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The undocumented who refuse to desert a bad U.S. economy are already paying a price to stay here

LatinaLista — News reports since November have chronicled the reverse migration, if you will, of undocumented immigrants back to their home countries from the U.S. Whether it’s because of the deteriorating economy or harsher immigration enforcement measures, some consulates across the country have noted an upswing in applications by their citizens to take their belongings back home.

(Source: Los Blogueros)
While this bit of news would seem encouraging to all those who have campaigned against the presence of undocumented immigrants, it’s not a sign that the battle over recognizing the undocumented who are still here is over.
If anything, it should be a clear signal that the fight hasn’t even begun.

The voluntary exodus of some undocumented immigrants back to their birthplaces invokes a comparison to Darwin’s Survival of the Fittest theory.
Those who stay behind, who are willing to face a bad economy, punitive immigration enforcement, a potential loss in income and/or employment, are the ones with the most invested in the United States — and will put up the biggest fight to stay here.
They may have years of U.S. residency, children who were born and/or were raised here, feel more “American” than the nationality they were born with, etc. If any of these applies, chances are they will fight the hardest and the longest to stay.
The assumption is that these people will indeed be granted citizenship after they “pay a price.”
Yet, these people have already paid a price. Trying to exact some kind of “payment” for jumping a nonexistent line is only rhetoric to appease those same ultra conservatives who are now circulating the “Barack the Magic Negro” song and telling everybody it’s just good natured satire.
As long as it’s their way, then we’re supposed to believe it’s the right way — and totally fair and unoffensive to boot. It’s time everyone opened their eyes.
Exerting another “pay the price” penalty on undocumented immigrants is not only unjust but inhumane when considering they are suffering the same economic hardships, and worse, as the rest of the country.
By virtue of the fact that these people remained behind instead of leaving to go to a place where life, in some aspects, would be easier for them, speaks for their commitment to this country and their belief in the U.S. way of life.
This is their home and the price they’ve already paid should be taken into account and honored.

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  • Sandra
    December 29, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    They jumped a non-existant line? You’re kidding right? Are you saying that this nation and others don’t have borders? THAT IS THE LINE!!
    It ian’t just conservatives and/or so-called racists that want our country returned to the rule of law. All law abiding citizens that love this country and respect it’s sovereignty do.
    What is unjust and inhumane to see that all illegal aliens are sent back to their homelands? Many if not most are only here for financial gain and that is why they left their homeland not because of some committment to our country or our way of life. If they were committed to “our way of life”, they wouldn’t have broken the laws of this nation that is based on laws.
    Many if not most do have any dedication to this country per se. They are always looking southward and consider themselves to still be Mexicans in every way. Many Latino citizens still do also.

  • Ralph
    December 30, 2008 at 6:36 am

    It’s interesting that Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest is mentioned. Think of it as the process of natural selection. It’s one of the things that have made this country great.
    The immigrants who came here hundreds of years ago or just yesterday automatically have qualities necessary for successful citizens. Strong enough to make the journey, risk takers, willing to work hard for little pay temporarily with the hope for a long term benefit. These are the types of people who come to America, and these are the types of people who have made America the great country that it is.

  • Challis
    December 30, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    man, I am sure that this post will ilicit many responses…
    I am a “illegal sympatizer’ if you will, and I find this post to be just a bit too…something.
    too cheery?
    too idealistic?
    too unrealistic?
    Yes, it’s nice to note that these people who are still here have a lot invested in the US and their continued (or starting of) their success here. But to say that we should give them a break for coming in illegally and that is their price to become citizens…that is a little far-fetched.

  • Marisa Treviño
    December 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Sandra, your line of thinking exemplified by not recognizing the legal route into this country would support the thought that all your contrary viewpoints regarding the undocumented has less to do with how they get here than who they are. Ideally, there is a line but it’s nonexistent because the quota for visas is set so low that they are snatched up before any of these immigrants, who eventually come over without a visa, can even apply. So, yes, the line is nonexistent until the quota is raised.

