Thursday, February 23, 2017

So, you enjoying your $16 Big Mac?

I've been watching with interest our rapidly accelerating efforts to find and deport the illegals here among us.  President Trump seems to be deadly serious about building a Maginot Line* and throwing every illegal he can find over it.  Problem is, I don't think he understands the unintended consequences of his plan.  In his view illegals are just here to rip off American taxpayers, sop up free welfare benefits, medical care, commit violent crimes, etc, and are a huge drag on our economy.  The bigger picture says something very different, however.

Statistics show they commit no more crimes than native born Americans.  They commit less, actually.  Investigations have shown that if you stay at a Trump hotel, you're staying somewhere built at least partially (and cheaply) by illegal Hispanic labor.  That new roof put on your home last year after our devastating hail storms was probably done with (some) illegal Hispanic labor.  

That last restaurant you visited probably had illegal Hispanic dishwashers, busboys, and maybe even cooks.  Did you enjoy your salad?  Who do you think picked it?  Whenever I  drive by a new subdivision being developed I wonder how many of those Hispanic guys pouring concrete are illegal?  And those Hispanic day laborers you picked up to plant those big trees in your yard were almost surely illegal. 

The overwhelming majority just want to live here in peace, far from the crime and gangs they fled, and make a modest living for their families.  Truth is, we need and depend on their labor

Prez Trump seems to think illegals don't pay taxes.  Not true.  Look at all the Hispanics shopping the next time you're in Walmart.  They're paying sales taxes.  And their landlords pay taxes on their properties, and charge a prorated amount of those taxes to each apartment they rent out to illegals.  Those tax revenues are shared by the cities, counties and states to fund street maintenance, police and fire departments, schools, etc.

Do some take advantage of our generosity?  Do some sell drugs, pimp their prostitutes, and rob us?  Yes!  So let's round them up and throw THEM back over Trump's wall!  Oops....there's even a kink in that plan.  In recent years the Hispanics coming here are more likely to be Ecuadoran, Guatemalan, or El Salvadoran than Mexican.  When our bus shows up in Matamoros and says "Here ya' go Mexico", they're gonna reply, "Nope, sorry, not ours.  They're your problem.  U-turn Gringo."  Getting even the undesirables out will be much more difficult than we seem to think.

So should we just look the other way and pretend no one is here illegally?  Should we just all meet up on the town square and sing Kumbaya?  No, of course not!  But there are options besides just what FOX News and MSNBC spout at the extremes.  Just remember, you can't always play the poker hand you have to play the hand you're dealt.

We need some courageous politicians (yeah, oxymoron, I know) to step up and codify a realistic plan to have illegals who have been here for a while register, without fear of deportation IF they have proven to be good residents.  Criminals, cheats and bums need not apply.  Then we'll know who's here, who's working and paying taxes, who's contributing, etc, and they can come out of the shadows (and yes, learn English, just like previous immigrants from Italy, Poland, and elsewhere did).  In the meantime let's seriously protect our borders with aggressive, smart, flexible measures that won't piss off half our hemisphere.

We can make this a win / win situation.  Right now we're rushing headlong towards a colossal lose / lose mess.


The Maginot Line, a long line of concrete-and-steel reinforced gun emplacements, no more protected France from Germany than Trump's wall IMO will protect America from Mexico.  

Just watch....right behind the construction crews will come the tunnel diggers and the pole vaulters.  Wanna make a fortune?  Sell 20' ladders in Mexico!  We need to be smart and flexible, and not waste our money building a wall likely to be obsolete before the concrete cures.


  1. In my home state of Nebraska a number of rural towns that solicited large meat processing plants (beef, pork, chicken and turkey) learned that lesson well. It was a boon to their economy, however over time local workers dwindled as they realized how hard and dangerous the work was. Enter the immigrants. A number of those small towns are thriving on the dollars the immigrant workers spend in the community - just as you described. The few towns that resisted saw the processing operations pass them by and expand in the towns that welcomed the immigrants. They now have boarded up store fronts. There is a balance, but the bottom line is the economic viability the immigrants brought to the rural towns.

  2. I agree with your post, but have my doubts about that wall.

  3. Would have nice to have 59 million some people think about this stuff before the election. It's an overdone comparison, but in Mein Kampf, Hitler detailed everything he wanted to do, from the Jewish people to annexation of Europe. Trump in his campaign laid out, much less intelligently, what he was going to do. People said "Oh, it's just rhetoric, he's just exaggerating, etc." I even remember some of that in the blogs I read.
    Now, here 'tis.
    I can't say 'America, you deserve him', because roughly 3 million more people voted for Clinton, but what I think is pretty close to this.

  4. Illegal immigration is at a thirty year low. This is really a non issue, merely chum Trump is throwing in the water to feed his shark followers.

    1. Right on the mark Stephen.

    2. You're technically right, Steve, but the bigger issue right now is the status of the 12 million (?) illegals here now. One very shallow point of view is that they should be rounded up and sent back, which is the main point here. I feel that would be a huge mistake, and hugely unfair, too.

  5. I, too, was going to mention the 30-year low in immigration. For a number of years under the Obama administration, more immigrants returned to their Hispanic countries of origin than came here.

    Ask the family farms in Western New York how much of their produce was left to rot in the fields because they couldn't get enough people to pick it. And I'm sure there are many other farms all over the U.S. who had the same problem; I just remember the article in the Buffalo News about farmers in Western New York because I used to live there.

  6. The concept of "Jobs Americans don't want to do" seems ridiculous on the surface but when I was unemployed for a while, I still wouldn't have picked beets or worked on a construction crew; even working at Wendy's was too much for me. There are a lot of jobs that are just too dangerous or labor-intensive and too low-paying for Americans to want.

  7. My husband and I think that he (tRump) will have prisoners picking fruits and veggies, and possibly those on welfare that 'need' a job to continue to receive benefits. I had to do that on my ggrandmothers farm in Missouri for a number of summers. No way No how would I do it again. It is literally back breaking work for very little recompense.