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THE EMPIRICIST CASE AGAINST NATIVISM For Dacdah, S12, SOM, Beverly, et al

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  • Z-RESISTANCE
    replied
    llegal aliens some mistakenly call " immigrants"
    which is an monumental insult to those here legally trying to become citizens, have no rights to this nation to enjoy the rights of its citizens or those of legal immigrants.

    Those that come here must change enough to become apart of this nation.

    This nation, its people must never change to become apart of them.

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  • Hudson
    replied
    Originally posted by davdah:
    1.Organize all the Chinese you know to come together and march down main street. Bring only the ROC flag and waive it proudly. Burn the American flag while your at it. Make sure you give bystanders on the street the middle finger. Yell at them and cuss at them.
    Well, if Beverly can disrespect the office of the Presidnet of the United States (this means she is disrespecting America), don't you think it would look a wee bit odd to ask others not to something that you or others like yourself do? Does the phrase insipid hypocrite mean anything to you?

    On the other hand, I do believe you are just that naive who thinks the protests ONLY HAD ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS when in fact most were either USC or LPR's. Are you going to suggest then that freedom of speech not be exercised to those who want to express it.

    Finally, burning the flag is an example of political free speech. Again, would you really get upset if a whole bunch of hippies burn the flag because of war or someting the U.S. did?

    If we take away freedom of some, then we take away freedom for everyone. If we have freedom for one, then we need to have freedom for all. Time to put up or shut up on this one.

    2. Start making the cats and dogs in your neighborhood disappear. (don't eat them though)
    Yea, but dogs are very, very, very good. Taste just like chicken

    3. Traditions that are unique to China that you know would be irritating, start doing them, in our face.
    Well, we have a sign outside the door requests to take off the shoes and have entertained guests for Mid Autumn festival and Chinese New Year. And it is always fun dinner entertainment to teach people how to use the chopsticks every once in a while.

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  • Hudson
    replied
    Originally posted by SonofMichael:
    But we expect and demand that all immigrants respect this country. That is all we ask. We want them to fly our flag, speak our language, not rape our women. Is this too much to ask? I think not ! If you want to be an American then you are welcome ! But to be an American, you must LOVE and respect America and hate everyone else ! You can not share loyalty. You must renounce all other nations ! You must renounce all your false gods and terrorist prophets ! You must love America in order to be an American. We reject hyphenated Americans. We reject foreign flags flying over the American flag. We reject other languages than the American language. We reject other religions except the American religion that worships our Lord and Savoior Little Baby Jesus. I welcome with open arms all people who love and believe in America !!! And only America ! You can not bless America and a terrorist ! You can not. You must support America and oppose all other nations and religions. You must bless America and no one else !!!

    GOD BLESS AMERICA AND NO ONE ELSE
    Asking immigrants to "respect the laws of the land" when most, if not all USC, do not do the same is creating a double standard similar to the Separate but Equal doctrine and the Jim Crow laws that were enforced in our nation history.

    In principle, we all should respect the laws of not only the United States, but other respective countries as well; yet nevertheless, we all fail in respecting the laws of our nation and others. And doing so, why are you asking immigrants to do something that USC cannot even fathom to do in our lifetimes, nor past or future. However, what is also morally imperative is if a law is unjust, civil disobedience could be used to bring about a change in the law. Hence, why most immigrant groups use the Dr. King as ProudUSC did. Additionally, we must not hate anyone else.

    You say you are pro immigrant, yet you do not want immigrants from certain countries, regions, nor, in my opinion, races. You, meaning immigration reductionists or anti-immigrants, call immigrants you do not want as "undesirable" and Davdah's ploy on a racial slur, "Pollock" or "Polak."

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  • Hudson
    replied
    Immigration's Costs -- And Benefits
    June 26, 2006

    Illegal immigration has been painted as a costly problem, an economic necessity and a political football as the debate surrounding it has gathered steam.

    The Wall Street Journal Online asked economists Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego, and Philip Martin, of the University of California, Davis, to discuss the underlying causes of immigration (both legal and illegal), its historical roots and the nature of the current political uproar over the issue.

    What do you think? Share your thoughts on our discussion board.
    * * *

    Gordon Hanson writes: For all the heat that the debate about immigration has generated, the net economic impact of immigration on the U.S. economy appears to be remarkably small. First, some thoughts on legal immigration, before we address illegal immigrants.

