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Arizona School Superintendent gunning to abolish successful ethnic studies program

LatinaLista — At a time when public school districts with large Latino student populations are wondering how to stem the flow of drop-outs and encourage them to seriously think of higher education, the Tucson Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne (Correction: Horne is Superintendent of Public Instruction for the whole state of Arizona) will announce tomorrow in a press conference the reasons why he wants to do away with a program that has achieved in elevating Latino students’ chances for academic success.
According to a tip from Mann Eegee at Latino Politico, Horne will announce why he thinks the Tucson School District’s Ethnic Studies program, which include African American studies, Native American studies, Mexican American/Raza studies and Pan Asian studies, should be abolished.

Tucson School Superintendent Tom Horne

Given the wave of anti-immigrant fervor in the state, Horne’s announcement is not surprising. Back in November, the Superintendent began an inquiry into how the program was funded. At the time, he said his inquiry was “not based on a question of academics or education, but ‘values.'”
Even at that early date, it isn’t hard to surmise that the Superintendent had already made up his mind about the “value” of the program. Nor is it surprising that he should wait until summer vacation when the kids are out of school to make such an announcement.
Otherwise, walkouts would have been an inevitable reaction.
But summer or not, this Superintendent may find that it doesn’t matter which part of the year you declare as valueless classes geared to bolstering student confidence and academic achievement, reaction will be strong.

Horne justifies his intentions by saying in a 2007 article “I have a long history of opposing ethnic studies and gender studies.”
And that’s supposed to be a badge of honor?
Countless studies of such classes have shown that such programs don’t just enrich the curriculum but broadens the knowledge base of the students and fosters a sense of pride.
During these times in Arizona, this program is especially important given the messages that the state legislature and the Maricopa County Sheriff have been relaying to students.
If public school textbooks had been fair all along and included the history and stories of all the peoples who settled the Southwest and had a hand in the building of this nation then the necessity of such a program could be debated.
But schools and textbook companies failed miserably in that respect and what happened over years is that children of color didn’t feel connected to the country they were born in because nobody wanted to write about THAT history or share those stories in a formal setting.
It doesn’t take a PhD to understand that when children can learn about people who shared the same background as they do and their historical contributions, the pride that is fostered extends to all parts of a student’s life.
Tucson should be so lucky that they have a program that is working and creating students who feel good enough about themselves that they can think of a successful future for themselves — and are accomplishing it.

Two recent graduates of TUSD and its raza studies classes say the courses did put them on the path to academic and personal success.
“For kids like me, who had trouble staying motivated, it was something I looked forward to and it gave me a space to talk and have a relationship with my teacher,” said Jesus Romero, an 18-year-old graduate of Tucson Magnet High. “After I graduated, it gave me a sense of who I am as a student and a youth and what I can do.”
Mireya Renteria, 18, is a Rincon High graduate and, like Romero, attends Pima Community College. She said the program helped her grades.
“Before, I was a C-average student. I didn’t care if I would pass as long as I graduated. My counselor never asked me or told me to go to college,” said Renteria. “But my teacher, Dr. Gonzalez, he was concerned if I would continue and get a college education. And my grades went up.”

Yet, in another telling comment, Horne isn’t about to give credit to the program at any cost:

When told about the superior AIMS scores of raza studies students, Horne said the program’s academic success may be what draws students to the program, but the program itself may not lead to student success.

Excuse me?
Sadly, Horne seems to be just another sheep following the bleat of what has become, not only anti-immigrant, but anti-Latino decisions in Arizona targeting students. Ironic, that this announcement should come on the heels of state Rep. Pearce’s attempt to abolish “race-based student groups” at colleges and universities.
At any rate, given his position, Horne should be advocating for his students and for any program that can measure academic success. Otherwise, he is of little value for a district that needs to figure out a way to expand a program that works, instead of doing away with it.

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  • Frank
    June 12, 2008 at 8:16 am

    How soon we forget that just recently a former teacher of that school district observed that these “ethnic study” classes were teaching anti-American and anti-White rhetoric cloaked as learning history and pushing academic achievement.
    It is nothing more than teaching our kids racial and ethnic divide and resentment thru historical events rather that trying to unite them in today’s world.

  • Marisa Treviño
    June 12, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I question the credibility of that proposed teacher who obviously had an agenda in criticizing this program without taking into account the real academic progress of the students that was measured in a district-wide standardized test and earned higher scores than some other students.
    No, Frank, accusations of “anti-American” and “anti-White” are from people who want to see it that way — it doesn’t make it so.

  • Man Eegee
    June 12, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Thanks for covering this, Marisa.
    Horne is actually the State Superintendent of Public Instruction that oversees Arizona, so his clout/scope is more than just overseeing Tucson. I’m not able to be at the rally, which is scheduled to begin in a few minutes, but have a few friends/close contacts attending and will get info from them this afternoon on what transpired.

  • laura
    June 12, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    One of the most important roles for education is to help us figure out who we are and how we fit into the human and non-human universe around us. It sounds like these programs were very successful at that job.
    Taking away African American studies, Native American studies, Mexican American/Raza studies and Pan Asian studies is not just an attempt to make histories other than those of Europeans and their descendants invisible, again. It is also an attempt to promote ignorance, low self-esteem and low school performance among minority children.
    What could be the benefit of that to anyone?
    Perhaps to keep a low-skilled, malleable, cheap workforce?
    Is it the same idea that brought about lynchings of successful black business owners in the Southeast? Because only “white” Americans are supposed to be able to prosper?
    Incidentally, I believe minority students should carefully study all history – European, their own, those of all other cultures and countries. The same as European-descended students should.
    Just like I hope every child will become fluent in English, Spanish and some other languages. Knowledge is good, ignorance is dangerous.

  • Roger Linnenburger
    June 12, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Very simple problem, immigration and the fact that Arizona has finished 50th in the Union in education means things are going to have to change. Obviously money is being wasted on programs that are not educating the students. Given the fact the state tax for education is lower than most states in the union per person.There is no room for these programs. Use the money for science studies, English, and mathematics, and other more important programs.

  • Frank
    June 12, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    It was a Hispanic teacher that blew the whistle on that program and how it was teaching resentment and hatred of whites and traditional American culture and society. It’s pure Marxist BS.
    Funny how they don’t have any “ethnic studies” in Mexico teaching hatred and resentment of the Euro-Spanish who colonized Mexico and their descendants. No, they come to the U.S. and forment hatred of the evil ANGLOS!
    You can teach self esteem, pride, and how to be a better student in another way. People have been teaching those values for years. You don’t need to forment resentment and hostility towards one group of people by another in order to teach kids self-esteem and how to be good students! What a bunch of Marxist dribble!
    There is no need for these “ethnic studies.” We should all be learning patriotism in the schools. They separate people into groups and drill into these kids’ heads that they are separate from the rest of us. It fosters division, not unity. And that is exactly how the left wants it so they can use these people to achieve their political objectives.
    I hope the non-Hispanics and the non-racist Hispanics really back this superintendent on this. It is racist and has no place in a school system. If the parents want to indoctrinate their kids with the “victim/grievance” mentality and resentment, let them do it at home. They need not do it on the TAXPAYERS’ DIME!
    The underlying agenda is that it is Marxist/Socialist ideology. The intent is to undermine the cohesiveness of our society and thus weaken it. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
    This is only going to lead to what you see in places like Iraq, Lebanon, and the Balkans. It will be ethnic strife and conflict because traditional Americans (non-Socialists) are not going to get on board with this agenda.
    And this entire “amnesty” issue is politically motivated. Poor, uneducated people will vote Democrat. And the far left sees this as their chance to change this country into a “progressive (Socialist) paradise using these people. “Compassion” my behind, it’s all about political power. It is just hiding behind the race issue because they can.

