Telling it like it is.

From CNN…. at a Tennessee fiscal review committee meeting,  State Rep. Curry Todd made the statement of the week

Todd asked a panel of prenatal health care officials if patients have to show proof of citizenship before getting state-funded help.

The official replied that unborn children automatically become American citizens after birth.
“There’s a technical guidance letter that states that, for covering the unborn child, we are not permitted to determine citizenship because the child, once born, is a U.S. citizen,” an official told him.

Todd then remarked: “They can go out there like rats and multiply, then.”

Wow!  Of course,  immigrant groups came unglued.

Todd later told the affiliate that he may have made a poor choice of words but he stood by the point he was trying to make.

“I am not going to try and be politically correct with everything I say,” Todd said. “If I offended them I am sorry. But the truth is the truth. A spade is a spade.”

That refreshing, a lawmaker telling like it is.  This is what the people, or at least me, what to hear, not so much as calling people rats, rather saying ?This is wrong, and has to change?.

Being politically correct has taken over so much of what we say and do, that some of us hardly know what?s right any more, no wonder our kids are confused.  They are no longer ?illegal immigrants? they are ?undocumented workers? somehow by changing their title, they have no longer broken the law, even if they had to break it to get here.  We no longer have ?Christmas? programs in our schools we have Winter Solstice Celebrations, so we don?t offend non-Christians.

What is so wrong about being offended?  What better way to affect change then to have a group of people being offended?  If legal immigrated Americans, don?t like being compared to rats, then maybe they will convince their illegal (that?s right, illegal) non-american, brethren to leave and come back the right way, or is it just easier to attack the person speaking the truth?

85 Replies to “Telling it like it is.”

  1. Bill Fleming

    Okay, MC, how about this.

    Once your child is born s/he and the rest of your little MC kids can go out there and multiply like um… rabbits, just like you and your wife have been doing.

    Hey, it’s true. I’m just telling like it is. No offense, right?

    Get it now, MC?

    There’s no excuse for that kind of BS, and also no excuse for trying to make excuses for it. Good heavens, Mike, what in the world are you thinking?

    ARE you thinking?

  2. I would rather be fishing

    That refreshing, a lawmaker telling like it is! Yup, I love that too! Wow! Have you taken a look at South Dakota’s Indian Reservations lately? ?They can go out there like rats and multiply, then? is sure the first thing that comes to mind!

  3. Duh

    MC, get used to Bill’s tirades. He’s just trying to establish the pecking order on a conservative blog.

    Ok, here we go. First, I assume that MC and his kids are LEGAL. They are American citizens. They got her legally, they have SS numbers, they pay taxes, they vote, they sink or swim with this country. So as LEGAL MC kids, they can multiply like rats, rabbits, lemmings, cats, fish, or whatever animal fancies your fancy.

    Conversely, Illegal immigrants are ILLEGAL, ILLEGAL, ILLEGAL. But their kids are apparently LEGAL.

    Get it now Bill?

    ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL. There’s no harm to the kids, they are free to go back to the country of their parents’ origin. If they can’t, why is that our fault? Why do we have to be the nursemaid, cop, charity to the world? Especially, when most of the world wants us dead?

    Bill, please sneak into North Korea, China, Cuba, even Mexico and sprout a couple puppies and see how charitable they are.

  4. Troy Jones

    To compare anyone to rats is disgusting and reprehensible, especially babies. This isn’t about being politically correct, it is about being decent.

    Furthermore, I detest the “apology” of “I’m sorry I offended someone.” Be sorry for being offensive, I’ll forgive you, every time. People make bad analogies all the time and aren’t bad people and sometimes their point is legitimate. But, to compare babies to rats is something which requires sincere apology and contrition. This guy has not done that.

    Finally, I’m offended by this guys policy position. Call me a mushy liberal if you want, but I don’t give a damn about citizenship of parents with regard to pre-natal care of an unborn child. As far as I’m concerned, we are caring for not only a US citizen (unless parents are deported before birth) but a human being totally defenseless for their life.