  • Sandra
    December 30, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    So the types of prospective citizens we need are those who defy our immigration laws and come here illegally? Talk about scewered thinking!
    We have quotas on immigration based on our needs and to be fair to all interested immigrants, not just one particular group. When you go to a movie theatre and the seats are all sold out do you just crash the movie theatre doors and go in anyway because there is no more line? Unbelievable!

  • Horace
    December 31, 2008 at 9:59 am

    “..but it’s nonexistent because the quota for visas is set so low that they are snatched up before any of these immigrants, who eventually come over without a visa, can even apply. So, yes, the line is nonexistent until the quota is raised.”
    Hispanics foreigners are already given a majority of available visas. It’s the height of arrogance to demand more. However, there is no quota for the millions of potential immigrants who are uneducated and may eventually prevail upon our welfare system and tax credits for the poor. Those who would require tax subsidies for survival are not welcome. They are no more entitled to come here than I should be prevailed upon to pay to bring them up to a decent standard of living. The responsibility for the welfare of the Hispanic, et al, illegal immigrants, are the nations from which they originate.
    It’s wishful thinking that these people will somehow survive economically in a country whose citizens are becoming unemployed and on the verge of selling pencils and apples on the street corner. Get real! The depression has barely begun, and millions of illegal immigrants are out of work, yet the advocates of illegal immigrants are still arguing that these people will somehow muddle through it without deporting themselves voluntarily. I don’t think so. You are delusional, Marisa.

  • Michaela
    January 1, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Truly pathetic how people still think these illegal criminals have some kind of right to be here, that line of thinking is incomprehensible and only smacks of selfishness, arrogance and a sense of entitlement.

  • Stephanie
    January 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    You know what? Undocumented immigrants like my husband are treated like dirt. They work brutal hours in horrendous conditions, because employers have the attitude that they are disposable. Their paychecks are taxed, but without valid papers, they can’t get a return at the end of the year (taxation without representation? anyone?). The lease and all the utility bills are in my name, because even if undocumented immigrants can afford to pay, many landlords and utility companies refuse service to people who don’t have a valid SSN. When someone broke into his sister’s home, it took the police 3 hours to respond, and then the officer acted as though we were an imposition on his time. (The burglar, not surprisingly, was never caught.) When sending out my resume, I use my maiden name, because I know I won’t get hired using my married name. No one asked my Native American ancestors for a visa before coming in and taking away our land. So maybe if we want to start deporting people, we should start with the hate-mongering ultra-right-wing twits who forget that the people who “allowed” their ancestors to come here didn’t have the authority to do so.

  • Ralph
    January 2, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Sandra, I used the term immigrant. Immigrants come to the U.S. in compliance with our immigration laws. Those who defy our immigration laws and come here illegally are illegal aliens. You should really educate yourself and get a clue before offering your opinion on subjects.

  • Sandra
    January 2, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Well guess what Stephanie! If you live by the sword you die by the sword.
    Uh, if your married name is a Hispanic one, you would be favored in hiring in most southwestern states, especially if you speak Spanish. So what are you talking about?
    Oh, yet another one blaming those alive today for the past. This is so worn out it is pathetic. For one thing most Americans whose ancsestors came here many years ago came under whatever immigration laws there were or were not in place at the time. Their descendants were born here. That makes them U.S. citizens. Wars were fought, treaties signed and borders drawn and new countries formed. I am sick to death of people like you who are living in the past and using it to justify illegal immigration into our country TODAY!

    January 2, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Things have changed since your Native American ancestors were conquered and their land taken. Today there are laws in place that were nonexistant several hundred years ago. We are no longer a wide open nation free for the taking, so get your head out of your past and realize what is at stake if illegal immigration is not controlled.

  • Michaela
    January 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    “You know what? Undocumented immigrants like my husband are treated like dirt.”
    Your husband chose to be an “illegal” alien and the consequences are HIS fault, not OURS!
    “Their paychecks are taxed, but without valid papers, they can’t get a return at the end of the year (taxation without representation? anyone?).
    Well, whose fault is it that he doesn’t have valid papers Stephanie, not mine, HIS! Taxation without representation? What? You mistakenly think illegals should be entitled to certain things they are NOT entitled to.