    By bringing new workers into the economy, immigration allows existing U.S. capital, land, and technology to be used more efficiently. Also on the plus side, immigrants pay property taxes, sales taxes, Social Security taxes, and income taxes.
    ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS

    Gordon Hanson obtained his bachelor's in economics from Occidental College in 1986 and his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. Before joining UCSD in 2001, he was on the economics faculty at the University of Michigan and at the University of Texas. He has written more than 50 publications in academic journals and other academic volumes. His current research focuses on causes and consequences of Mexican migration to the U.S., how and why multinational firms globalize their production activities and the factors that shape countries' export capabilities. His most recent book is "Why Does Immigration Divide America? Public Finance and Political Opposition to Open Borders."
    Philip Martin is a professor of agriculture and resource economics at the University of California, Davis. He also chairs the University of California's Comparative Immigration & Integration Program and edits the monthly immigration newsletter, Migration News. He studied labor economics and agricultural economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1975. His research focuses on farm labor, labor migration, economic development, and immigration issues, and has testified before Congress and state and local agencies numerous times on these issues. His most recent book is "Managing Labor Migration in the Twenty-First Century."

    In the negative column, immigrants use public services in the form of public education, fire and police protection, government assistance, etc. Add the positive and negative elements together and you get what looks like a very small number.

    We can calculate the gain to U.S. GDP due to immigration, known in econ parlance as the immigration surplus, using a simple formula that is a function of three things:
    "¢ The importance of labor to the U.S. economy

    "¢ The size of the immigrant labor inflow

    "¢ The change in U.S. wages due to immigration


    Whether legal or illegal, immigration generates a gain in national income by making U.S. business more productive. George Borjas and Larry Katz have examined the specific consequences of immigration from Mexico for U.S. wages.

    But illegal immigration differs from legal immigration in several important respects. First, illegal immigrants tend to have low skill levels, which means they end up in jobs in agriculture, construction, household services, landscaping, low-end manufacturing, or restaurants and lodging. Employers in these industries (and consumers of the goods these industries produce) are primarily the ones who benefit from illegal immigration. In a recent study, Patricia Cortes, a graduate student at MIT, finds that U.S. cities that have higher larger immigrant inflows have lower prices for housekeeping, gardening, and other labor intensive services. Ten percent more immigration lowers prices for these services by about 1.3%.

    Second, illegal immigrants, by virtue of their low income levels and their tenuous attachment to the legal economy, don't pay all that much in taxes. Yet their kids still attend school and their U.S.-born kids still get access to Medicare. What does this mean for the net fiscal consequences of illegal immigration? The Center for Immigration Studies, an anti-immigration think tank, estimates that the short-run net fiscal impact of illegal immigration is negative, on the order of $10 billion in 2002, or 0.09% of U.S. GDP in that year. This is not a big number.

    As with immigration overall, what upsets people is not the aggregate impact of illegal immigration, which, as with legal immigration, seems to be more or less a wash. It is that the benefits of illegal immigration are enjoyed by one group -- the employers who hire them (and the consumers of their services) -- while the costs are incurred by other groups -- low-skilled workers and taxpayers in states where illegal immigrants reside.
    * * *

    Philip Martin writes: Gordon is right: Immigration, whether legal or illegal, adds workers, most of whom get jobs, which makes the U.S. economy larger. If there are economies of scale, as when producing more lowers the cost of production, the prices of some goods fall, benefiting those who buy those goods at home and abroad.

    Most of the benefits of immigration go to the immigrants who earn higher wages in the U.S. than they would at home. In the standard triangle analysis, there are no net economic benefits to the U.S. economy (the triangle in the Hanson and Borjas papers above, as well as in my book "Promise Unfulfilled: Unions, Immigration, and Farm Workers") if wages do not fall with the addition of immigrant workers.

    It has been very hard to agree on how much wages declined because of immigration, but the 3% estimate of Borjas is reasonable.

    With migrants getting most of the gain from immigration in their wages, and owners of capital and land getting most of the rest in higher profits and rents, the surplus triangle is 1/10 of 1% of GDP. Pro-immigration people stress that immigration is positive, a net economic benefit, and in a $13 trillion economy, 1% is $13 billion. Anti-immigrant people stress that immigration adds $13 billion, or about two weeks' growth in an economy growing 2.5% a year.

    Economists agree that the immigration generates a small net economic benefit for the U.S. and in doing so redistributes income from workers to owners of capital and land. Perhaps this is why immigration is such a political hot potato; it's mostly a distribution issue and, for governments that are in the business of redistributing income via taxes and subsidies, regulating immigration is another redistribution tool.

