etc.

To play advocate of the devil here for a second: if the immigration flow would be curtailed, then those employers might simply be forced to just pay a decent wage for that hard, physically painful work - like they should. And yes, in turn the consumer would have to pay a little more for his cucumbers, considering the kind of work growing them involved - like he should.

I've always believed there is a market for an anti-immigrant Left, find it a little strange it never popped up much anywhere. The more unlimited immigration, the harder it is to force employers to maintain decent working standards and wages. There's a reason why Bush is in favour.

Cha. I still wouldnt myself switch to such a worker rights-based anti-immigration stance - I think the Mexicans need support even more than the US workers. But it would have a logic.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 09:32 am
Green Witch wrote:
Quote:
I work in agricultural (greenhouses, plant nurseries, small scale farming etc.)and it is very difficult to find American workers in this area of the economy. The labor is very hard, physically painful and the pay is low. Any American is going to figure out quickly that working in a Crapmart is better than picking lettuce in the hot sun or being stuck in a pesticide loaded greenhouse all day.


Look at the other side of the coin. All the undocumented aliens are not working in agriculture. They are scattered throughout Th. US. driving down wages and taking jobs that would normally be held by American citizens. As far as I know there is no lettuce grown in N Y City.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 09:37 am
It's true that food in America is cheap in part because of this exploited labor. Americans are obsessed with "cheap" and are willing to forego quality and values to get it. Our local Crapmart is filled with SUV's flying little American flags and "support our troops" bumper stickers, yet these people contribute billions to the Chinese economy with their purchasing power. Unions lost their power here because people would rather buy the thin $5 T-shirt made in Asia than the $8 union made T-shirt made in North Carolina.

I'm not sure raising wages would help though in agriculture. We pay more per hour than the Big Box stores to get greenhouse/nursery help (and we don't use pesticides), but the locals would rather work in the Big Box stores for less money partly because it is just easier work. The other reason is health insurance. We just can't afford it, not for ourselves or our workers. Until America gets the problem of health care fixed we are going to keep on going down hill economically. I doubt farms are going to be able to afford to offer any medical plans to their employees (legal or otherwise). Most farmers (like Crapmart) just direct their employees to the local medicaid offices.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 09:41 am
Lots of feelings on this one.

We do seem to need the guest workers. I'm not at all sure about legalizing the illegals already present. It seems a poor way to reward anyone having put in years of waiting and reams of paper work to complete the legal process. That makes another problem; some of them have been in the country for years. They now have children that are US citizens by virtue of the 14th Amendment. What to do?

Quite right, ehBeth. Should be a slam dunk. Anyone recall that Republican pledge something like twelve years ago. Term limits for Representatives was high on the list, but what happened. "Oh, sorry folks. We tried, and just couldn't push it through." Like, we are not supposed to know that the first job of a congressman is to get reelected?

Don't know about the underpaid, abused illegals. I'l take the word of Green Witch, and so many others. It isn't always so, I'm sure. Our crews are at least 80% Hispanic, and most of us only wish for wages like they get. The work, however is hard, hot, and dirty - when it isn't hard cold, and dirty. We have no way of determining citizenship or legality, as a practical matter, however. Honest, we don't
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 10:01 am
au1929 wrote:

Look at the other side of the coin. All the undocumented aliens are not working in agriculture. They are scattered throughout Th. US. driving down wages and taking jobs that would normally be held by American citizens. As far as I know there is no lettuce grown in N Y City.


In NYC you see illegals mostly working in hotels and restaurants doing the dirtest jobs, like busing tables, washing dishes and cleaning toilets. A splattering of sweat shops still exist in the Bronx and LI City where women work at industrial sewing. If you speak the language and have the most basic skills who couldn't find a better job in NYC? What jobs are illegals taking that Americans would actually want? Try and find a good American born house keeper in Manhanttan or a nanny who will stay for the long term. It's not just money, it's the idea of status. Americans feel they are too good for many jobs and the economy is such in Manhattan allows people to be picky.