  • Evelyn
    June 13, 2008 at 12:50 am

    If we didnt white wash everything and told the truth their would be no need to tteach each culture the truth about their history and what their people did.
    Google white washing Americas history and read some of the following stories.
    Book Review | The Journal of American History, 91.4 | The …Whitewashing America: Material Culture and Race in the Antebellum Imagination. … Content in the History Cooperative database is intended for personal, … – 13k – Cached – Similar pages
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  • Evelyn
    June 13, 2008 at 1:52 am

    “we should all be learning patriotism in our schools” LOL!
    Shouldn’t you practice what you preach? Being a racist is NOT patriotic.
    Advocating justice and equality and any other rights afforded to people within our borders is being patriotic.
    Spreading hate and lies is not patriotic, neither is trying to change our constution to fit a racist agenda.
    Spreading love, helping others, encouraging others to do the same is the American way.

  • Frank
    June 13, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Roger, I agree with you. The basics should be stressed as the ciriculum in our schools and not waste taxpayer money on “ethnic studies.”
    As far as the remark by another member in here that “knowledge is good, ignorance is dangerous” I basically agree but not when it comes to learning another language in this country. Unless one plans to work in the tourism industry or travel abroad a lot, it is a waste of time. If you don’t use it, you lose it. It isn’t ignorant not learn a language you aren’t going to use. Better to prepare a student for a trade. Americans (U.S. citizens) have a common language for communication and that is all that is needed in most instances. Those who think we should be bi-lingual are usually Spanish speakers who want Spanish to be on the same level as English in this country or to replace it as the common one. They fool no one.

  • arturo fernandez
    June 13, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    “There is no room for these programs. Use the money for science studies, English, and mathematics, and other more important programs.”

  • Frank
    June 13, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Sorry, I am not a racist, so that does make me patriotic. Look in the mirror for racism.
    Our Constitution nor do our laws give illegal aliens the same rights as citizens. Justice? I am all for that. Our laws say deport illegal aliens.
    I have never spread any hate or lies. I don’t hate anyone. I don’t spout any info that is not fact.
    How about spreading love and compassion for American citizens whose country is being invaded? That is the American way!

  • Evelyn
    June 13, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Ignorance breeds the kind of racism we see every day on this forum. YOU fool no one.
    People who advocate ignorance are, fools.

  • laura
    June 13, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Since Latina/os pay a substantial amount of the tax base, and undocumented people pay an even higher ratio of taxes to the services they receive (especially with respect to healthcare), Latinos – and other immigrants – can rightfully ask that subjects of interest are taught in the schools they finance.
    I am always depressed by the Americans who believe not knowing something is better than knowing it. They are one reason this country is in such sharp decline.
    Another immigrant group I actually find inspiring with respect to their emphasis on their children’s education and the sacrifices they are willing to make for it: the Chinese. We would probably do well to emulate them more.

  • Evelyn
    June 13, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    How about spreading love and compassion for American citizens whose “country is being invaded”?
    Another of your racist rants and lies.
    Your ignorance about the meaning of what is racist may be your problem. Look up the word racist.

  • Evelyn
    June 13, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    This is another reason we need Ethnic Studies in our schools.
    L. Ling-chi Wang
    Department of Ethnic Studies
    University of California, Berkeley
    Ethnic Studies on the Berkeley Campus
    The dominant perspective on racial and cultural differences in the intellectual tradition of Euro-America has been surprisingly unchanging, from biblical theology to present-day social sciences and humanities. From the biblical notion of “chosen people” to pseudo-scientific social Darwinism of the 19th century and the present-day social theory of assimilation and ideology of integration, the underlying assumption of Euro-American racial superiority and cultural supremacy in our intellectual tradition has never been seriously undermined or challenged. In other words, while the theoretical foundation may have shifted from theology to biology and then to social sciences, the dominant ideology on race persists in our knowledge, in the ways we reflect and organize our knowledge.
    In a direct challenge to this dominant racist ideology, Ethnic Studies on the Berkeley campus came into existence in Fall 1969 following two months of massive student protest and intense faculty soul-searching. Organized as an autonomous department reporting directly to the Chancellor, Ethnic Studies consisted then of four independent Ethnic Studies programs—Afro-American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicano Studies, and Native American Studies—each provided an administrator and a core faculty to develop its own curriculum, degree program, and research agenda.
    The autonomous status symbolized an explicit repudiation of the dominant ideology of race and race relations perspectives in the Euro-American intellectual tradition, or what historian Harold Cruse characterizes as a rejection of the “integrationist ethnic,” a deeply rooted intellectual and ideological consensus aimed at insuring the hegemony of the cultural particularism of the Euro-Americans and the exclusion or nullification of cultural particularisms represented by the racial minorities. In other words, the early advocates of Ethnic Studies deliberately rejected the notion of curricular “mainstreaming” or “integration,” favoring, instead, autonomous academic programs built on the principles of solidarity among racial minorities, “self-determination,” and “educational relevance,” unencumbered by failed traditional paradigms and biased scholarship. As the new kid on the block, the autonomous department provided the needed institutional protection, freedom, and flexibility during its formative years and the necessary resource to develop new programs and anti-racist and counter-hegemonic scholarship

  • Horace
    June 13, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    “Since Latina/os pay a substantial amount of the tax base, and undocumented people pay an even higher ratio of taxes to the services they receive (especially with respect to healthcare), Latinos – and other immigrants – can rightfully ask that subjects of interest are taught in the schools they finance.”
    The idea that llegal aliens pay more of their share in health care is ludicrous, as the failure to pay their own health care bills is one reason why many hospitals are going bandrupt, and why the citizens pay so much in insurance premiums.
    Sharp decline? In what respect? If refer to our educational system, the Latino graduation rate from high school is among the lowest of all minorities. If you mean law abiding, one only has to note that it is the Latino community that has been encouraging and even supporting illegal immigration and the undermining of our Social Security system through the use of identity theft. One only has to look at the huge increase in Latino gang violance and gang members to note another reason for decline. Another is the loss of Latino “family values”, as realized in the widespread out-of-wedlock births and single parent families. If you’re talking about decline as the result of wasted tax expenditures, all you have to do is add up to the billions of dollars required to defend our sovereign borders as the result of illegal aliens. If you’re talking about the decline in the already limited opportunites for enrollment for citizens at state universities at in-state tuition, one only has to look at Hispanic demands for such tuition rates by illegal immigrant advocates. Or how about the decline in safety on our roads, and increases in auto insurance for citizens as the result of illegal aliens driving without insurance. One only has to be involved in an accident with an uninsured illegal aliens to encouter this decline up close and personal. Or how about the school systems that are being forced to teach ESL to Spanish only speakers. These are resources that should really be expended on citizens and legal aliens. The result is that the children of the citizens and legal residents are getting a smaller piece of the educational pie than they would otherwise. The result is mockery of the preamble to the Constitution, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” The Constitution was never intended to be applied to foreign invaders, whether civilian or military. The fact that some advocates attempt to do so and are partially successful is one of those unbeknownst flaws that Franklin referred to when that document was ratified. Try substituting specific peoples, like “citizens of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicuargua or any other nation on this planet for that matter, for “We”, “ourselves and posterity” to see how ridiculous illegal alien advocates are when they attempt to lay claim for citizenship for illegal aliens. The thought that foreigners could force their way into our country and demand the right of citizenship is anathema to anyone with good sense. It is obvious to anyone not mindlessly clinging to their ethnicity for justification that foreigner are not entitled to claims of citizenship without consent of the citizens of this country. There is no inherent Constitutional or moral right to enfranchisement for Hispanic Central Americans anymore than there is for a citizen of France who overstays his tourist visa.

