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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Would you want these changes in immigration policy?

View Poll Results: Would you approve a more merit-based immigration policy
Poll Options:
The proposal here is a good idea! 1 votes (25.00%)
More merit-based, but in less degree than proposed here 0 votes (0%)
The current benefits are perfectly fine 1 votes (25.00%)
The DHS should give less benefits 1 votes (25.00%)
This topic is taboo for me 1 votes (25.00%)
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll
Would you want these changes in immigration policy?
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The Godfather
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Feb 17, 2007, 12:20 PM
 
More merit oriented, rather than family oriented.

It is clear to me that putting all illegal immigrants in the same sack and labeling them "criminals" is a very ignorant attitude. It is true they have all have broken the law at least once, but who hasn't broken the law at least once? It is true that working as hard as they do for such low wages is bringing down the opportunities of US nationals who are into agriculture and construction, and I have no counterpoint to that.

And I will not put forward the argument that illegals bring more net wealth to the US in the form of unclaimed tax refunds and cheaper food for the consumers, than their economic toll on health care. That issue has not been proven either way IMO, although I do believe that public education is fairly subsidized by income taxes of illegal worker earnings and ~7% sales tax on everything.

Most people agree that it is outrageous that illegal immigrants get to skip ahead legal immigrant, who dutifully process all their paperwork, and wait the months or years required to process these papers. Why, oh, why can't these wetbacks get in line like legal immigrants do?

There's a good reason for it.

Under current US immigration law, there are certain qualities that you must have to deserve a green card:
* be an experienced proffessional, desirable by a US company
* be the spouse of a US citizen or US resident
* be the child, parent or sibling of a US citizen or US resident (it takes more time in this case)

And by sub-induction (takes many more years)
* be the sibling of a parent, or a child of a sibling, or a parent of a sibling of a child, etc... of a US citizen or US resident.

While it is a very generous system that benefit around 1 million foreign people every year with green cards, most prospect border jumpers and visa overstayers don't qualify, period. The heat they are enduring about this issue is completely uncalled for.

So, what if this pre-determination of who deserves it, and who doesn't, could be transformed into a post-determination based on merit, rather than family ties? Would you be for, or against this proposition:

* Green cards for spouses and unmarried children under 21, with a learn English and not use Social Security contingency.
* No green cards for siblings, parents or other relatives.
* An increase of H1B visas to make up for the no-relatives point above.
* Temporary work visas for agricultural workers, with an absolute requirement for them not to cross over to costruction, restaurants, etc. and requirement to learn English to renew their visa after 2 years.

A change like this would foment a stronger immigrant influx, with a fairer distribution of the benefit among those who want to be a part of the US.

I know this will touch soft spots in some of you, because you are the product of the current legal immigration process. But pass it through a cool blooded brain, wouldn't this proposition be better for the nation?

I swear I didn't copy/paste this blurb from Ruben Navarrete.
     
Railroader
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Feb 17, 2007, 01:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
And I will not put forward the argument that illegals bring more net wealth to the US in the form of unclaimed tax refunds and cheaper food for the consumers, than their economic toll on health care. That issue has not been proven either way IMO, although I do believe that public education is fairly subsidized by income taxes of illegal worker earnings and ~7% sales tax on everything.
I'll admit I am pretty ignorant about the issue and I have some pretty pressing things on my plate right now that prohibits my delving deeper into this issue. But I found these flaws in your argument.

You comment about the US profiting from unclaimed tax returns. I highly doubt this. Most are paid under the table and don't pay any taxes at all. So the US is losing possible tax revenue actually.

Public education in my state is funded by property taxes and the lottery. And our sales tax is 6%. Illegal immigrants aren't spending very much money on taxable items. And their children are usually very expensive to the education system because they have special needs most students don't have.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Feb 17, 2007, 02:16 PM
 
Thanks for advancing this civil discussion

When an illegal obtains employment with a forged id and enters a payroll, isn't her income tax by the automatic federal withhold?

