Two questions for you on illegal immigration

Guess you don’t get the poll option in GD so we’ll have to do this the old fashioned way.

I’m an American thinking about illegal immigration into America, but I’m wording this poll so that anyone from any country can answer.

First question: What’s your opinion on governments controlling their borders?
[li]I think all borders should be 100% free and open. People should be able to come and go as they please with no restrictions or limitations.[/li][li]I have no problem with governments regulating who comes in to their country, how many come in, and for what reason people are allowed to come in.[/li][li]Other, explain.[/li][/ol]

Second question: What do you feel about people who are against illegal immigration?
[li]Most of them are racists.[/li][li]About half of them are racists.[/li][li]Most of them are not racists.[/li][li]Other, explain.[/li][/ol]

As for me, I have no problem with governments controlling access to their countries, and although it’s blatantly obvious that amongst people who are anti illegal immigration there are racists, I don’t think that the number is that high. Personally, I think people who have no problem with illegal immigration throw around the word racist too easily. Yes, here in America the target of anti illegal immigration are usually Hispanics/Latinos, but that’s because they’re the largest group of illegal immigrants: Site, Site. So to me, the fact that Mexicans or other Latin Americans get singled out as opposed to Canadians or people from other countries is simply a matter of numbers, not racism. So for the second question, I’m leaning towards option 3, but I could be wrong and it could be 50%, but I don’t believe it’s higher than that. So I’ll chose option 4, I just don’t know.

I think that countries do have the right to set any immigration and citizenship/residency restrictions they want - but personally I would like to see freedom of movement over borders.

I am not certain you want to call it racism so much as tribalism. Racially Irish and British and Dutch are all caucasian so the argument of racism isn’t correct. The British and Dutch were here first, and both treated the Irish like second class citizens and were prejudiced against them. The whites living in the US for 2 generations were prejudiced against the polish, russians and italians that came in the next wave.

Now, personally I consider the average hispanic white, unless a parent or grandparent is known to be negroid [and I dont care if they come directly from africa or have been in the US or Caribbean for several generations. I abhor the term african-american unless they happen to have dual citizenship. If they are a citizen they are american, if they are on a resident visa, they are a <insert name of country such as Ugandan>] though there are many caucasions who consider people from Mexico, Central and South America nonwhite.

I have noticed it seems easier for europeans to get into the us than hispanics from the western hemisphere. that is definitely racially motivated. I would be more than happy to change that opinion if another poster comes up with the numbers proving that hispanics can get into the us as easily as europeans [and NOT puerto ricans, or US Virgin Islanders, or any US territory.]

  1. The existence of restrictions on immigration are fine, but that doesn’t mean any given regulatory system is therefore OK. The system should be fair, humane, and realistic. It should not be a hodge podge of semi-enforced laws that, if enforced, would collapse under their own illogic.

  2. I assume this means something like, “What do you feel about people who want to strictly enforce current immigration laws?” I think most are not racists. Many think that illegal immigration is wrong foremost because it is unfair to those immigrants who follow the rules. That said, racism isn’t a binary condition, with a group of hood-wearing racists over there and angelic Dream-havers over here. It is a spectrum. People find it easier to empathize with people who look like and have the same socioeconomic background that they have. That’s just human nature.

When the Iron Curtain fell, if you were living in Austria when Hungary began permitting people to emigrate, would you have demanded to see their entry visas?

Most Hispanics in the US are mestizos, and most are probably more Native American than European.

Is it easier for Europeans to legally emigrate to the US than it is for Hispanics in the Western Hemisphere? I’m not sure that is true, but I’ll gladly be corrected.

As for the OP, Answer to the first question is “b”. As for the second question, I suspect that if Mexico were inhabited by a bunch of poor, white people who spoke English with a distinct accent, pretty much the same people would be against illegal immigration.

Well even though we’re all humans and not different races, racism is the term used when a person discriminates against another based on ethnic features or skin color, so that’s why I’m using the word. Well that, and in debates about illegal immigration there’s a lot of accusations of racism. I don’t really hear the word tribalism thrown around a lot.

Although there are White Hispanics (and yes, I know some of you will disagree with me), most Hispanics are Mestizo, half Native American, half European. I have no problem considering them to be non White.