    Put the comment and the policy question together, I think this guy is a rat and I stand by the analogy.

    Thank you for posting this though. I’ve just made out a check to the Church of the Incarnation in Todd’s home town with instructions for it to support these “rats” however they see fit. And, I’ve put in my calendar a reminder in 1.5 years to send an equal sized check to his primary opponent. If he doesn’t have a primary opponent, I’ll send it to his general election opponent (unless I find that person equally offensive) where I’ll send the money to the diocese’s “Refugee and Immigration Services” ministry.

  5. Bill Fleming

    Duh, none of that has anything to do with the insult. Get a clue. Reproduction is not illegal, nor is being born for god’s sake. What’s the matter with you? Those people love their families and are just as proud of them as you are yours. There is no reason at all to denigrate them in such a manner. None.

  6. MC Post author

    Somehow I knew Bill would turn this in to about immigration; and that is part of it. However, the real point is we have too many politicians hiding behind ‘political correctness’ It is refreshing to see someone willing to stand up for what’s right or at least what he believe is right.

  7. Bill Fleming

    Good Troy, thank you! Seems so far that Troy’s the only real Republican among you. As I recall the GOP was founded on the principles of human rights and respect for the dignity of each individual, regardless of legal or social status.

    Whatever happened to that?

  8. Troy Jones


    I was so mad I didn’t even get to the end of your post before I responded.

    “If legal immigrated Americans, don?t like being compared to rats, then maybe they will convince their illegal (that?s right, illegal) non-american, brethren to leave and come back the right way, or is it just easier to attack the person speaking the truth?”

    There is NO justification for this comparison. Period.

    What truth are you talking about? They are rats or these unborn children should be denied prenatal care?

    Pre-natal care is care essentially for the health of the child. The benefit to the mother is secondary.

  9. MC Post author

    Troy, Pre-natal care is essential, and we have an obligation to protect life. However, immigrants are making a mockery of this stance.

    A woman can come here, illegally, become pregnant, then claim because it is an unborn child, it is a US citizen, thus, we must care for it, and her as well. Because the unborn is a US Citizen, it can not be deported. Now we get to take care of mom, and a child. They have found a way to get us to take care of them, and for them to become US citizens without going through proper channels. All of this going to be charged to the taxpayer. Merry Christmas.

    We are the most charitable country on earth. When there is a disaster, The United States answers the call for help. Millions of dollars in aid has been sent to Haiti, above and beyond what our government promised. People have quit their full time jobs to help, yet, somehow that isn’t enough. Is it right to allow those that broke our law, then get pregnant to mooch off our hard work?

  10. Bill Fleming

    “They have found a way to get us to take care of them, and for them to become US citizens without going through proper channels.”

    Being born in the US has been a “proper channel” to citizenship for 142 years, Mike. This is not a new thing. It’s how you became an American citizen, I bet.

    It’s certainly how I did. And my parents, and their parents.

    If “country of birth” isn’t a definitive standard of citizenship, please tell us what is.

  11. Bill Fleming

    …come to think of it, I was born in the Lakota Nation, actually (Hot Springs SD). Part of the land belonging to the Sioux under the Treaty of Laramie. In a very real sense, I was born here, illegally. Certainly my great grandmother and her mother were (Black Hills Gold Rush). Are we all illegals? Should we all have to be naturalized or something? Should I even be voting?

    Your premise is absurd, Mike. Absurd.

    People aren’t crossing the borders, the borders are crossing the people.

  12. Troy Jones


    I understand all which make this complicated. But, sometimes we make it too complicated when it is quite simple: ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Mathew 25:40).

    In this case, we have an unborn child who didn’t choose to be in the U.S., Mexico, or Bangladesh in need of pre-natal care. But, this child is at my door to the inn and any sins or wrong-doing by this child’s parents are of absolutely no concern of mine.