  • Frank
    June 13, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    The ignorant and racist ones are those who have turned their back on their own country, it’s laws and their fellow citizens in favor of some illegal foreigners who just happen to be ethnically like themselves!

  • arturo fernandez
    June 13, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    It may not be the case you’re racists, but what else can the “pro’s”, as you called them, make of this constant need of yours to malign the illegal immigrant? These are people that, as Frank says, “just happen to be ethnically” something you’re not. I can understand Evelyn and Laura’s accusations, though I have a different explanation for why your side has turned into a rotten and vicious part of the conversation.
    All your comments are based on lies. Do yourself a favor. Read Jason Riley’s book. It is not leftist propaganda. It is not anti-US propaganda. It is not multicultural nonsense. It is reasonable, and it will tell you what the facts are.

  • laura
    June 13, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Muy interesante Evelyn. Nunca fui en clases de estudios etnicos. Gustaria ir un dia.
    Otra cosa – pienso que no vale la pena discutir con los racistas. Son siempre los mismos y siempre escriven lo mismo.

  • Evelyn
    June 13, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    The ignorant racists have turned their back on the constution, justice and equality for all, and their fellow citizens.
    John Tanton and their ignorance leads them to believe only white is right.
    It is also out of ignorance they allow themselves to be used by others with racist views.
    Because of ignorance they are unable to think for themselves.

  • Frank
    June 14, 2008 at 10:24 am

    arturo, there is nothing rotten, vicious or racist about pointing out the negative facts of illegal immigration. Even if there was no downside to illegal immigration, the fact remains that they have no right to be in this country. That is the bottom line of it all.
    In 1986 we gave millions of illegals amnesty and what did it get us…..millions and millions more here today. It must stop and we must not reward immigration law violaters again. We need to follow the letter of the law and that is to deport them as we discover them and more importantly thru workplace enforcement and secure our borders.

  • Frank
    June 14, 2008 at 10:34 am

    The really ignorant racists are those who think that our Constitution negates our immigration laws. Justice? Yes, we want justice for both illegal and citizen law breakers. Equality? There is no actual equality between a citizen and an illegal alien other than basic human rights. Someone is twisting the words of the Constitution to suit their agenda. Call the federal government and ask them to interpret it for you and ask them if the Constitution or any other founding document of this country negates our immigration laws. They will laugh in your face!
    Most anti-illegal immigrationists think for themselves. They don’t need Tanton, Dobbs or any other individual or group to tell them that violating our immigration laws is wrong. They aren’t so stupid that they can’t realize on our own that uncontrolled population growth in this manner is not good for our country either. They are already seeing for themselves the depressed wages and loss of jobs due to illegal immigration. They are already seeing for themselves the crowded conditions in our schools and hospital emergency rooms and the added burden of taxes on citizens to cover the illegal alien’s social costs. One only has to google Parkland Hospital in Dallas to see how many kids are born from illegal alien mothers that we are having to foot the bill for.
    It is totally disgusting that we have citizens in this country that care more about their illegal ethnic kind than they do about their own country and it’s citizens and have nothing but utter contempt for our laws.

  • Horace
    June 14, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Speaking of Arizona, it doesn’t look good for that criminal enterprise called the Chamber of Commerce in their challenge to the Arisona laws. And if Arizona is successful in defending it’s hiring and licensing laws, every state in the union will do the same thing without hinderance from nuissance lawsuits from the ACLU and Hispanica advocacy groups. And judging by the weakness of the Chamber of Commerce challenge, the Supreme Court won’t deign to hear the case. Your side is apparently destined to be a big loser.
    Read this from the Tucson Citizen:
    Hiring illegal immigrants
    Judges seem skeptical of sanctions law arguments
    The Associated Press
    PHOENIX – Federal appellate judges considering a challenge to an Arizona law prohibiting the hiring of illegal immigrants looked skeptically on arguments from business and civil rights groups that the state can’t impose such restrictions.
    During a hearing Thursday in San Francisco, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals questioned whether a pre-existing federal law that prohibits such hirings prevents local governments from enacting their own rules.
    The Arizona law prohibits employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and requires businesses to verify the work eligibility of new hires. Businesses found to be in violation face the suspension or revocation of business licenses.
    The law, which has yet to lead to an enforcement case being brought to court, was upheld by a federal judge in February.
    The groups challenging the law contend the new Arizona restrictions are unconstitutional because cracking down on such hirings was the sole province of the federal government.
    Jonathan Weissglass, an attorney arguing on behalf of groups challenging the Arizona law, said if Arizona gets away with establishing its own requirements and penalties, it will create a chaotic and burdensome atmosphere for employers and workers nationwide.
    Judge John M. Walker said he found nothing in federal law that prohibits a state from requiring that employers use E-Verify. The program lets employer check the work eligibility of employees. The judge questioned what harm would result.
    Weissglass said the harm is that Arizona’s law removes an employer’s ability to choose to use the program. By doing so, the law violates the federal government’s exclusive domain over immigration law, he said.
    Judge N. Randy Smith said he could find nothing in the federal law that prevents state and local governments from making such a mandate. If Congress intended states to stay out of mandating E-Verify, or of imposing sanctions through business licenses, it would have expressly said so, Smith said.
    Judge Mary Schroeder questioned whether there was inconsistency between the federal law’s voluntary use of E-Verify and Arizona’s requirement that employers must use it to screen new hires.
    Mary O’Grady, a lawyer leading the state’s defense of the law, argued that Congress wanted to create an effective verification law, not necessarily a voluntary one. But by making it voluntary, the federal government was able to test the program and proceed cautiously.
    “I didn’t hear anything real encouraging on our behalf,” said Dave Jones, executive director of the Arizona Contractors Association, one of the groups challenging the law.
    It’s unknown when the Court of Appeals will rule on the case.

  • Evelyn
    June 15, 2008 at 12:48 am

    TANTON’S PUPPETS! Spewing the same BS over and over and over and over and over and over and over and. Do you think if you say it enough times it will become true?

  • arturo fernandez
    June 15, 2008 at 1:57 am

    “…the fact remains that they have no right to be in this country. That is the bottom line of it all.”
    “In 1986 we gave millions of illegals amnesty and what did it get us…..millions and millions more here today.”
    And so we must not make the same mistake again. After we make legal the ones Americans (the entrepreneur, but more important the consumer) have taken in, we need to make it easier for those we will need in the future to come in legally.
    “…and we must not reward immigration law violaters…”
    It is not a reward but a realization that we made a mistake by not making it easier for them to come in legally when we should have known we would be needing them and thus inviting them. It’s called taking responsibility for your mistakes.

  • Frank
    June 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    arturo, if we legaized the ones already here, IT WOULD BE THE SAME MISTAKE ALL OVER AGAIN. So what are you saying, let’s do it the second time and hope we won’t have to do it the third time? When does it end, arturo?
    No, the consumer has not taken in any illegal aliens. They came here on their own accord and the greedy, lawless employers hired them!
    If you think it is so hard to come here legally, it is because we can only take in so many immigrants without committing national suicide. That is why we have a quota on immigration. 1. It is based on our needs. 2. To make sure we don’t have an explosive population growth. 3. To make sure that immigrants from many countries get a fair chance. 4. To protect our natural resources. 5. To not overburden our schools, hospitals and other social infrastructures.
    When immigrants come here illegally in uncontrolled numbers, none of the above is accomplished.
    For the most part we have Americans that will do most any job (accept in the AG industry) for a fair wage. Where do you get that we need 20 million unskilled foreign workers? The employers want and need them because they work cheaper, that’s all! Therefore we have made NO mistakes in our immigration policies.
    Again, if there was any so-called “inviting” done it was by these unscrupulous employers, not your everyday working American.