What do you mean when you say that illegal immigrants aren't spending very much on taxable items? Do you mean it in the sense that as part of the lower income class, they have to make ends meet like most low income people do?

But let's focus on what should be done, if anything, to the current immigration law.
     
Chuckit
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Feb 17, 2007, 02:29 PM
 
I don't see the point of not allowing green cards to relatives. Would we rather they send their earnings to relatives out of the country?
Chuck
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The Godfather  (op)
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Feb 17, 2007, 02:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit View Post
I don't see the point of not allowing green cards to relatives. Would we rather they send their earnings to relatives out of the country?
If they needed money being sent to them, I see a high chance of them using welfare if allowed in.
     
Railroader
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Feb 17, 2007, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Thanks for advancing this civil discussion
You're welcome. I think.
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
When an illegal obtains employment with a forged id and enters a payroll, isn't her income tax by the automatic federal withhold?
This is rarely the case from my experience. I have a couple friends who work for a migrant worker children program and they tell me that the majority are paid under the table.
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
What do you mean when you say that illegal immigrants aren't spending very much on taxable items?
They conserve their money and live very cheaply while sending the majority of it back to relatives in Mexico.
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Do you mean it in the sense that as part of the lower income class, they have to make ends meet like most low income people do?
This too. Food and other basic living expenses are rarely taxed.
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
But let's focus on what should be done, if anything, to the current immigration law.
That, I have no idea on. I was simply addressing the flaws in your argument as i stated in my first post.
     
mac128k-1984
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Feb 18, 2007, 10:03 AM
 
It is clear to me that putting all illegal immigrants in the same sack and labeling them "criminals" is a very ignorant attitude.
I disagree, they are illegally in this country and are a drain on the society, many of them wanting social services. There's only finite amount of that aide and its wrong to give less to citizens because we're providing free support to illegals.

Most people agree that it is outrageous that illegal immigrants get to skip ahead legal immigrant, who dutifully process all their paperwork, and wait the months or years required to process these papers. Why, oh, why can't these wetbacks get in line like legal immigrants do?
Agreed, many of our parents, grandparents etc waited years in deplorable conditions to get a visa what makes them think they can skip ahead.

I think its a bad idea giving them the same level of support as ordinary citizens. If you're in the country illegally then you should be deports. Heck, here in Massachusetts the new governer (when he was campaigning) wanted to give illegal aliens the ability to go to college for free. How screwed up is that, I'm trying to sock a little money away for my kids to go and there's no way they or I will be able to afford that and he's floating the idea of giving them free education.
Michael
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Feb 18, 2007, 10:15 AM
 
Because they have the option to immigrate legally. 99% of foreigns don't have direct relationship to a US resident, thus no option.

But my argument is to change the law so that this distribution of chances fall more equitably, without being based on blood lines. My argument does not conduce to giving illegals the same support as current legal immigrants enjoy, neither to allow them to stay in.
( Last edited by The Godfather; Feb 18, 2007 at 10:22 AM. )
     
Atheist
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Feb 18, 2007, 11:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Because they have the option to immigrate legally. 99% of foreigns don't have direct relationship to a US resident, thus no option.
Where did you get that statistic? Seems like something you pulled out of a hat. Most immigrants I know (mostly those that got into the country via H1B) have subsequently sponsored other family (parents, siblings, etc.) to get into the country. But that's purely anecdotal, so maybe 99% is true.

I have VERY strong feelings about immigration, as I am directly affected. I've posted before about this. Long story short, I'm a US citizen (gay) whose partner is not a citizen. As my partner has been unable to get a visa (not even a visa to visit the US.... they are very hard to get anymore for people from third-world countries), I have had to leave the US just so we can be together. As it stands now, I am living illegally in his country as I can't get a visa to stay here. This world is not a fun place for gay binational couples...