    How many, from where and in what status are the core questions of immigration policy. Could the U.S. get a larger economic benefit if changed the mix of immigrants arriving?

    The National Research Council data suggest the answer is yes. Making often heroic assumptions about how well immigrants and their children will fare in the U.S., the NRC calculated the present value of a typical immigrant arriving in the U.S. in the mid-1990s to be $89,000, that is, taking into account the taxes paid of immigrants and assuming that their children and grandchildren are like their U.S.-born counterparts, the NRC estimated that the present value of the taxes paid will exceed tax-supported benefits consumed by $89,000 over the next 50+ years.

    However, the same study emphasized that the key to the benefits of immigration for the U.S. are their level of education. Those with more than a high-school education had a net present value of almost $200,000, while those with less than a high-school education had a net present value of negative $13,000.
    * * *

    Gordon writes: I think few would argue with the statement that we are living through an unprecedented moment of immigration from Mexico and Latin America. Where disagreements might arise is over what brought this moment about and how long it might last.

    If you go back to the middle of the 20th century, immigration from Mexico just wasn't a big deal. The share of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. labor force actually fell from the 1920s to the 1960s. Now, these numbers don't include temporary immigrants that entered the U.S. under the Bracero program from 1942 to 1964, but I think the importance of that program is easy to exaggerate. Since braceros had to return home at the end of each year, the program represented a one-time increase in the U.S. labor force of just a few hundred thousand workers. Even at its height in the late 1950s, when over 400,000 Braceros entered the U.S., these workers represented less than half a percent of the U.S. labor force.

    Today, however, the scale is entirely different. Mexican immigrants now account for about 5% of the U.S. labor force (and 35% of the immigrant labor force), up from less than 1% in 1970. What happened?

    I would cite two events. Since 1982, Mexico has had several major economic contractions and has been unable to string together more than a few years of solid growth. As a result, per capita income in Mexico has steadily fallen relative to per capita income in the U.S. Why stay in Mexico when incomes are rising faster in the U.S.?

    Compounding migration pressures has been the entry of Mexico's baby boom into the labor force. While fertility rates in Mexico have dropped sharply in the last three decades (from five kids per woman in 1970 to three kids per woman in 2000), it wasn't that long ago that the typical Mexican woman had nearly a half dozen children. Mexico's high fertility years produced a demographic bulge, the members of which in the last 20 years have come of age and started to look for work. As luck would have it, Mexico's baby boom entered the labor force during Mexico's two decades of dismal economic performance and decidedly lackluster growth in labor demand. The result has been the surge in Mexican immigration that we have been witnessing.

    What makes the current surge in Mexico-to-U.S. migration hard to slow is that today's generation of Mexican young people do not have a memory of good economic times in Mexico. Many may have lost faith in Mexico's ability to provide them with a decent future. Such a change in expectations is a powerful force because it implies that Mexico would have to produce unexpectedly strong economic growth for a sustained period to get Mexican workers to believe in the Mexican economy, again. In the meantime, Mexican labor will keep heading north.
    * * *

    Philip writes: Gordon has nicely laid out the failure of Mexico to create jobs for its baby-boom generation and the challenge of generating stay-at-home development after repeated disappointments in Mexican economic development. I think that the Bracero experience has relevance for today's policy debate, in which both the House and Senate agree on more border and interior enforcement, and both seem to favor guest workers, but only the Senate offers a path to legal status.

    The Bracero ("strong arm") program was very important in setting Mexico-U.S. migration in motion. There were actually two periods of programs, between 1917 and 1921 and again between 1942 and 1964. The second period was important for several reasons: It gave Mexicans experience migrating legally and illegally to the U.S., made farmers familiar with Mexican workers, and introduced the nemeses of guest-worker programs everywhere: distortion and dependence.

    Opening legal channels for guest workers doesn't necessarily curb illegal immigration. Between 1942 and 1964, some 4.6 million Mexicans were admitted to do farm work; many Mexicans returned year after year, but between one million and two million gained legal U.S. work experience.