  • Horace
    June 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Millions of Latin Americans are born into poverty every year, and many will come in spite of the fact that new guest worker program quotas will be immediately filled. We already have people milling around Home Depots across the country today. It can only get worse if we don’t enforce our immigration laws. Will you people have the courage to deport the excess numbers, many of whome will bring their family members? You people don’t have the good sense or courage to deport those already here. How can you do so in the future? You’re shortsighted and inconsiderate of the unintended consequences of caving in to illegal immigration. The only thing at the end of Marisa’s tunnel is overpopulation and the establishment of ramshackle towns like those found in Latin America. The solutions to Latin America are not found by migration, but by fixing the problems within those nation states.

  • Evelyn
    June 16, 2008 at 12:42 am

    I know you eat because you are on this forum posting. If you eat, you are a consumer. Unless you grow all your own food and butcher all your own meat you are consuming food that in all likelihood has been touched by an immigrant first.
    Do You ware cloths?
    Do you drive on paved roads?
    Do you eat out?
    Do you live in a house?
    Do you use public places, hospitals, hotels and the list goes on and on. If you do you are giving the immigrants a job.
    May I suggest you build a wall around your house and never come out again! HA! HA!
    Immigrants and the Economy
    (From the National Immigration Forum)
    Immigrants wear many hats in American society. They are family members, students, workers, business owners, investors, clergymen, and members of the armed services-to name just a few of their roles. According to the most comprehensive study ever done on immigrants, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) found that in all their combined roles, immigrants make indispensable contributions to our economy. They compose an increasingly essential proportion of our workforce. Through their tax payments, they help finance the costs of schools, health care, roads, welfare payments, Social Security, and the nation’s defense. Of course, immigrants are also users and beneficiaries of these government programs.
    Immigrants are a Plus for our Economy – Immigrants and their children bring long-term economic benefits to the United States as a whole. Immigrants add about $10 billion each year to the U.S. economy. This estimate does not include the impact of immigrant-owned businesses or the impact of highly skilled immigrants on overall productivity.
    Immigrants Pay Their Way – By conservative estimates, immigrant households paid an estimated $133 billion in direct taxes to federal, state, and local governments in 1997. The typical immigrant and his or her descendants pay an estimated $80,000 more in taxes than they will receive in local, state, and federal benefits over their lifetimes.
    Naturalized Immigrants Pay More than Their Share – Immigrants who become U.S. citizens typically pay more in taxes than do native-born Americans. Adult, foreign-born, naturalized citizens actually have higher adjusted gross incomes (averaging $40,502) than families with U.S.-born citizens only ($35,249). Federal taxes paid by families with a naturalized citizen average $6,580 per year compared with $5,070 for U.S.-born-only families.
    Immigrant-Founded Businesses Are an Important Revenue Source – Businesses founded by immigrants are a source of substantial economic and fiscal gain for U.S. citizens. Ten high-tech firms founded by immigrants, generated $28 billion in revenues in 1996. These and other businesses started by immigrants add at least another $29 billion to the total amount of taxes paid by immigrants.
    As They Assimilate, Immigrants Become Net Economic Contributors – Immigrants’ earnings rise over time as they climb the economic ladder of success in America. In their first years in the United States, immigrants typically are a net cost to the country, but over time— usually after 10 to 15 years in the United States—they turn into net contributors.
    An Education and Training Windfall – Most immigrants arrive in the United States in the prime of their working years. More than 70 percent of immigrants are over the age of 18 when they arrive in the United States. That means there are roughly 17.5 million immigrants in the United States today whose education and upbringing were paid for by the citizens of the sending country, not American taxpayers. The windfall to the United States of obtaining this human capital at no expense to American taxpayers is roughly $1.43 trillion. This makes immigrants a fiscal bargain for our country.
    Immigrant Workers are Essential to the U.S. Economy – During the recent unprecedented expansion in the American economy, immigrant workers were essential in filling jobs ranging from computer programmers to hotel and restaurant workers. As America’s workforce ages, and the “baby boomers” retire, immigrants will again play an essential role in reducing a long-term projected labor shortage. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that between 1998 and 2008, the number of jobs will increase by 20 million, but the number of workers will increase by just 17 million. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has repeatedly commented that, when labor markets are tight, immigration is an important source of workers. With the U.S. labor supply projected to shrink relative to the number of jobs, Greenspan says that “there is an effective limit to new hiring, unless immigration is uncapped.”
    Immigrants Are Net Contributors to Social Security and Medicare – The total net benefit (taxes paid over benefits received) to the Social Security system in today’s dollars from continuing current levels of immigration is nearly $500 billion for the 1998-2022 period and nearly $2.0 trillion through 2072. Our population is aging, and each worker will be supporting a growing population of retirees. Immigrant workers will be an essential component to solving the long-term problem of financing Social Security.
    New Rules to Affect Fiscal Calculations – Working-age immigrants who have been in the United States for more than ten years are less likely to receive welfare than the native-born. The exceptions, because of their special needs, are refugees and elderly immigrants. Welfare rules enacted by Congress in 1996 have made newly-arrived immigrants ineligilbe for most welfare benefits. This change will significantly affect cost/benefit calculations in the future, making the net fiscal benefit of immigrants even higher than it is today.
    Beyond Fiscal Calculations – Overall, immigrants are a fiscal bargain for American taxpayers. Of course, the value of immigrants is not primarily measured by the dollar calculation of their fiscal impact. Immigrants contribute to America in many ways other than the size of their tax payments and the amount they pump into our economy. Their enrichment of our culture and the overall vitality they bring to American society are immeasurable in fiscal terms. They are a vital benefit to all Americans.

  • Horace
    June 16, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    It’s just too bad for you that our country doesn’t recognize those who cheat the system as immigrants. If we did, to be fair, we’d have to grant entry to a billion other people who’d like to do the same. I’m sorry, but this country isn’t a department store fire sale in which the person aggressive enough to wrestle a bargain from his competitor gets to cart it off. And illegal aliens do not get to set the rules, U.S. citizens do.

  • Frank
    June 16, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    The costs of illegal immigration:

  • arturo fernandez
    June 16, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Current immigration quotas do not begin to meet our country’s aging population needs. For this reason, our prosperity has required illegal immigrants. They’ve filled in where we failed in our calculations. As we’ve seen illegal immigration increase, we’ve seen low levels of unemployment and growth in the economy. States like California with more illegal immigrants have done better.
    Overpopulation is a myth. The US is not overpopulated, and the world is not overpopulated. This from Jason Riley’s book: “…the entire population of the world today could be housed in the state of Texas, in single story single-family houses–four people to a house–and with a typical yard around each home.” p. 39-40. Pretty spectacular looking at it that way.

  • Liquidjmicro
    June 16, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    “As we’ve seen illegal immigration increase, we’ve seen low levels of unemployment and growth in the economy. States like California with more illegal immigrants have done better.”
    I beg to differ:,0,6427050.story
    SACRAMENTO — California’s budget shortfall has swollen to $16 billion from $14.5 billion, according to the state’s chief budget analyst, who says the governor’s proposal for closing the deficit is so flawed that her office took the rare step of drafting an alternative state spending plan for legislators to consider.
    I here California’s unemployment rate is increasing.,0,1038351.story
    California’s unemployment rate holds at 6.2%
    Almost 200,000 more people were out of work in April than a year earlier, however.
    Unemployment in the Los Angeles Basin largely mirrored statewide trends. The rate rose by 0.1% to 5.9% in Los Angeles County, up from 4.9% a year earlier.
    In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, monthly unemployment dropped 0.4% to 6.8%. In Orange County, it declined by 0.2% to 4.4%.