  • Johnny B
    January 2, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    You think 1.2 million legal visas a year is too low? That is more than the rest of the world combined allows. What do you think we should do, let in 2 billion poor immigrants so the average American lifestyle can be like Bangladesh?
    That is not what me and my ancestors worked and fought and died for.
    Oh and if “immigrants” are so great for our economy, then why is California, which has the most “immigrants”, bankrupt?

  • Scott Hong
    January 2, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    If your husband wants a better life he needs to tell it to Felipe Calderon or whoever his President is.
    That is how we got a better life in Taiwan, we demanded freedom and equal opportunity under the law, then we worked hard and built ourselves a better life, we didn’t go whining to another country asking them to give us their better life.
    If Taiwanese can do why cannot Latinos? Unless we are better than Latinos?

  • Scott Black
    January 3, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Is this for real?
    8 ways illegal immigrants are making you sick
    By Dr. William Campbell Douglass
    I’ll be the first one to step up and get a tear in my eye about huddled masses yearning to breathe free and live “the American Dream” in this “Land of Opportunity.” But the cold fact is that today, too many people go around the system and sneak into America from countries with markedly lower and even non-existent health standards. But these people are bringing more than just cheap labor with them… In some of these countries – Mexico included – diseases that you only read about in Victorian novels (cholera, TB, typhoid, and even plague) are daily occurrences. It’s no coincidence that all of these diseases are now on the rise right here in the U.S.
    That’s right: Diseases we did away with long ago are “mysteriously” beginning to reemerge. These are the same diseases that terrorized Americans for hundreds of years. Maybe it’s been too long for everyone to remember what it was like when people lived in constant fear of diseases like these. Surely if they remembered, alarm bells would be sounding loud and clear-and people wouldn’t worry so much about the need for cheap labor, and the fear of being perceived as racist. What a load of bull.
    You can call me a racist all you want, but if turning a blind eye to (or heaven forbid, welcoming with open arms) these illegals means opening up my children’s children to these awful diseases, you can forget it. I won’t stand for what these moochers are doing to our land, our schoolrooms or our hospitals-and neither should you.
    And keep in mind that coming into our country LEGALLY means you’ve been screened for these diseases. It’s those that ignore the system and make their own rules that are putting us at risk.
    Allow me to put some names to these faces of disease. I just hope that you never have to meet them.
    1. Tuberculosis
    As illegal immigration continues to run amok thanks to business and the government turning a blind eye, tuberculosis is making a comeback in the States. Reports say that over three-quarters of the TB cases reported in California were found in foreign natives.
    Public health officials are not concerned enough by this. As for me? I’m terrified. Because the most frightening part of this is that there are emerging strains of drug-resistant TB being brought into the country by illegal immigrants who, of course, bypass the health screenings regularly conducted with legal immigrants.
    2. Chagas disease
    You’ve probably never heard of this “kissing bug disease,” but Latin Americans know it all too well. And why shouldn’t they? It affects more than 18 MILLION people there every year-and 50,000 of those die. In fact, it’s the leading cause of heart failure in Latin America.
    The bugs that spread it (triatomine bugs) are endearingly called “kissing bugs” because they prefer to feed on your lips and face. There’s nothing sweet about their kisses, though. They nibble on your face while you’re sleeping… then they defecate on you. If the feces enter your body through mucous membranes or breaks in your skin, you’ll contract the disease.
    Some people present no symptoms, and others will only end up with common cold symptoms. But the disease can also cause local swelling, enlargement of your liver or spleen, and swollen glands. It can get progressively worse from there-leading to an enlarged esophagus, enlarged heart, heart failure, altered heart rate, and sometimes cardiac arrest. Up to 30 percent will eventually die… when their heart or intestines actually explodes.
    This disease isn’t contagious, and chances are you won’t run into these little buggers-but that doesn’t mean you’re free and clear. Blood tainted with Chagas disease has turned up in our blood supplies, and some transplanted organs are infected with the disease as well. Right now, there are three proven cases of people receiving Chagas-infected organs. Two of them died.
    3. Leprosy