    Someday I will answer for much but no way will I place myself in a position of saying to Christ “Well, Lord, it is more complicated than that. You see the child’s parents. . . .we had a border problem. . .the kids parents were mooching off the system. . . . so the baby is just collateral damage. We had to teach those rats they couldn’t take advantage of us.”

  13. Duh

    I am not defending his Rat comment. Never did. I am taking cause with the fact that we are supposed to look the other way while illegal immigrants are usurping and taking advantage of our laws to our detriment. It’s not the kids fault. It’s the illegal parents fault that know how to work the system and they are pandering off of the emotions that you folks have expressed so well.

  14. Bill Fleming

    “…know how to work the system and they are pandering off of the emotions that you folks have expressed so well.”

    Duh, so is McDonalds, Mars Candy, the Geico Gecko, and Speedy Alka Seltzer.

    So is every politician in the business.

    And some you them seem to have you and Mike C wrapped around their finger.

    I’d just love to hear how one undocumented immigrant has harmed you personally in any conceivable way. Eat any veggies or fruit today? Chances are, one of them broke their back to grow it and pick it for ya.

  15. Duh

    Bill, Mickey D’s is a stupid analogy. we went through this ad nauseum months ago. Ground Hog Day it is.

    Southern cities are going broke with the financial toll that illegals have had on their coffers. Call people in AZ, Texas and Cal to see how their doing. I have rental properties in AZ and as I told you before, it has affected it as people are leaving because of the violence brought about by illegals. Phoenix is the second leading kidnapping state in the country. Some say it’s only between drug gangs. Who’s to say there’s no collateral damage? This has affected the AZ economy which reverberated down to little “ol me”. I saw first hand the warning signs posted on the UNITED STATES highways warning to stay out as they were drug trafficing areas and violence is expected. UNITED STATES HIGHWAYS !!!!

    Some Colleges are upside down because somehow illegals are able to get into the school and mandates have forced them to have everything biligual. They are sucking every available resource from US citizens who paid for them. Has someone swiped my rims? No. Have I been burglarized by Illegals? Yes. If you don’t think the economic collapse of cities far away from us won’t eventually reach us, you’re dreaming.

    You don’t get it. Illegals are playing the system and riding with the Administration which fails to tighten border laws all to our detriment.

    Your ignorance and pinheaded love of those (not babies) who would gut you like a carp is dangerous. Thank God your a political minority.

  16. Troy Jones


    A couple of thousand years ago, a young woman and her husband were in a town where they could find no place to stay. How many others knocked on the door of the inn and were turned away because they hadn’t a reservation and presumed upon the charity of others? Possibly many.

    But, because this young woman was pregnant, the innkeeper looked past his preconcieved notion and experience he might be “being worked” and “pandered off of the emotions” and allowed them shelter with his livestock (which at the time was no insignificant matter because of his need for his livestock for survival).

    I’ve often considered the innkeeper an unsong hero in the Christmas story. He didn’t get the praise of the shepherds, angels, or even the animals who adored the Lord in the manger. He is most often criticized for being uncharitable and not giving Mary his own bedroom. Maybe there was justice to Joseph for him not making proper preparations for them to be turned from the inn. But, for the child, the innkeeper saw to it justice was done for to be born in the elements like a calf or lamb would not be just.

    While the immigration issue can be complicated, this is quite simple to me. In this specific situation, we are talking about an unborn child knocking at the door to the inn. In simple terms, giving another justice is “giving them their due.” As a defenseless and wholly dependent human, what is his due made in the image and likeness of God?

    Would justice be served if instead of the mother going back to Mexico, she had an abortion? Would justice be served if instead of giving care, this child born here and new American citizen had congenital problems we’d have to provide for his entire life?

    Duh, was my initial reaction emotional (you should have seen what I considered writing)? Yes. But it is a visceral emotion, one deep in that place where the spark of God touches me. Might it complicate my views on the immigration issue? Yes. Does the fact the parents might be abusing the system with wanton disregard or picked my fruit mean anything to me? No.