I don’t know. I knew a British guy who married a coworker of my wife and was trying to get American citizenship and was jumping through hoops, paying lots of money and the process dragged on for a long time. From what I hear though, agencies dealing with immigration are understaffed, underfunded, and use old technology, so I think that it’s hard for everybody, regardless of their skin color or language, but I don’t have any statistics so I won’t state that as a fact, just my opinion.

Obviously I don’t favor illegal immigration. But my solution is that we should legalize it.

My answer would fall would technically be #2 - but not the way it’s usually used. I don’t think anyone is arguing in favor of open borders. The United States has never had that and I doubt any other country has either. So there is certainly a need for some regulation over who’s coming in.

But the problem I have with saying this is that the phrase “control our borders” has come to mean “close our borders” for many people - and I do not think we should close our borders. People should be allowed to immigrate to the United States as a general policy albeit one with limits.

Yes. If you don’t qualify for an employment visa or have a family member, most people’s only chance for lawful admission is to win the diversity lottery. A citizen of a European country is statistically much more likely to get a visa through the lottery than a citizen of Mexico or Central America.

But it could be a cause and effect. Some people who are opposed to immigration might not be opposed if it were Canadians rather than Mexicans.

I think it’s more an economic issue as a racial one.

First Question: 3. In theory, I think everyone should be able to move to any country. Period. But, practically, I can see how there could be some economic stability issues with suddenly enabling that kind of mobility (although I don’t know nearly enough about it to know what those issues might be, nor solutions). So, I hold it as an ideal, and I think we should slowly move towards it (I think the EU is a step in the right direction there), but in the meantime, some regulation is called for.

Second: 3. Again, I think it’s more about class issues than race. Granted, there’s some racial history behind Europe being richer than Latin America, but I don’t think that’s what most people who strongly oppose immigration are thinking about. It may be an influence, but not the primary concern. But, again, I just don’t know enough about the issue to say for sure.

The US had no legal restrictions on immigration until the late 19th century.

I know nothing about that particular event but here’s my general view.

  1. Immigration into the US should be easier. There should be more work Visas and the path to citizenship should be simplified and the US should hire more immigration officials to help keep up with the workload so that things will run quicker and more smoothly.
  2. I do not believe that the fact that the system is flawed is a legitimate reason to break the law.
  3. I’m generally sympathetic to refugees, and if someone comes here because their government is persecuting them, I’m all for giving them sanctuary.

I agree that some people think that way. I just personally don’t believe that it’s the way most people against illegal immigration feel.

The number of people that got in through the 2008 diversity lottery from Europe was 26,000. The number from Mexico+Canda was 17, so I think its safe to say its basically impossible to get in to the US via the lottery if your from Mexico.

I don’t think the reason for this is actually racist, the system excludes countries like Mexico who fill up all their immigration spots via other mechanisms (having family or job ties in the US,). But the result is that if you don’t already have ties in the US and are Mexican, there isn’t really any mechanism for you to get in the country legally.

Some people have an image of illegal immigrants immorally skipping ahead of ones waiting in a queue to enter the States. But so far as I can tell, if you don’t already have family or business connections here, there really isn’t any queue to wait in. You just can’t get in (legally).

I have an inherent problem with polls based on pre-determined answers, so I refuse to respond within the limits you have imposed.

Ideally, I do think that everyone should be able to move about freely w/o restiction, but I also recognize that this is not the world we live in today.

All things being equal, this would be the ideal, but all things are far from equal.

Illegal/unregulated immigration in THIS world results in an inabilty to control the flow of dangerous individuals, cheap and easily exploited labor, and even infectious disease into an area.

It serves as a means of allowing the inequities between nations to be ignored and even facillitated…For example, I, like many Mexican nationals I have known, are of the opinion that the REAL need is for reform within Mexico so that half the population doesn’t feel the need TO immigrate (legally or otherwise) to the US. The US government should be pressing Mexico to reform, not going along with the current corruption.

But see, BOTH governments/ruling classes benefit from the current situation (one by getting rid of millions of potential agitators AND getting back their second highest source of revenue in the form of US dollars sent home by workers in the US) and the other through cheap, non-unionized labor who stand to collect NO social security or other benefits.