    Leprosy seems to be on the decline all around the world-everywhere, that is, except for the U.S. That’s right, from 2005 to 2006, when the world was experiencing at 13.4 percent DECREASE in leprosy cases, cases in the U.S. shot up higher than ever.
    Forty or so years ago, less than 900 people in the U.S. were afflicted with leprosy. But in just the last three years, that number has ballooned by 800 PERCENT-with over 7,000 new cases reported. What’s going on here?
    Right now, you’re probably thinking: Leprosy, that Biblical disease? But disease of Biblical proportions is more like it. It’s a horrific disease, the likes of which you can’t fully understand unless you see it. (If you’re not the squeamish type, try Googling the term “leprosy” and see what comes up.)
    Just like the others, this is an imported disease. Dr. Terry Williams, who runs a clinic for lepers, says that most of the cases he sees are imported from all over the world…like Africa, the Philippines, China, and South America.
    4. Dengue fever
    This is another illness that most people in America have never heard of. But not too long ago, a Texas town that borders Mexico experienced an outbreak. Can you imagine why that could be? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that this mosquito-borne illness is on the rise in Mexico and throughout Latin America.
    The classic form of the disease consists of fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and rashes-and sometimes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. But the hemorrhagic form isn’t quite so vanilla. As the name implies, it causes both internal and external bleeding…including bloody diarrhea, vomiting blood, and bleeding from mucosa.
    The only thing doctors recommend is “supportive therapy,” such as staying hydrated and possibly a blood transfusion (just make sure it’s not tainted with Chagas disease). In other words, there’s no cure.
    5. Whooping cough
    Another “ancient disease” on the rise. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics is saying that it’s worse now than it’s been in the last 40 years.
    This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill cough, either. It’s caused by an airborne bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. It attacks your breathing passages and narrows your airways, which leads to intense coughing and difficulty breathing. It’s especially dangerous for kids, and it can be deadly for infants.
    6. Cysticercosis
    This is a parasitic disease caused by the pork tapeworm, and it’s caused by poor food-handling practices. If you’re infected, something as simple as not washing your hands after you use the restroom can cause you to contaminate food…and thereby spread it to other victims. The eggs will hatch in your intestine, and then take up residence at any given place in your body.
    One man who had a chronic headache ended up having a cyst of tapeworm larvae in his brain. It could have killed him. This isn’t a rare situation, either. Hundreds of others have developed neurological diseases because of this tapeworm. (Gives you something to think about when you step into a fast-food restaurant…)
    Between 1990 and 2002, 221 people in the U.S. died from cysticercosis. Almost 85 percent of them were born in another country-and 62 percent of that number came from…you guessed it… Mexico. Of the 33 American who died, 60 percent were living in California.
    But since cysticercosis isn’t on the radar screen of most doctors and clinics, I’m betting that most cases go undiagnosed-which means that the severity of the problem is likely far greater than the numbers indicate. The easiest way to avoid this one…cook your own meals.
    7. Morgellons
    If it feels like you have bugs crawling under your skin, it might not be your imagination-especially if you live in Texas, Florida, and California, where a mysterious disease called Morgellons is crawling up from its neighbors to the south.
    No one knows what causes it, how it’s spread, or how to make it go away. The medical establishment has been quick to shrug it off. Victims wish they could do the same.
    Victims complain of hair loss, skin thickening, fatigue and joint pain. But the worst part of all has to be unexplained black fibers that come out of their skin. One sufferer said, “It gives you the sensation that you have worms under your skin or rats crawling on you.” Another said, “When you lay down, as soon as your head hits the pillow, your hair starts crawling.”
    8. Polio
    We did away with polio back in the 1940s when the advent of the polio vaccine. Since then, you probably haven’t worried too much about this viral infectious disease. But polio is nothing to mess with. It has a wide range of severity. It can be as minor as gastrointestinal problems and flu-like symptoms, or it can damage the central nervous system, leading to partial paralysis (as was the case with FDR).
    Now, once again, it’s on the rise in the U.S., thanks to the infected illegals who bring it across the border with them. Luckily, this is one we do know how to fight, but when was the last time you heard of anyone having to line up for a polio vaccine?