    Right now, I don’t see his parents. All I see is a baby and I’m reminded of a Samaritan who “took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him.” (Luke 10:35).

    Duh, I’m sorry if I sound preachy. I’m trying not to be. And, I have no problem defending some of my views on the immigration issue as harsh or “unChristian” whether the accuser is Christian or not.

    But, for me, sometimes the issue transcends everything else and this is one of those cases.

  17. Bill Fleming

    If I lived in Arizona, I would leave too, especially if I had brown skin and dark hair, even if I owned or rented a pricy condo.

    Sounds to me like you’re talking about a drug problem, not an immigrant problem per se, Duh. And I agree, that’s a problem.

    So is hiring undocumented workers. Not good.

    We should focus on those things and stop blaming the people who are just trying to earn a living and raise their families. You’re lumping everybody into the same bag. Overgeneralizing.

    It’s like saying all South Dakotans are mindless backwoods hicks. Or that all Southerners are racist. Whatever. You’re buying into a stereotype.

  18. MC Post author


    If it was just the child, I doubt there isn’t anyone who wouldn’t bend over backwards to make sure they have a great start. In my experience with the medical community, many doctors, and other medical professionals give their time and money to provide care for the mothers, in their home, or close to it.

    This is were it gets muddy, it isn’t just the children, it is the mothers as well, a mothers who is using these children to ensure they are taken care of. It is not just a foreign college students who got too drunk at a party, it is hundreds if not thousands of people who cross our borders pregnant or to get pregnant for so they can benefit from our generosity.

    Once word spread how to ‘work the system’ the number of people using the system multiply. The more you give away, the more of demand is created. This is part of what Rep Todd was talking about.

    The other part, again no one seems to have the guts to acknowledge, is our current system of social safety nets has some major tangles in it. Many of the programs were designed to be a stop gap measure, not a multi-generational way of life.

  19. Duh

    Bullshit Bill. You asked a question and I told you the reality, very clearly and without a single doubt. Its both a drug and an immigration problem caused primarily by illegal immigrants. Granted the demand is caused by idiot US users but that doesn’t excuse the problem.

    You don’t have to worry about hiring illegals if there not there, which they shouldn’t be.

    The illegals can earn a living IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY. I’m not overgeneralizing. If your illegal, get out. You complicate the hell out of anything. The issue isn’t that complex. We have borders for some reason. Either stabilize them or (like ip and other unpatriotic whackos) get rid of the borders and we can all become a 3rd world country together.

    Speaking of blame, why doesn’t anyone take the Mexican government to the woodshed for for abandoning its people and fixing its own domestic issues.

  20. Duh

    Troy, the problem is many of the people coming over here are doing it for illegal reasons (drugs) and they will hang you with your own biblical verses. Peace through strength. The fact that they abuse the system and a baby might be involved doesn’t eliminate the problem. Consider it a Trojan Horse in the shape and shape of a Mexican baby.

    Conversely, Christianity aside, try the same activities in Mexico and see how they reciprocate. You’d be in a prison before the bottle of milk got warmed.

  21. Duh

    Only if their government dissolves, they deport all the drug dealers, chiuauas (sp?) and we all get sweet ocean-side villas.

  22. Duh

    OK. I give up. Let’s let any mexican 13 and older in:

    Mexican Boy, 12, Wanted in Gruesome Cartel Killings

    A sadistic drug-gang hitman is wanted for carrying out a series of horrific killings in Mexico — and he’s only 12 years old.

    The boy — known only as El Ponchis, or The Cloak — is suspected to be the paid executioner for a cartel locked in a war for control of the lucrative cocaine trade. He is believed to have tortured and slaughtered dozens of gangland enemies.

    The boy’s trademark murders involve slitting the throats of victims with a deep cutting technique known as Degollar, which leaves the head hanging by a thread, and grisly videos circulating on the Internet show victims having their throats slashed.

    Another clip shows him battering a man with a club bearing the initials SPC, short for South Pacific Drug Cartel.