  • Frank
    June 17, 2008 at 9:02 am

    arturo, what you fail to realize in your population analogy is that even if the entire country’s population could be placed inside of the state of Texas, it isn’t just about space but natural resources and the social infrastructers needed to sustain a population. What about quality of life with that much population living in one area? Read about what “carrying capacity” of a country means at
    Non-hispanic Americans are reproducing at replacement levels. Our birthrates are still nearlly double what our deathrates are. I see no shortage of people in this country.
    If we need more foreign workers then so be it. But not thru illegal immigration. I am for a smaller economy to fit a smaller population anyway. It is much healtheir for our country in the long run.

  • arturo fernandez
    June 17, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Frank, I was not suggesting we all move to Texas.
    The article you recommend is based on a very flawed study. Jason Riley deals with it in his new book. But you won’t read it will you?

  • arturo fernandez
    June 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    “I am for a smaller economy to fit a smaller population anyway.”
    There’s nothing wrong with a small economy for a small population. But that will have no influence in the world. I think American values for freedom and democracy are what other nations should try to follow, rather than, say, Soviet oppression or Islamic fundamentalism.

  • Frank
    June 17, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    arturo, you just don’t get it, do you? I wasn’t saying that you were suggesting we all move to Texas. What I was saying is that regardless of how little or how much “space” we have there is still the issue of natural resources and social infrastructure to support a population. is flawed? How so? I will check my local library for the Riley book.

  • Chrissie Padilla
    June 17, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I will need to look more into this program in AZ, but based on this post it seems the true benefit for the students isn’t necessarily learning “ethnic specific” history but rather the mentoring relationship established between the teacher who is of the same ethnicity as the student and therefore the student can role model. Perhaps the funding should go towards mentoring students and college application prep. I can tell you when I was in HS, 8 years ago it would not have helped me much or motivated me much to learn Chicano studies,BUT it would have sure as heck helped to have a strong Latino role model encouraging me to apply to college, take on AP classes and helping me fill out FAFSA and applications!

  • Liquidmicro
    June 17, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Jason Riley is a free market believer, he sides with the employers, no matter industry, to allow the market supply the demand for workers. All that does is drive down wages. For which I have asked many times:
    “Globalization means that soon, we, too, might be working for pennies an hour. It’s like Adam Smith in reverse: trade with people less free than you, and your own freedom is threatened. So do we lower our wages to match that of poorer countries or do we try to raise there wages to match ours?”
    If you want to read a good book, try, Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy; by John Bowie.

  • Alessandra
    June 17, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    When I was in school in the 90s, each year a segment of our course study dealt with environmental issues. Every year, starting in Kindergarten we were taught about safe-guarding our environment and our natural resources. I cannot remember a time when we were not taught that overpopulation was NOT healthy for the earth’s environment. Now, all of a sudden, I am hearing that overpopulation is not now, nor has ever been a problem? From what I understand, population concerns goes clear back to the 60s! So, the whole thing makes no sense to me. Who wants to live in a teeming, overcrowded country like China or India or Pakistan? This just makes no sense. I would rather have quality of life than a humongous economy.
    Except for the U.S., Canada, and Australia, all of the countries with the highest standards of living are small countries.
    We can still have a nice standard of living being a smaller country with a smaller population.
    It seems to me, though, that we are going back in time to the days described by Charles Dickens during the Industrial Revolution. How else can we compete with a country like China which has a Communistic political system where the people have no choice in where they will work, under what conditions, or for what wages? There are no protections for workers or environmental laws. I watched a program on C Span one day on globalization and it was said that China is very predatory and take advantage of third world countries ever so much more than the U.S.
    Maybe it is time to have a smaller population and let a country like China become the military and economic power in the world. Maybe all the America haters will be much more satisfied with how China does things than they were with the evil, imperialistic U.S. Let China worry about spreading Democracy and acting as the world’s police. Then we can just mind our own business like Sweden or Norway and take care of our own people.

  • Horace
    June 17, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    “Current immigration quotas do not begin to meet our country’s aging population needs. For this reason, our prosperity has required illegal immigrants.”
    I’m sorry, Arturo, but what we need are legal immigrants who fit the educational needs of a modern nation in competition with an ever more educated foreign work force. We can afford to be far more particular than the illegal work force that is forcefully imposing itself on us. Believe me when I say that I’ve been in other parts of the world, where there are Asian Indians with masters degrees in engineering doing manual labor. Mexico isn’t producing the quality of work force that we should be looking to add as replacements for our ageing work force. The same thing goes for our schools with high dropout rates. Mexico’s government has failed its people. If Mexico was producing citizens that on average had high school educations, they would be acceptable, but the fact it is that is not. I know how disappointing this is to Latinos, but it’s a fact of life. If Mexican illegal aliens were in competition with those from other nations with better educations, there would be few Mexican illegal aliens in our workforce today. We are not getting the best of the best at this point, hard working or risking death through the desert notwithstanding. While noble sounding, these are not sufficient qualifications.
    Our prosperity will never depend upon low skill labor. Much of the manual labor done by illegal aliens now will eventually be automated, as it is done in Japan, where labor costs are enormous. The presence of a large pool of illegal labor has stifled innovation. Jobs that could eventually be automated are being done by brute force. The Chinese will alway be able to beat our labor costs in the manufacturing business, and when their standard of living reaches a certain point, and their wages raise to a certain levelt, other Asian countries will beat them. No, continued prosperity could no more permanently depend upon unskilled labor than picking cotton seeds by hand could continue after Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin.

  • Frank
    June 18, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Allessandro and Horace, excellent posts!

  • arturo fernandez
    June 18, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Horace, you have no idea what you’re talking about. If Mexican immigrants were in fact equally educated and thus to you more desirable, like US natives, they would actually be competing with US natives for jobs and hurting American workers. That wouldn’t happen, simply because an educated Mexican population would just stay in Mexico, with family and in better weather, and put their education to use there. That’s what Mexico will be like soon. But for the past 40 years until now, their lower education levels complement better educated US natives, who need them for less-skilled work. In 1960, half of US natives didn’t finish high school, so a greater supply of uneducated Americans meant fewer Mexicans were coming, despite an open border.
    John Riley has interesting things to say of automation, how an efficient economy is likely and unlikely to replace people with machines.
    Liquidmicro, California unemployment is increasing slightly from the low levels experienced when illegal immigrants were coming in greater numbers. But the border has been practically shut, government is intimidating businesses, and that’s causing fewer migrants to come north and probably greater numbers to go back south. The recent increases in unemployment should be attributed to the new anti-illegal-immigrant environment.

  • arturo fernandez
    June 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    That last sentence should be changed to: “It is safe to say that unemployment is going up in the new anti-illegal-immigrant environment.” There are many things at play here, the new anti-illegal-immigration environment is only one of them.

  • arturo fernandez
    June 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    “I cannot remember a time when we were not taught that overpopulation was NOT healthy for the earth’s environment.”
    It’s sad that American youth are so lied to.
    “Maybe it is time to have a smaller population and let a country like China become the military and economic power in the world.”
    I think America has better things to teach the world. You disagree. I love America. You fall under, your words, “American hater”.

  • arturo fernandez
    June 18, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Rather, “America hater”.

  • arturo fernandez
    June 18, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    “If you want to read a good book, try, Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy; by John Bowie.”
    Liquidmicro, I know of that book and I do plan to read it. My reaction right now having not read it is that those who exploit workers, easier if they’re illegal immigrants, get their motivation from those out to demonize illegal immigrants, like you. Why respect them if they’re criminals, job stealers, gangsters, scum, child molestors.