...to get back to the issue at hand. As I said, I have strong feelings about this. I really don't care why someone is illegal. If they are illegal they should be deported immediately. The only argument I hear in favor of the illegal immigrants is that they perform a function that wouldn't be filled otherwise (agricultural labor for instance). That may be so. But the solution is to institute rational immigration policy to fulfill that need.

I'm not sure I agree with your proposal too much:

* Green cards for spouses and unmarried children under 21, with a learn English and not use Social Security contingency.

Doesn't make any sense to me. If we are granting legal entry to someone we should give them and their immediate family all of the same rights as other residents.

* No green cards for siblings, parents or other relatives.

I don't think this is solving a present problem. Nothing wrong with trying to keep families together.

* An increase of H1B visas to make up for the no-relatives point above.

N/A in my opinion.

* Temporary work visas for agricultural workers, with an absolute requirement for them not to cross over to costruction, restaurants, etc. and requirement to learn English to renew their visa after 2 years.

I like the idea of temporary work visas. I also think they should be granted automatic green cards after a certain number of consecutive visa renewals. (If a worker is given renewals time and again it's a pretty good sign they are serving a need that isn't being filled elsewhere). I also don't mind the requirement to learn English. I think it's silly not to have a national language. Expecting citizens/residents to be able to communicate effectively with each other is NOT discrimination... it's just plain logical.

For now, I'm hoping the new Congress will pass the Uniting American Families Act so I can sponsor my partner and move back to the U.S. It would be nice to enjoy my rights as a U.S. citizen again. (Although I'm outside the U.S. I'm still working for a U.S. company and paying payroll and Social Security taxes, to the tune of over $30,000/yr, to which I am receiving no direct benefit. )
     
TETENAL
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Feb 18, 2007, 11:08 AM
 
I would guess that US citizens who have spouses or offspring who are not, would be pretty pissed if they were not allowed to live together with their families. So you would probably fiend a lot of resistance from those US citizens who are affected by this or could imagine being possibly affected by this at some point in the future. And it's pretty cruel too, isn't it?
( Last edited by TETENAL; Feb 18, 2007 at 11:59 AM. )
     
SirCastor
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Feb 18, 2007, 11:50 AM
 
I have just a few thoughts about illegal immigration.

1) I feel that more often than not, illegal immigrants have little - no respect for the law, or for government. They come from countries with a strong history of corrupt government (I know the US isn't perfect), and a strong history of corrupt law officials. This is a problem because they come here, and they (having been mistreated by their own governing bodies) have no respect for law enforcement, or our government.

2) There is a prevailing mentality within immigrants before they arrive in the US, that this is a land of miracles, people are handing out gold, food is free, and everyone has big, beverly-hills houses. It doesn't become apparent to them that their life is going to be pretty hellish for a while unless they find a lucky break. The only frustrating part is that their life is better than it was back when they were in their own country. From what I've read, their own countries encourage immigration under the table because they know it brings money into their country.

As for the post, I don't know that it would change a lot. In my opinion, the biggest part of the problem is that a majority of these people haven't talked to the government, and they don't want to. They're getting along well enough slipping under the radar and sending money back home. They don't want to begin the process because they feel it'll risk them getting sent home.

I'm generally against a giant fence, but it seems like the only option to get a good idea of who's cross where.
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OldManMac
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Feb 18, 2007, 01:43 PM
 
As an immigrant, from Germany, here's my feelings. My parents came over in 1953, when I was six. We came over legally, having been sponsored by my dad's uncle. We knew no English when we came here, so we had to learn it fast, if we wanted to assimilate, which we did. We also became American citizens as fast as was legally allowed (five years). We didn't go to our local grocery store and find signs in the aisles in English and German, and product labels in English and German, etc.

If you want to come to America legally, and learn to communicate with Americans in their language, I open my arms for you. If you want to come illegally, and expect me to learn your language, I support efforts to vastly increase the size of our border patrol, to shoo you back to whereever you come from.
     
   
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