    The youthful killer, whose name is not known, was picked for his psychopathic brutality and child-like devotion to gang bosses. He works with a group of women called the Chavelas, believed by some to be his sisters.

    “We understand El Ponchis works under the command of Julio Jesus Radilla, a drugs head in the State of Morelos,” a Mexican army spokesman said. “El Ponchis, who is active in the town of Jiutepec, was identified during an investigation as the paid executioner of Radilla’s enemies.”

    The SPC is allied with another cartel called The Zetas to fight for control of cocaine supply routes.

  23. William

    I doubt if any of us really want to blame the sins of the father or mothers on the sons or daughters or those within our nations boundaries. That said, crimes are committed when our borders are unguarded and unsecured.

    Crimes are committed when our Social Security System is abused and false identities are used, when our border is breached by traffickers that don’t care if they smuggle workers or terrorists into our country, when our social “safety net” is overwhelmed by non-citizens.

    Neglecting to take border security seriously by BOTH PARTIES has placed us in a very dangerous situation.

    While “birth-right citizenship” is recognized by our courts, there must be a way for our country to control illegal (undocumented) immigration.

    Regardless of our future approach to illegal AND legal immigration, we must secure our borders. We CANNOT promote an endless immigration of low skilled workers that will ultimately fail to find a means to sustain themselves and by their presence lowers wages for Americans seeking employment.

  24. Troy Jones

    I can’t believe what I’m reading.

    1) Because we want to punish the mother, we will punish the innocent child.

    2) Mothers are getting pregnant “to abuse our system.” Like rats? No, these Mexican babies are Trojan Horses. “Heck, these ‘spics are even worse than them thar ragheads. They use their babies as Trojan Horses. Is that like what you call a “baby bomb?”

    I will not punish nor deny care to an unborn child no matter the sins of the parents. And, if this country is so fragile it has to deny care to the innocent unborn, it won’t last long and isn’t who She claims to be.

  25. Duh

    Troy,I think your missing some major points. Mother’s aren’t probably getting pregnant to abuse are system but are abusing it to gain assylum (sp?) for their children, hence the Trojan Horse metaphor. You don’t want to punish the child of the illegal mother, but do you want to risk punishing the child of a legal US citizen which may happen when the weight of these illegal entries collapse our border states’ economies? There is ALWAYS a ying and a yang in every situation. There is always a negative to every positive.

    I think this country is that fragile that it cannot accept unlimited impverished individuals that are thrust upon it by the deception of their parents. Your gracious attitude is what the illegals are banking on. From your previous posts, your comments now have put me on my head. Then what is your solution short of economic armagedon?

  26. William


    I hope you realize that I’m in agreement with your stance that we “will not punish nor deny care to an unborn child no matter the sins of the parents”.

    That’s the primary issue concerning how we deal with securing our border NOW, while dealing with an issue that has been viewed as “too toxic” by both parties for the better part of 25 years.

    Somehow, we have to determine WHAT is our national immigration policy an where do we go from here. That won’t be easy.

  27. Stan Gibilisco

    “Todd then remarked: ‘They can go out there like rats and multiply, then.'”

    If this guy wants to pee into the wind, then he’s free to do it. He only soaked his own face. God bless America!

  28. Anon

    Let's see. To pro-choicers. the unborn are not really people yet because they can be killed. But they should get citizenship. How can a mass of cells that isn't a person get citizenship?

  29. Anon

    And, where were the civil-rights and immigrant advocates when Big Mouth Biden talked about convenience-store Asians and clean black men?

  30. MC

    As a parent, there is nothing I wouldn't do for my children. If I had to cross a blistering sands of a desert in the midst of a drug war, or drive 20 miles during a South Dakota blizzard to make sure they have food, shelter, medicines, so be it. If I could I would gladly give my life, so they might have a chance at theirs. I would like to think every parent feels the same way. If the only means of coming in to the United States was to cross the border illegally, Then I can't hold them at fault, however, it's not. We have a legal way of becoming an Citizen of the United States.