  • Frank
    June 18, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    arturo, I saw nothing in Allesandro’s post that would implicate her as an “America hater.” How in the world did you get that out of her concerns for this country?
    It isn’t a lie that too much population can harm any country. It is just common sense and logic. The more people the more our natural resources are depleted, the more air pollution, the more demands of everything including food, water, ariable land space. More stress is put on our schools and hospitals with overcrowded conditons. The more demands for energy sources. The more we have to build and destroy our forests and wetlands. Are you kidding me? Concern for these things is not hating America but loving it instead.

  • Alessandra
    June 18, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Arturo, I did not question your love of country and, frankly, you have no right to call me an America hater.
    Where did I ever say or indicate that the U.S. did not have anything good to bring to the world? On the contrary, I have always said that I think the U.S. is a force for good. You might want to direct your accusations at others on this blog, however, as some of them do not share my sentiments in that regard.
    You were so busy calling me an America hater that you did not address the facts I presented that it is quite possible to have a prosperous country with a high standard of living with a small population.
    I think it is perfectly reasonable to be concerned with population and how it affects our quality of life–the water resources, arable land, landfill space, energy consumption. Like I said, it just cracks me up to no end that we were all taught that overpopulation was a drain on natural resources and added to pollution and now, all of a sudden, it’s all a lie. Amazing.
    And lastly, we are much too extended militarily in the world. We cannot sustain this for much longer. This is one of the factors which contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire–that and allowing people into their society who did not assimilate. Those people eventually turned on them and conquered them and plunged Western culture into the Dark Ages.
    Wanting to pull in and concentrate on our own needs and our own population does not make me an America hater. On the contrary. My point about China, although too obtuse, was that they are concentrating on building up their society, their economy. They are not bankrupting themselves running all over the world spreading democracy.
    Furthermore, IMO globalists do not love ANY country. They view borders and nation-states and “love of country” as silly anachronisms.

  • Liquidmicro
    June 19, 2008 at 9:17 am

    “Liquidmicro, I know of that book and I do plan to read it. My reaction right now having not read it is that those who exploit workers, easier if they’re illegal immigrants, get their motivation from those out to demonize illegal immigrants, like you. Why respect them if they’re criminals, job stealers, gangsters, scum, child molestors.”
    To say that I am out to demonize “Illegal Immigrants” is not knowing my position by you. Your reaction to my questions, and the difference of opinions are just that, yours being globalization and open borders, treating workers of all nations as commodities, vs mine being nationalistic whereas the workers are treated like human beings and protected from corporate trading. Our visa system is in place for the protection of the worker, yet you think by legalizing “Illegal Immigrants” that will solve the problem, when in fact it may just make it worse. You have let the employers off the hook for their hiring practices, who is to say they won’t release the now “legalized” workers and continue to bring in more “Illegal Workers”? Why should they be worried, nothing has been done to them, business as usual. I ask again: So do we lower our wages to match that of poorer countries or do we try to raise there wages to match ours in your global view?
    “The recent increases in unemployment should be attributed to the new anti-illegal-immigrant environment.”
    McClatchy newspaper just laid off 1400 employees, I wouldn’t contribute that to an ANTI-Illegal Environment. What of HP and the various other manufacturers, such as IBM, both here in Sacramento. Again some may be contributed to the ANTI-Environment, very little, but most are due to the overall economy and lack of sales globally.

  • arturo fernandez
    June 25, 2008 at 1:30 am

    Liquidmicro, I tried to not leave the impression that anti-illegal-immigration was the only cause or the major cause of higher unemployment. I’m glad, though, that see that it’s part of it. Join me in helping our unemployed Americans; disassociate yourself from the anti-illegal-immigrant fanatics.
    Alessandra, the right wing always accuses liberals of hating America for the exact things you said.
    “…it is quite possible to have a prosperous country with a high standard of living with a small population.”
    I said that was fine. But islamic fascists will not stop at liberal gay-friendly Sweden’s door just because they’re a small country that bothered no one. Women are equal and gays have rights, so they are enemies and will be treated as such.
    “Furthermore, IMO globalists do not love ANY country.”
    It is actually you who believes that this country’s traditions for freedom and democracy aren’t any good, or good enough for others.

  • Alessandra
    June 25, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Arturo, I am neither “right wing” nor “left wing.” I am an Independent who tries to look at all sides of an issue before forming my own conclusions. I am not tethered by ideology; rather I look for practical and common sense solutions to problems. I am not a Socialist because I see no evidence that it is an efficient economic system. Neither am I on board with unfettered predatory corporatism either.
    I know precisely what is occurring in Europe vis a vis Islamic radicalism as I have family living there and have spent time there myself. So your point on that subject is well taken.
    I never in any way implied that I do not think that this country’s traditions for freedom and democracy are not good OR that they are not good enough for others. I am being practical when I say that we are too overextended and that will weaken us as a nation. You will notice that China is expending all of its energies on its domestic agenda; they are not taking time, money, and energy away from their national interests to spread democracy. I’m all for supporting democratic movements within countries; but, not for using military means which merely expends our blood and treasure. How much in debt to China are we over this Iraq war??
    I am not against using military force when absolutely all other options have been exhausted. However, I think it is simply in our best national interests to avoid overextending ourselves militarily. We brought about the breakup of the Soviet Union without using military means. And it seems as though we are bankrupting ourselves in much the same way now as the Soviets were bankrupted. That is my point.

  • Liquidmicro
    June 25, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    “Join me in helping our unemployed Americans”
    Thats my goal, by ridding ourselves of “Illegal Immigrants” that will open up jobs for our fellow Americans. Look to Oklahoma and Arizona for the unemployment numbers having dropped substantially and wages having increased after their laws were passed.
    If we enforce our Visa laws, this will also benefit the legal visa holders, thus eradicating the exploitation of Illegal laborers.
    Read Nobodies by John Bowie, it should open your eyes.