    The Bracero program is another example of the maxim that there is nothing more permanent than temporary workers. The economic decisions of U.S. farmers became distorted as they made investment decisions that assumed Braceros would continue to be available. There was no need to raise the piece-rate wages that most Braceros earned, so it became profitable to plant orange and apple trees in remote areas. If the Bracero program were ended, these plantings would be unprofitable, explaining why farmers argued that they would go out of business without migrants. The program was nonetheless ended at the behest of President Kennedy, who believed that Braceros were "adversely affecting the wages, working conditions, and employment opportunities of our own agricultural workers."

    Today, 75% of U.S. hired workers on crop farms were born in Mexico, and more than half are unauthorized. If we substitute "unauthorized Mexican farm worker" for "Bracero," we get the same debate as we had in the early 1960s and the early 1980s, before IRCA was enacted.

    Perhaps the best way to minimize the distortion inherent in guest-worker programs is to charge employers for the privilege of employing legal migrants, and to use the taxes or levies collected to help them to mechanize and restructure jobs. In agriculture and many other U.S. industries that hire Mexican workers, it can be hard for an individual employer to mechanize, since, e.g., the crop must be packed or processed in a facility that is set up to handle machine-picked or hand-picked produce, but not both.

    The other issue is the dependence of some areas of Mexico on the U.S. labor market. Economic theory suggests that areas sending and receiving migrants should see convergence in wages, but this anticipates higher wages in areas losing workers. Wages have risen in Mexico, but many of the rural areas from which most migrants come have been described as filled with nurseries and nursing homes, reflecting the fact that working-age adults are in the U.S. Remittances can lead to better housing and spending that generates multipliers and helps nonmigrants, too, but may not lead to the economic development that would keep young Mexicans seeking a brighter future at home.

    The Bracero program sowed the seeds for subsequent Mexico-U.S. migration, which makes me cautious about beginning another large-scale guest-worker program. Second, if a new guest-worker program does not deal with the distortion that invariably creeps into the decision making of guest-worker dependent employers, there will be future "I will go out of business without migrant" protests. Third, if Mexico cannot absorb its labor force entrants in good or formal sector jobs, there will continue to be strong incentives to cross the border.
    * * *

    Gordon writes: Where do we go from here? Congress is battling over how to manage illegal immigration, with a plan to expand a guest-worker program being the most popular current policy option. In a nutshell, the idea would be to convert illegal immigrants into guest workers, which the U.S. government could regulate.

    A guest-worker program, at least how it is envisioned by Congress, would be a disaster. For as maligned as illegal immigration is, it has some attractive features in terms of economic efficiency. Illegal immigration delivers U.S. business the types of workers they need (low-skilled labor, which is increasingly in short supply), when they need them (during times when the U.S. economy is expanding), and where they need them (in regions where job growth is strong).

    A guest-worker program would have none of these properties. Given the snail's pace at which the Department of Homeland Security operates, U.S. employers would likely have to apply for guest workers long in advance of when they actually need them. The flexibility and adaptability of current illegal inflows would be lost. In response, many employers would probably go back to what they are doing now, which is hiring illegal workers.

    Successful policy reform would require rethinking both illegal and legal immigration in the U.S. Why not convert most family-sponsored immigration visas into visas awarded on the basis of skill? Why not make the number of immigrants awarded visas conditional on U.S. economic conditions? Why not have the price of a U.S. immigration visa be determined by market conditions? These are questions that in the current debate should be asked but sadly are not.
    * * *

    Philip writes: I hate to think that illegal migration, with migrants dying in the desert and sometimes subject to unscrupulous employers, is the best we can do. I think the first priority is to agree that hiring unauthorized workers is a serious offense and devote the resources needed to change the behavior of employers and migrants. We can do this; we have done it for child labor, and we can make hiring unauthorized migrants just as unacceptable, as is true in northern Europe and Germany.

    After 1986, both U.S. employers and Mexican migrants thought for a short time that the U.S. government was taking unauthorized migrants as seriously as child labor. But they soon realized that it wasn't, and they went back to hiring the unauthorized workers who showed up seeking jobs. There was also a layering in the labor market, with many employers turning to labor contractors to hire crews of workers on separate payrolls, cutting the link that allowed for some earlier Horatio Alger stories of ambitious workers climbing the ladder within a corporation when discovered by the right manager.

    Labor migration is a process to be managed, not a problem to be solved. An effective migration-management process is one that uses economic incentives and disincentives to encourage employers and migrants to obey government-set rules, since we will never have enough enforcers to get compliance that goes against economic interests. In guest-worker programs, these economic incentives and disincentives involve payroll taxes; in general legal immigration, we have to answer the question whose interest migration is to solve.