I think many 1st World countries have this same dilema and I'm not saying I have the answers, it's just I think we have more crappy jobs in this country than we have Americans willing to do them.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 10:44 am
Green Witch
, Who may I ask do you think did the jobs before we were inundated with these Illegals?
In addition there are many illegals working in construction [non union].
i.e. last year all the windows in my co-op were replaced. {2, 16 story bldgs} and guess who did the job? Every man on the job was Mexican and could not speak it appeared one word of English. The only ones that could were the supervisors who were Spanish speaking Americans. Yes they do take jobs away from citizens and undercut American wages.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 11:07 am
Immigrant labor has been around since the time of indentured servants. My grandparents came over at the turn of the century and did these lousy jobs until they could find something better. I'm not saying it's a good thing, but I think Americans are really to blame for the situation. We don't want to pay living wages because it hit's us in the consumer pocketbook. Unions crushed themselves with demands that forced employers to look for cheaper markets so they could give the consumer the price he is wants to pay.

I obviously can't speak for the construction industry, but I know it often runs on the concept of the lowest bidder. Can an industry survive if their customers don't want to pay enough to support a crew that makes a living wage?. Also, I've been trying to find a good stone mason for almost two years and I'm willling to pay a good money to get the work done. They all tell me they have more work then they can handle and will get back to me... If I could find a Mexican stone worker who could waterproof my chimney - he's hired no questions asked.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 11:15 am
Green Witch
The construction industry will survive without the aid of low wage illegal Mexican labor. It can not be sent off shore.
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Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 12:06 pm
I agree (didn't expect that did ya) - it would be interesting to find out what industries might benefit and what one's would suffer if we did allow "guest workers". Right now with a building boom the workers might be welcome, if we hit a downward trend do we get to send our "guests" home? I think some European countries have been wrestling with with just that issue.
Didn't Thailand recently throw out their illegal workers and ended up with a labor shortage and now they want the workers to come back?

The reality is when such a new policy is implemented you never know what the consequences will be, and I 'm sure the George "Damn the Future, I've Got Mine" Bush Administration is not going to bother to study the long term possibilities.

I just think the idea of "the other" will have to be replaced by the idea of "we are one world" (like it or not). Peace out - or I'm going to replace myself with a immigrant who won't spend 1/2 the day playing on the internet.
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squinney
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 01:04 pm
I heard most of what Bush had to say yesterday after meeting with the heads of Canada and Mexico. The part that made me go "Huh?" was when he said something about making it easy for them to go back and forth.

First thought: Talk about a paperwork and border patrol nightmare! Imagine the lines!

Second thought: So, what happens when they take their money back to Mexico and don't spend any of it here? I know the one's in NY or NC aren't gonna travel back and forth each day, but there'd be several hundred thousand in the Southwest that could work days in the US and go home to Mexico at night.
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 01:20 pm
I think, the ulterior motive here is: guest workers who
have "legal" working status will pay taxes, thus more revenues
for the government.

As it is now, the bulk of illegal immigrants don't pay a dime
into the system, yet - as it is in the financially drained state
of California - they take advantage of the public school system
and free healthcare at the hospitals.

Don't get me wrong, I believe, that once these people are
in our country, we have an obligation to provide for them,
on the other hand, how long can we give such service without
getting in financial hot water?

Our hospitals close to the mexican border are on the verge
of bankrupcy and the public schools in the vicinity conducting
bi-lingual education, as most children enrolled, don't speak
english.

Giving them guest worker status, will allow them to work
in various fields and contribute to a system where they
draw services upon. It also protects them from exploitation
and unnecessary hardship.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 01:34 pm
Guest worker indeed. Does that lamebrain of a president think for a moment that someone who has been a "guest " who has been in the states for several years and in many instances has develops roots will willingly return to the poverty of Mexico. It will be guest worker today and undocumented alien tomorrow. Even he cannot be that stupid.
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squinney
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 01:40 pm
And, why be a "guest" and pay taxes? why not just continue to be illegal?
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Mar, 2005 01:45 pm
Okay fellas thanks for coming. Take your seat and Consuela will take your drink orders.

Now I think it's pretty obvious that we've outsourced as many jobs as we can and we're now going to look at strategies to feather our nests even further. What can we do beyond taking millions of jobs and outsourcing them? The answer gentlemen, is so obvious I cant believe we didn't think of it before. We stop taking the jobs to the people who will work for nothing and bring those people to us. We open the borders and flood the country with immigrants who will work for dick and that way we don't have to pay to set up new factories, we'll just used the closed down ones that alreday exist from the original outsourcing. Then we'll have the workers here and we can give them shyt jobs for shyt wages AND have them spend their wages with us in our stores. It's brilliant, and we finally have the total cooperation of the US government in order to get er done.

Thanks for coming and let's thank Sam Walton for supplying us with this great luncheon.
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