  • Evelyn
    July 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Yeah, lets look to Oklahoma first.
    Strict immigration law having major impact on Oklahoma economy
    By Emily Bazar, USA TODAY
    PARK HILL, Okla. – Autumn had arrived in eastern Oklahoma, and workers at the sprawling Greenleaf Nursery were prepping for deadly frosts. They needed to ship plants, erect greenhouses and bunch trees together to protect them against the cold.
    But in late October, about 40 employees disappeared from the 600-acre nursery about an hour’s drive from Tulsa. “Some went to Texas, some went to Arkansas,” nursery President Randy Davis says. “They just left.”
    Why did the workers, all immigrants, flee? “Those states don’t have 1804,” Davis says.
    In a matter of weeks, “1804” has become part of the Sooner State’s lexicon. It refers to House Bill 1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, arguably the nation’s toughest state law targeting illegal immigrants.
    Dozens of state legislatures, citing inaction by Congress, have adopted measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration. Oklahoma’s new law, which took effect Nov. 1, is particularly far-reaching and has begun sending ripples through the state’s economy and its immigrant communities. Besides highlighting the impact of illegal immigration on Oklahoma, the law has made the state a laboratory in the national debate over immigration.
    The Oklahoma measure is broader than a controversial Arizona law that suspends or revokes business licenses of employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Among other things, 1804 makes it a felony to transport or shelter illegal immigrants. It also denies illegal immigrants driver’s licenses and public benefits such as rental assistance and fuel subsidies.
    Many business owners are especially nervous about provisions of 1804 that kick in July 1, when employers with government contracts must start checking new hires against a federal database to make sure they are legally eligible to work. If the employers don’t, they won’t get the contracts.
    “I’ve already had customers who came in here and told me they’ve fired employees because they didn’t know if they were here legally,” says Tim Wagner, an owner of Cocina De Mino, a Mexican restaurant in Oklahoma City. He predicts industries such as agriculture will face worker shortages.
    Widespread reports of vanishing employees and schoolchildren suggest thousands of illegal immigrants have left Oklahoma for neighboring states or their native countries. Cotton gins, hotels and home builders have lost workers. Restaurant and grocery store owners complain of fewer customers.
    Some businesses and lawmakers are warning that the economic effects will hit consumers hard. Having a smaller pool of workers for certain jobs will cause delays and create competition among employers, leading them to raise wages and prices, Davis and others say.
    Republican state Rep. Shane Jett, who opposed 1804, offers a more dire prediction. Without changes, the law “will be the single most destructive economic disaster since the Dust Bowl,” he says.
    State Rep. Randy Terrill, the Republican author of the law, counters that 1804 will save money because taxpayers won’t be subsidizing services for illegal immigrants. “There’s significant evidence that HB 1804 is achieving its intended purpose, which is illegal aliens leaving the state of Oklahoma,” he says. “HB 1804 is a model not only for Oklahoma, but for other states and the nation as well.”
    An exodus from Tulsa
    Legislatures in 46 states adopted 244 immigration-related measures last year, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. Before the passage of 1804, Oklahoma’s immigrant population was growing, fueled by an expanding economy.
    Nearly 5% of Oklahoma’s 3.6 million residents are foreign-born, Census figures show. The Pew Hispanic Center estimated in April 2006 that up to 75,000 were illegal immigrants.
    Texas, which borders Oklahoma and Mexico, has a longer history with immigration issues. Daniel Kowalski, a Texas immigration lawyer who edits Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, believes a measure such as 1804 couldn’t win approval in Texas, in part because about 16% of that state’s 23.5 million residents are foreign-born. The center estimates that up to 1.6 million of them are illegal immigrants.
    Since 1804 was approved in Oklahoma, 15,000-25,000 illegal immigrants have left Tulsa County, the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says. Executive director Francisco Trevi?o bases the estimate on school enrollment, church attendance and reports from bus companies with service to Mexico.
    “People are leaving to Mexico or Canada or other states,” says Jim Garcia, manager of Tulsa’s El Mercadito, a Hispanic grocery. He says sales have fallen 40% since Nov. 1. “A lot of people are going to Missouri or Arkansas because they think it’s safer.”
    Arkansas state Rep. Rick Green, a Republican, says he has heard from a doctor who complained that illegal immigrants from Oklahoma have crossed the state line for medical care.
    “With Arkansas being a very poor state economically, the concern is whether we can shoulder these expenses” stemming from any influx of immigrants from Oklahoma, he says.
    Supporters of 1804 say the state will benefit from illegal immigrants leaving. “That’s money in our pocket,” says Carol Helm of Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now.
    Not all of those leaving Oklahoma are in the USA illegally. “I’ve lost two housekeepers out of a staff of 12,” says Joe Geis, general manager of the Sleep Inn & Suites in Edmond. “They were here legally, (but) they have family” members who were not.
    Immigrant activist Blanca Thames says she has helped more than 1,000 families prepare power-of-attorney papers to protect children in case parents are deported. Many illegal immigrants have U.S.-born children who are citizens.
    Constitutionality challenged
    At Iglesia Piedra Angular (Cornerstone Hispanic Church) in Tulsa, senior pastor José Alfonso estimates that he has lost 15% of his 425-member congregation.
    His church was a plaintiff in two lawsuits filed by the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders that challenged the constitutionality of the law. Both were dismissed, the latest last month when U.S. District Judge James Payne ruled that the plaintiffs, who included illegal immigrants, didn’t have standing to sue. He said they would not have been hurt if they had not violated U.S. law.
    The coalition says it will appeal.
    Several national and statewide business groups say they are considering their own lawsuit to challenge the law. “You’re basically putting employers in the middle of this fight,” says Jenna Hamilton of the National Association of Home Builders, one of the groups.
    Lawmaker Terrill says he has little sympathy for businesses that hire illegal workers. He believes 1804 will create jobs for U.S. citizens.
    “There is no job that an American citizen is unwilling to do,” he says. “They’re just not willing to do it at the wage rates that are being paid to illegal aliens.”
    But some employers say it’s hard to hire citizens in their industries.
    “We have extremely low unemployment. ? The people in southwest Oklahoma who want to work are working,” says Tom Buchanan, a cotton, cattle and wheat farmer in Jackson County.
    Chris Ellison, manager of the Motley Gin cotton gin in Hollis, lost eight of 16 workers since Nov. 1. He says the loss sent his overtime costs soaring.
    “I would love to hire 20 U.S. citizens here,” Ellison says, but “local people are not going to quit a job to work three weeks during the year.”
    Both men say they obey U.S. laws and check workers’ identity documents, but they acknowledge that some may have fake papers.
    “We are not documents experts,” Buchanan says.
    Like farmers and landscapers, builders say they’re struggling.
    Earlier in 2007, Portillo Construction, which specializes in masonry and stone work in the Tulsa area, employed about 15 people, co-owner Natanael Portillo says. All were immigrants.
    “On Nov. 1, not one employee showed up for work,” he says.
    He has since hired several laborers but lost a contract on a house, he says. “We’re looking at between a $15,000 to $20,000 loss” for 2007, Portillo says.
    Home builder Caleb McCaleb, who works in Oklahoma City and Edmond, says his framer lost 30 of his 80 workers, his painter lost 10 of 35 and his landscaper lost 15 of 40. That has put homes three or four weeks behind schedule.
    “If we continue to lose workers, we are going to have to raise prices,” he says.
    Cocina De Mino has seen its Hispanic clientele decline, especially on Sundays, Wagner says.
    “After church, usually at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, they (would) bring their family. It’s usually groups of eight, 10 and 12,” he says. “Those groups are not coming in.”
    At Plaza Santa Cecilia, a mall filled with Hispanic shops in Tulsa, Simon Navarro’s customer base has evaporated. Navarro, owner of a money-wiring service, says 500 people would come in every day to send money to relatives in Mexico and Central America. “Now,” he says, “I have 100.”
    ‘Son of 1804’ on horizon
    Terrill plans to introduce a follow-up bill this year that he calls “Son of 1804.”
    “HB 1804 does not represent everything that can or should be done in this area,” he says. Among other things, he says, the new measure would make English the state’s official language and allow police to seize property of those who violate 1804, including landlords.
    Terrill says he has been contacted by legislators in at least a dozen states who have introduced or are drafting legislation similar to 1804.
    Arkansas legislators may introduce bills when they next meet in January 2009, Green says. Some Arkansans who don’t want to wait will try to get a measure on the ballot this year.
    “We’re getting a lot of pressure at home because they see what Oklahoma’s done,” Green says.
    In Oklahoma, some of Terrill’s colleagues say 1804 needs fixing.
    State Rep. Kris Steele, a Republican who voted for the bill, has received calls from non-immigrants complaining that they had to produce a document such as an original birth certificate or certified copy to renew an expired driver’s license. “I want to make sure we’re not necessarily putting the general public in a quandary,” he says.
    Jett would like to create a state-run program that would allow illegal immigrants to pay a fine, then work and pay taxes. Those people, he says, would be exempt from 1804 at the state level but not from federal immigration law.
    Jose and Esperanza Becerra, both 38, hope he succeeds.
    The Tulsa couple came to Oklahoma from Mexico illegally, Jose 10 years ago and his wife five years ago. They were drawn here “because it was a pretty state and there was work,” Jose says.
    Since 1804 passed, the Becerras have closed their bank account and put their home on the market, just in case they are forced to leave quickly or against their will. “Since the law went into effect,” Esperanza says, “we are in fear every day.”
    USA Today
    Will the last person to leave please turn the light off!