    5 way to protect yourself from illegal immigrants and their diseases
    OK. Right now you’re probably thinking: To hell with being politically correct! How can I avoid these diseases?
    I wish I could give you an easy solution, but the problem is just too big for a quick fix. It would be nice if we could ship all the illegals back to where they came from, but let’s be honest: We know that’s not going to happen. In the meantime, here are a few steps you can take to stay healthy and disease-free.
    Your best defense is a healthy immune system. A few of my favorite immune-boosters include lactoferrin, elderberry, chamomile tea-and the cheapest one: sleep.
    Wash your hands often. It might be the oldest advice in the book, but it works. And if you’re traveling in close quarters-like on a bus or plane-wear a mask.
    See if the restaurants you frequent check for these diseases. Do they have Hispanic immigrants handling food? Find out and act accordingly.
    If you hire Hispanics, you’ll want to see more than a green card. Get a recent medical certificate showing they are not infected with this or any other parasitic disease, such as Giardia lamblia or amebiasis. They should also be checked for TB. Check the fingernails of kitchen workers daily. If they resent it-fire them.
    3 foolproof steps we’ll never take to curb illegal immigration
    Of course, I could go on and on, telling you about the rise of malaria, hepatitis A, B, and C, the increase in all sorts of parasitic infections, and even HIV. But I think you’ve got the picture. That’s a lot of sick people and a lot of serious diseases that we’re not quite prepared to fight.
    I’m not a fan of political correctness, so I’m not afraid to tell you that I think it’s high time someone in our government did something to stop illegal immigration before it brings this country to its knees-and puts us all in the hospital. It isn’t all about Mexico, but that’s where a lot of it stops-and could end.
    I’ve got a few of my own ideas of how to stop the impending economic disaster illegals represent:
    A BORDER FENCE – Politicians say it’ll cost too much, but even at its most expensive (an estimated $8 billion, tops), it would be cheaper than the negative lifetime economic impact of just 1.5% of the illegals already in this country.
    RESCIND BENEFITS – Simply by virtue of their presence in this country, illegal immigrants are entitled to emergency health care, police and fire protection, and every right to privacy, liberty, and due process of law that all American citizens are entitled to. Many states grant them driver’s licenses, and many hold mortgages and credit cards. Beyond this, their children, even if born one minute after illegally crossing the border, enjoy full U.S. citizenship, along with all the perks.
    EMPLOYMENT PROHIBITIONS – Making it a felony for anyone in America to hire an illegal immigrant could go a long way toward discouraging those bent on hopping the border to make a living. If the money river dries up, the “fish” will swim back from whence they came.
    Doing just these three things would neutralize the illegal immigrant threat almost overnight. If we did these things, we wouldn’t even NEED to make illegal entry or occupancy a crime (another measure being discussed by Republicrats). Nor would we have to go through the costly process of mass deportations.
    If illegals found they couldn’t work, get benefits, or guarantee their unborn automatic citizenship, they’d go home and make Mexico all it could be (which was the goal of the all-but defunct NAFTA).
    Repeated surveys have shown that the vast majority (as much as 87%) of Americans favor the construction of a fence or wall along the entirety of the U.S./Mexico border. But all this evidently means nothing to our elected officials, including our President.
    For them, the soul (and health) of America is secondary to votes, cheap labor, tax revenue, and the opportunity to expand government (and their own power) through entitlements like welfare, healthcare, and education assistance.
    And so, instead of a return to the fairness and uniquely American concept of large-scale LEGAL immigration and assimilation-one of the pillars of greatness this nation is built upon-we’ll end up with a morass of half-measures, none of them effective, and all of them inflating government power while at the same time watering down our once-great entrepreneurial culture into a massive welfare state as stratified by social classes (the “haves” and “have-nots”) as any communist country ever was.
    References & Additional Information:
    Cosman, Madeleine Pelner, Ph.D., Esq. “Illegal Aliens and American Medicine,” Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Vol. 10, No. 1, spring 2005.
    “Chagas Disease Fact Sheet,” Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
    “Are illegals making U.S. a leper colony?” May 22, 2005.
    Wooldridge, Frosty. “Deadly Diseases Migrating Into America With Illegal Aliens,” November 8, 2007