    If migration is to benefit natives, the key is to select immigrants most likely to be successful: young, healthy, well-educated English speakers. If migration is to allow the world's "huddled masses" to breathe free, there will be different selection criteria. The inability of policy makers to answer these questions may reflect American ambivalence about immigration.

    WSJ

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  • Hudson
    replied
    Originally posted by BELIEVE:
    Thanks for your post Hudson, finally something worth reading.
    You are welcome. And thanks for Proud for the contributing article.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    at least I have the courage to back up my words, you on the other hand, are just a spineless wimp....and you always close your blather with ' god bless America and everyone else" as if by writing this dogmatic phrase, this alleged deity will do your bidding....sure....you and bsanchez should team up and see if you can summon your favorite deity like a genie in a bottle...

    why not back up your position with a few facts....like ...hmmm...point to that section of our Constitution or INA where it states that anyone who sneaks across our borders is immediately entitled to a green card, merely for having disobeyed or ignored our laws....or that any illegal alien has the 'right' to live and work in the United States of America...please....find those laws and back up your mindless postings......show some backbone....wimp.

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  • ProudUSC
    replied
    Your personal attacks on all of us do nothing more than to show what an absolute imbecile you are, S12. You use the same tired words, phrases and insults all the time. Maybe you need some new material? Your stuff is getting rather boring. Yawn.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    douchebags like proudusc and hudson have missed the point (no surprise there)...every time these clowns are challenged to support their uninformed opinions on illegal immigration or whenever I (or anyone else) takes them to task,they try to play the race card....but none of these imbeciles has ever answered my simple question: "what race are illegal aliens?"
    So proudusc, hudson and that toilet bowl cleaner mike2007, attempting to label me or anyone else that is against illegal immigration as some sort of racist loses instantly on lack of merit....unless, of course, any of you dunces can tell our audience (with a straight face) what 'race' are illegals??? Well? (cue Simon & Garfunkel...."the sound ....of silence...."

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  • ProudUSC
    replied
    While they may attract followers with the power of their rhetoric, such anti-immigrant movements do nothing to address the root causes of suffering "” the economic, social, and political structures that maintain an unjust and increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, power, and privilege. Instead, they substitute a lethal combination of resentment, scapegoating, and hatred "” the classic recipe for fascism.
    This statement speaks volumes to those of you who descended on this forum for no better reason than to promote controversy and hatred. If not, what other purpose are you serving? Do tell . . . I'm all ears.

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  • Beverly
    replied
    Originally posted by davdah:
    Even if these groups were as sophisticated as made out they would still need a compelling reason to get people to join.

    But wait... they made mention of the types they recruit. Low income whites, hmm. Are they in fact saying poor white trash? Who is calling who names here? I'm offended!! I used to be that. Who can I call to complain to?

    Doesn't matter since even an unemployed Pollock can figure this one out. Where's the beef? They keep saying racism but where is it? Dare I quote S12?, what race is an illegal?

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  • ProudUSC
    replied
    Originally posted by davdah:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I shall consider whether Locke's case is really powerful enough to justify such an attitude.
    I got this far and stopped. I tell you what. When you have the title JD or Your Honor next to your name then this may be appropriate. Until then this little diatribe is as compelling as any one sided hit piece.

    Further, as SOM says, most people are not in favor of no immigration. Most, around 82% want people who come here to show a little respect. Waive with all fingers, not just the middle one. Learn English, not say 'pinche vato'. Get the point?


    ProudUSC, pssst. Beverly ain't European. How do you explain her? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I wasn't trying to explain Beverly. I was simply adding another article regarding the roots of nativism. Not directed at anyone.

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  • Beverly
    replied
    Originally posted by davdah:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I shall consider whether Locke's case is really powerful enough to justify such an attitude.
    I got this far and stopped. I tell you what. When you have the title JD or Your Honor next to your name then this may be appropriate. Until then this little diatribe is as compelling as any one sided hit piece.

    Further, as SOM says, most people are not in favor of no immigration. Most, around 82% want people who come here to show a little respect. Waive with all fingers, not just the middle one. Learn English, not say 'pinche vato'. Get the point?


    ProudUSC, pssst. Beverly ain't European. How do you explain her? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What a bunch of sorry alien piss ants. I guess its hard for them to look in the mirror of truth and recognize their pathetic selves. If articles posted on a message board has them pissing their pants and hurling personal attacks in cyberspace, I'd love to be there when La migra knocks at the door.