  • Evelyn
    July 3, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Now lets look at Arizona.
    acist Anti-Immigration Arizona Law Backfires

    The tough anti-immigrantion law enacted in Arizona backfired after illegal aliens left the state and left its economy in shambles, now the same racist politicians want illegal immigrants back and have passed out invitations by way of a “guest worker” program.

    Now write, ‘I will never tell another lie again because it makes me look dumb’ 500 times.

  • Liquidmicro
    July 3, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    The only one here looking ‘DUMB’, Evelyn, is you, you are nothing more than a headline reader and believer, again, do some research.
    Oklahoma’s unemployment has been falling ever since 1804 was adopted. You can look it up on the Oklahoma web site for the state.
    April Forecast Update
    U.S. Conditions Weaken, State Continues to Outperform
    As for Arizona, do some research on your own. Unemployment has, again, gone down monthly since the enactment of the Immigration Laws there. As for your video link, the Bill died on the floor, it’s not coming up for a vote, in fact, it’s not coming up for anything.
    Now for your suggestions of the economies failing in these 2 states, are you sure leaving immigrants is the cause? It’s not the economy of the Nation causing state declines?
    PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is up by half of a percentage point due largely to significant job losses in construction and several other sectors.
    The Commerce Department reports that Arizona’s unemployment rate for May was 4.4 percent, up from 3.9 percent in April. It compares with a national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in May.
    According to the monthly report released Thursday, Arizona lost 6,700 non-farm jobs in May. Those losses included 2,500 in government, 2,200 in construction and 1,000 in leisure and hospitality.
    The loss in government jobs is largely attributed to the end of the school year. Construction employment continues to be weak because of slumps in real estate and finance and is down 12.7 percent from a year ago.
    Now, Evelyn, your accusations of me lying are nothing more than your own fallacies, conjured up in your simpleton mind. You make yourself look inept, ignorant, and stupid all on your own. At least, post something relevant vs. opinionated pieces that you claim as factual evidence.

  • Evelyn
    July 5, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Boy, all the name calling and following me from post to post tells me you are envious. It’s not my fault the facts are what they are.

  • Liquidmicro
    July 5, 2008 at 11:31 am

    “Boy, all the name calling and following me from post to post tells me you are envious. It’s not my fault the facts are what they are.”
    You do have an ego, to bad it gets in the way of your thinking straight. The name calling started with you, “Now write, ‘I will never tell another lie again because it makes me look dumb’ 500 times.”
    As usual, you have nothing to refute the actual facts with. You bring up outdated information that was nothing more than mere opinion to begin with. Reality is, that it is not, and when I post actual facts, you have nothing.

  • Liquidmicro
    July 6, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    “you are envious”
    Please, don’t try to flatter yourself, it’s very un-becoming. Your claim of “facts” have so far been nothing but mere opinion. Even your reports simply state, there are to many variables to take into consideration to get an accurate picture of “Illegal Immigration.”
    Again, no argument based on my actual facts presented vs. your opinionated presumptive accusations. How telling of you.

  • Alex
    July 7, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    An undisputable fact is that all these out of status immigrants, target of hate, antagonism by evil human beings, have already paid the price with their hard, unrecognized work toward ourns Nation progress, to be given the chance to continue doing so without fear of being persecuted, humillated by the likes of Granma, Frank, Horace, Liquidmicro, and all the xenophobes groups they belong to. They do not understand that thay are part of our society and economic system. They’ ve been here long enough that deporting them would compare to hitting the mother who loved you and cared for you unconditionally. That is how repugnant it is. We all agree that Immigration needs to be fixed and under control. Not the chaos it is now. We also want and need our borders secured, but the ones already here for a long time, that have worked so hard, under humillating and painful circumstances, desrve to be accepted, with our gratitude, as legal members of our society. Let’s get rid of the ones who may become a danger to our society, but the majority are just honest, working individuals who need to feed, cloth and want to give the best thay can to their chilfren as any parent would do. Please, make a real effort to put yourselves in their shoes and try to understand their suffering and aspirations for a better life that would benefit, not only our society, but our country as a whole.

  • Liquidmicro
    July 7, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Alex, you are nothing more than a mere “Propagandist”.
    You can’t argue facts or points so you turn to labeling others. Your accusations of “Guilt by Association” is nothing more than mere fallacies. Your premises of “Granma, Frank, Horace, Liquidmicro, and all the xenophobes groups they belong to.” is demonizing and only arouses hate. There will be no civility, on either side until you yourself can “Stop the Hate”.
    Exacerbating the point and using “trigger” words does nothing to promote agreement. Your not solving the problem, you are part of the problem.

  • Liquidmicro
    July 7, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    You have got to be kidding me.
    Targets of hate??
    “Illegal Immigrants” are not hated. The paths they chose to take are disputed and looked at negatively. They have been affected by their choices. They do not realize their welfare is protected by them obtaining a visa in order to work and live here to keep them from being exploited by unscrupulous employers. Seems you like the cheap slave labor.
    Out of status as an undisputable fact??
    A minority may be “out of status” however, the majority were “never in status” to begin with. Seems it was just disputed!!
    They’ve been here long enough??
    A majority have been here just 5 years or less. Is 5 years long enough to claim that they are part of our society and economic system?? When only 25% – 75% are actually on a payroll paying any taxes.
    You seem to be a bigot since you are so intolerant of others opinions. Be careful your prejudice is showing.
    Now the only part of what you stated above that is in any way an argument is the following:
    We all agree that Immigration needs to be fixed and under control. Not the chaos it is now. We also want and need our borders secured, but the ones already here for a long time, that have worked so hard, under humillating and painful circumstances, desrve to be accepted, with our gratitude, as legal members of our society. Let’s get rid of the ones who may become a danger to our society, but the majority are just honest, working individuals who need to feed, cloth and want to give the best thay can to their children as any parent would do. Please, make a real effort to put yourselves in their shoes and try to understand their suffering and aspirations for a better life that would benefit, not only our society, but our country as a whole.
    If you cut all the other crap from your posts, you might get better responses. We might have an actual meaningful discussion.

  • Alex
    July 8, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Wow! This is something. Liquidmicro believes that other people’s suffering is crap. Other people’s hard work is crap. Other people’s dreams and aspirations are crap. This just proves that you, and your likes, are evil, uncompassionate entities.

  • Liquidmicro
    July 8, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Your comprehension skills lack. Re-read what I posted. Re-read:
    Now the only part of what you stated above that is in any way an argument is the following:
    We all agree that Immigration needs to be fixed and under control. Not the chaos it is now. We also want and need our borders secured, but the ones already here for a long time, that have worked so hard, under humillating and painful circumstances, desrve to be accepted, with our gratitude, as legal members of our society. Let’s get rid of the ones who may become a danger to our society, but the majority are just honest, working individuals who need to feed, cloth and want to give the best thay can to their children as any parent would do. Please, make a real effort to put yourselves in their shoes and try to understand their suffering and aspirations for a better life that would benefit, not only our society, but our country as a whole.
    The ‘crap’ is the name calling and labeling.
    Here is your ‘crap’:
    An undisputable fact is that all these out of status immigrants, target of hate, antagonism by evil human beings, have already paid the price with their hard, unrecognized work toward ourns Nation progress, to be given the chance to continue doing so without fear of being persecuted, humillated by the likes of Granma, Frank, Horace, Liquidmicro, and all the xenophobes groups they belong to.

  • Alex
    July 9, 2008 at 10:35 am

    So, exposing the truth is crap? I am sorry. Truth hurts sometimes. But it needs to be told.

  • Liquidmicro
    July 9, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Truth?? Please provide my name and the group I belong to, otherwise you are nothing more than a mere “PROPAGANDIST” with absolute mush for a brain. Go back to school, learn “Comprehension”, get a GED. Your daft accusations make you look inept in your daft state of mind.

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