  • Johnny B
    January 3, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Another thing Marissa,
    You husband and other illegal aliens have not earned anything, the truth is they have stolen a lot from Americans. According to Harvard economist Jorge Borjas, each working illegal alien steals $10,000 a year in wages from American workers. So the $1000 a year an illegal alien might pay in social security and never get back only reduces this wage theft to $9000 a year, your husband is still a foreign criminal stealing from American workers.
    On top of this wage theft, each illegal aliens child costs American taxpayers $10,000 a year more in public benefits than illegal aliens pay in taxes. Sure their illegal parents might pay $1000 a year in property and sales taxes, but their children cost taxpayers over $11,000 a year for education and possibly health care, food stamps, and subsidized housing.
    More foreigners stealing from Americans.
    These are just a couple of reasons why Americans loath illegal aliens and hate our treasonous politicians for letting them stay in the USA.

  • Challis
    January 5, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    OK, first of all, pay attention, Johnny B. and Scott Hong/Scott Black (I am convinced that you are the same person)
    Marisa is the blog author, Stephanie is the poster that gave us her insider perspective as the wife of an illegal alien.
    I really think that those numbers are off-where were they found?
    I take issue with saying they are stealing American jobs. “They take the jobs Americans don’t want.”-bet you have heard that before. Because that is based on truth!
    Guess what? I’m an American that moved to Mexico and learned Spanish, now living again in the US with my Mexican husband.
    Guess I am stealing jobs now too, since being bilingual is such an asset in the job market right now…

  • Sandra
    January 6, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Challis, there are very few jobs that Americans won’t do for a fair wage. Illegals have come along and underbid jobs for example in construction. Therefore they are steallng jobs from Americans.
    You just proved another way that they steal jobs from non-Spanish speaking Americans by your remarks about being able to speak Spanish. Why do you think in the past decade or so that bi-lingual Spanish/English speakers are favored in the workplace? It isn’t because of Latino citizens as they know how to speak English. It is directly due to businesses and government catering to illegal alien Spanish speakers. You think that fair?

  • challis
    January 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    whether I ‘think that fair’ or not
    we are becoming a global community and having more than one language on your resume helps.
    It just so happens that because of illegal immigration AND immigration that it is becoming more of an asset in smaller communities and different parts of the US.
    Latinos in the US have garnered a segment of buying power, so of course, companies are taking notice and want to reach out to this segment of this population.

  • Challis
    January 6, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    S. Hong-
    That is a very good point.
    As far as I understand it, there is still a very corrupt force at work in the Mexican government. As well as the Zeta gang who are creating fear and undermining authorities in Mexico.
    I am not presenting these as excuses, just as obstacles that this country is dealing with in trying to better the economy and lives of Mexicans.

  • Sandra
    January 7, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Challis, so you have no problem that native English speaking citizens are being discriminated against in the workplace because of this huge influx of illegal alien Spanish speakers? Think girl! I am sick of seeing everything being printed in Spanish along with English because of this also. As I said, most Hispanic citizens do speak English. It is a requirement to earn citizenship also. Your arguments lack logic.
    Spanish is not the global language of commerce, English is. Wny should this entire country have to learn Spanish then? Why not Japanese or Chinese?
    Change your statement from Latinos’s have buying power in this country to illegal aliens have buying power in this country and it would be more to the truth of the matter. Yes, too bad that businesses are so damned greedy that they feel the need to cater to illegal aliens for a buck. Morality and the rule of law mean nothing anymore in this country. It is all about money and that is why the illegals are here. Does that make you proud?

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