I see this as a human rights issue, damn straight. Both for the Anglos (gringos) like me who find themselves put out of work or enduring stagnent or falling wages as a result of the influx of cheap, unregulated labor and for those who comprise said labor influx who are being exploited. We are on the SAME FUCKING SIDE, amigas! :smack:

As for the whole “racist” argument, EHH. :rolleyes: I admit to holding certain cultural biases (i.e. blacks who play loud rap music, shoot one another and/or sell crack on my street or Mexicans who let their dogs run wild, toss their dirty diapers in the street, and/or shoot one another on my street) but I hold nothing against anyone based on “race”. Period.

I actually LOVE diversity and spent much of my life in predominately Black or Latino/a areas. I am very familiar, comfortable, and in love with the cultures. (and very familiar and NOT a fan of the negative aspects of those same cultures:mad:)

My view is we need to regulate our borders. Both of them ( the 9/11 guys came in through Canada). We need to be compassionate towards BOTH those coming here and those already here. We needto enforce our laws w/o apology…shit, in Mexico they fucking SHOOT illegal immigrants coming across their southern border, but they give US shit for detaining them, even when they commit mass murder :rolleyes:

But the root issue is that we need to stand up for human rights, labor rights across the board. Most I’ve known who came here (legally or otherwise) agree. They don’t want to leave their home, but are forced to by economic need. They would much rather stay and be able to live a decent life and give their kids a decent life. I GET THAT. If it were me, I would do whatever I had to to ensure a better life for me and my kids.

But we simply cannot afford the costs of unregulated immigration. If half of Europe was coming here I would feel the same., Yes, some opposed to “immigration” are racist idiots, maybe even half, but I am not among them.

You raise one of the central tensions of democracy, Nobody. On one hand, being a member of democratic society means being faithful to the rule of law, even those with which you disagree. On the other hand, the more unjust a law, the less one feels compelled to enforce it. The impetus to turn a blind eye to violations is greatest when democracy itself provides scant remedy, as when a disenfranchised minority bears the brunt of the law’s injustice.

The question becomes just how bad our system of immigration is. You wouldn’t look at lunch counter segregation and say, “Well, I think this law is flawed, but that’s no excuse for breaking it. So let’s focus on arresting those doing sit-ins instead of focusing on fixing the stupid law.” If you thought our current immigration “system” were similarly unjust, then you’d have a harder time sticking to the principle of strict enforcement of flawed laws. I’m not saying the two are equivalent, but I do think it is a matter of focus. In our political climate, you can choose to elect politicians who will focus on enforcement, or those who will focus on reform.

I thought that was pretty good post InterestedObserver, but I want to respond to this:

Both questions have the option Other, please explain. So how are my questions pre-determined or limited since, if you don’t like the choices I gave, you can give your own?

Good point. I guess I just don’t see the current system as immoral enough to condone breaking the law.

Yeah, but there are millions (tends of millions?) of Hispanics who are here legally and who have millions of relatives who would like to immigrate here. Virtually everyone in Mexico would like to immigrate here. That’s not true of Western Europe.

1: 1, but it’s definitely an utopia right now. One thing to keep in mind is that laws should be enforceable and legal systems should be internally consistant, and this should include immigration laws. In other words, before you create a law saying “any foreigner who can’t prove (s)he’s in the country legally will be deported”, make sure that you can, indeed, deport them (some countries refuse to take their illegals back, some undocumented are so completely undocumented that you need someone from their backyard to even figure out what country they come from). If you make a change to your treatment of legal immigrants which adds three months to a bureaucratic procedure, modify any legal requirements affected by these delays. And so forth… This is a requirement which the US legal system doesn’t seem to have.

2: most people who are against illegal immigration are not racists; many people are happy with legal immigration but hate the illegal version because of the involvement of pimps, coyotes, and other nasties taking advantage of the hungry. People who are against immigration or who assume any immigrant is illegal / any illegal is taking from the economy and not producing on-par / any immigrant is taking from the economy and not producing on-par, on the other hand, are - well, the exact word is xenophobic.

First Question: Other. Governments have a duty to control borders, and to track who is coming in.

Second Question: Other. Some of them are racists. I think some people who are open borders are racist, as well.