    I don't even waste my time reading their ramblings, especially when their ignorance and lack of defense amounts to hurling personal attacks and posting 700 pages of irrelevant BS.

    Take care Davdah!

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  • BELIEVE
    replied
    Thanks for your post Hudson, finally something worth reading.

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  • SonofMichael
    replied
    YOU ARE SO IGNORANT !
    We are NOT AGAINST IMMIGRANTS !! HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS !????
    WE ARE PRO PRO PRO PRO PRO PRO PRO PRO PRO IMMIGRANT !!!

    But we expect and demand that all immigrants respect this country. That is all we ask. We want them to fly our flag, speak our language, not rape our women. Is this too much to ask? I think not ! If you want to be an American then you are welcome ! But to be an American, you must LOVE and respect America and hate everyone else ! You can not share loyalty. You must renounce all other nations ! You must renounce all your false gods and terrorist prophets ! You must love America in order to be an American. We reject hyphenated Americans. We reject foreign flags flying over the American flag. We reject other languages than the American language. We reject other religions except the American religion that worships our Lord and Savoior Little Baby Jesus. I welcome with open arms all people who love and believe in America !!! And only America ! You can not bless America and a terrorist ! You can not. You must support America and oppose all other nations and religions. You must bless America and no one else !!!

    GOD BLESS AMERICA AND NO ONE ELSE

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  • ProudUSC
    replied
    Nativism in U.S. History

    "Nativism," or the idea that only U.S. "natives" really belong here, is not new to this country. Nativism is a thinly disguised form of racism, in which "natives" are tacitly understood to be people of European descent "” a category that has expanded since the end of World War II to include southern and eastern Europeans, Catholics, and Jews, although it originally applied exclusively to northern and western European Protestants.

    For the past 150 years, attitudes towards immigrants have changed cyclically, often undergoing rapid shifts in response to economic or political conditions. In periods of social and economic turmoil, such as the years following World War I or the post–World War II McCarthy Era, anti-immigrant sentiments tend to flare up as people look for someone to blame. During times of economic growth and social stability, nativism tends to die down. As always, it is difficult to tell to what extent media and political figures reflect public attitudes, and to what extent they create them.

    Politicians have often turned waves of nativist feeling to political advantage, voting in policies that penalize immigrants. Two particularly clear examples are the Chinese Exclusion Act of the late 1800s, which banned Chinese-born laborers from entering the country, and "Operation Wetback," in which more than 500,000 people of Mexican descent (including numerous U.S. citizens) were rounded up and deported during the Depression of the 1930s.

    Nativism Today

    Anti-immigrant feeling ran high in the early 1990s "” partly because the country faced a prolonged recession, and partly because of the marked growth of immigration, particularly to California. Some observers believe that the growth of anti-immigrant sentiment in that period was also a reflection of racial anxieties among the white population, as it became increasingly obvious that white Americans would eventually cease to be the majority "” a shift that has already occurred in California and is projected to occur by 2050 for the country as a whole.

    In addition, a series of economic changes related to globalization were becoming increasingly apparent to most U.S. working people. Such changes included steadily declining real wages, shrinking benefits and protections, the marked growth of temporary and contingent jobs, declining rates of unionization, increasing privatization, cutbacks in health care and education, and the like. Although most of these changes may be traced back to the early 1970s, it was not until the 1990s that they became more widely recognized and discussed.

    In 1994, California voters passed an anti-immigrant measure known as Proposition 187, a law that excluded undocumented immigrants from public schools, medical assistance, and other government services. That year, a New York Times/CBS News survey found that 61 percent of U.S. residents thought that immigration levels should be reduced, up from 49 percent in 1986. Although Proposition 187 was ultimately ruled unconstitutional, many of the same measures were incorporated in federal legislation passed in 1996.

    The end of the 1990s brought a period of economic expansion and rising wage levels, and anti-immigrant sentiment grew more muted in many parts of the country. The tide turned once again, however, following the World Trade Center attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Now, however, rather than being stigmatized as an economic drain, immigrants are demonized as dangerous terrorists, as the violent acts of a few extremists are blamed on all immigrants, regardless of who they are or why they are here.

    Vigilantes and Hate Groups

    Anti-immigrant politics have also given rise to an increase in vigilante activity, particularly in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Vigilantes have vowed to stop "illegal" immigration by patrolling the border with binoculars and guns, "arresting" at gunpoint anyone they presume to be an undocumented immigrant. Despite the threat of bloodshed, several political figures have defended such vigilante activity, including former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner, who has said that ranchers near the border "have legitimate concerns about the trespassers on their property." In one 17-month period in 1999 and 2000, at least 30 incidents of vigilante violence were reported in a single section of the Arizona-Mexico border. Other ranchers, by contrast, have installed humanitarian aid stations on their land to assist border crossers who might otherwise face sickness or death due to dehydration.

    Some vigilante activity is supported by white supremacist hate groups. A recent report by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors the activity of hate groups, describes organized anti-immigrant networks on the radical right. Groups such as the National Organization for European American Rights (NOFEAR), formed by former Klansman David Duke, and the Council of Conservative Citizens overtly promote racial hatred, using vicious language to attack immigrants. The SPLC report describes their views as follows:

    In the eyes of most of these groups, immigrants (typically, nonwhite immigrants) are responsible for nearly all the country's ills, from poverty and inner city decay to crime, urban sprawl, and environmental degradation. Many of them also believe there is a secret plot by the Mexican government and American Hispanics to wrest the Southwest away from the United States in order to create "Aztlan," a Hispanic nation. ("Blood on the Border," SPLC Intelligence Report, Spring 2001)

    The "Greening of Hate"

    In another development during the 1990s, a new form of anti-immigrant ideology took hold, based on claims that immigrants degrade the environment. Since U.S. residents consume resources at a higher rate than people in developing countries, the story goes, immigrants who come here are transformed from low-rate consumers to high-rate consumers, negatively impacting the earth's environment. Similarly, immigrants are blamed for degrading the quality of life in U.S. communities, by creating more congestion and urban sprawl and less open wilderness. These arguments scapegoat immigrants for the wasteful and destructive consumption patterns of the world's wealthiest nation.

    Anti-immigrant groups like Negative Population Growth or the Carrying Capacity Network are essentially offering a recycled form of arguments for population control. This view identifies "overpopulation" as the source of the world's ills "” with the planetary "excess" population once again tacitly understood to consist of people of color. Once accepted with little question, population control ideology was widely and successfully challenged in the 1970s and 1980s "” both by Third World–oriented movements arguing that inequities in the distribution and control of the world's resources are the primary cause of global hunger and poverty, and by women's movements around the world arguing that women, not governments, should control their own reproductive decisions.

    Some historians trace this type of "scientific racism" back to the original Malthusianism of the 1700s; as each successive form of this ideology has been discredited, a new one has emerged to take its place. The concept of "overpopulation," for example, emerged when the turn-of-the-century "eugenics" movement, which began in the United States, became permanently associated with the atrocities of Nazi Germany. A generation later, as population control fell out of favor, anti-immigrant environmentalism emerged to take its place. In this most recent manifestation, anti-immigrant ideologues have sought to enlist mainstream environmental groups such as the Sierra Club in their cause "” so far without success.

    Roots of Anti-Immigrant Activism

    European Americans have held a dominant position in the United States, both culturally and politically, for the country's entire history. Among some whites, racial anxieties over losing their majority status have lead to a backlash, combining with resistance to multiculturalism and other movements that seek to include communities of color as equal partners in all aspects of U.S. society.

    White supremacist groups tend to seek members among low-income whites, especially those who have been most deeply affected by deindustrialization and other forms of economic dislocation, channeling their anger and frustration over their own condition toward a clear target "” people of color.

    Some of the more sophisticated anti-immigrant groups, meanwhile, have tried to reach out to African Americans and other U.S.-born communities of color by including them among the "natives" who are threatened by immigration. While such groups may disavow the overtly racist rhetoric of hate groups, they nonetheless advance the same type of arguments in more "respectable" language. For example, according to the SPLC, the mainstream anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which claims 70,000 members, has worked collaboratively with white supremacist hate groups. Conservative politicians like Patrick Buchanan, meanwhile, combine populist rhetoric on economic issues with racist, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic ideology.

    The overt racism of hate groups and the more subtle bigotry of mainstream anti-immigrant organizations both serve to divide people who might otherwise find common ground in social struggles for justice. While they may attract followers with the power of their rhetoric, such anti-immigrant movements do nothing to address the root causes of suffering "” the economic, social, and political structures that maintain an unjust and increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, power, and privilege. Instead, they substitute a lethal combination of resentment, scapegoating, and hatred "” the classic recipe for fascism.

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