    Now on to the flip side, If I go to downtown Sioux Falls or Rapid City, and give away 10 meals, the next day there would be 15 people, The next day I would bring 20 meals, and there would be 30 people. The number of people asking for help is multiplying, and my resources are only so deep. Soon it becomes more than meals, people need a place to stay, so I open my home to them, my home is only so big. People are going to have to be turned away. who should that be? The elderly? The children? the men who are working to earn a living for their families? the pregnant women? The sick? Those that are in good health? I now have this huge monster I can't control. If I stop helping. I'm labeled someone who is mean spirited by offering help then pulling it away, weather or not I able to provide it, or do I destroy myself in providing this help? How much should these people be able to help themselves. How much of a role should our federal, state, and local governments play in providing this assistance?

    I fully understand the representative's comments. Not so much as people are like rats, however the demand for services that are being provided is multiplying like rats.

    I did find his non-apology, apology, somewhat appalling

    Toxic subject? You bet, but we will have to face it sooner or later.

  31. Bill Fleming

    Good work, Mike C. Maybe later you could post topics on the DREAM Act and the AgJobs bill so we could discuss them in detail. Okay, maybe sooner rather than later? I think they're both before Congress even as we speak.

  32. Mike Quinlivan

    Gee, and I thought that with Pat stepping away from writing on this blog that the awesome content of this blog would just go down the tubes! Gee, I was REALLY wrong!

    Personally I think we should get rid of all former homeless people, or anyone who has ever received government assistance. Get rid of meaning push of a cliff by the way. Because they obviously couldn't be productive at the time they were homeless and needy; who expects that they will ever change? Just being Un P.C.; teling it like it is, etc. —–Blech

  33. Troy Jones


    I know where you are coming from and agree. One can have views and answers on the immigration area which protect the US and its citizens and still be compassionate, especially to the most defenseless.

    8:27: But for those of us who believe this "mass of cells" is a human being, we have to treat the person as such, especially when most vulnerable. The failure of others to acknowledge what is true doesn't give license for us to deny what is true.

    Look, I don't support the Dream Act, I don't think having a child who is a US citizen becomes a ticket to staying in the US, and I believe in strict enforcement of the immigration law, especially deportment even if it means a US citizen goes with his parents to their home country.

    On the flip side, if a parent chooses to abandon their US citizen child when they are deported, the child becomes a ward of the state and eligible for adoption or assigment to an orphanage. Knowing this is not politically correct, I think we need more orphanages as the means to give children a chance for a better life and the American dream.

    Finding practical solutions to the illegal immigration problem is difficult and requires tough choices. Not answering the door when an innocent child is knocking doesn't seem to me to be one of the choices we should make.

  34. thc

    After reading the initial post and the repeated comments of the appropriately named "Duh" one is tempted to, as did Bill and Troy, try to make reasoned, fact and faith-based arguments to underscore their positions.

    But guys…even though you can go to the dentist to get your teeth fixed, to the eye doctor to get your eyes fixed, to the orthopodist to get your feet fixed and the chiropracter to get your back fixed, you just can't fix stupid.

    Stupid is forever.

  35. Duh

    @ Bill. "You’re foaming at the mouth over this for no good reason." Yea, me and about 70% of americans who are concerns about the border situation.

    @thc my comments are rife with facts. You choose to ignore them. There hasn't been ONE solution presented (other than basically doing away with the border), only warm fuzzy "love everyone" comments have been made. Faith arguments are great if they are accepted by all. Bad if the opposition uses it against you. Think that 12 year old ("the Cloak") I cited above goes to church much? Probably only to carry out executions.

    @Bill. I never said deport 16 million illegals. I'm for securing our borders.

    Again, all these comments critical of the pro-border positions stated herein are the vast minority. Thank God.

  36. Bill Fleming

    Duh, first you say you’re not overgeneralizing and stereotyping, then you do precisely that. To listen to you, one would think that the only people who ever commit a heinous criminal act are Mexicans. You need to calm down and get a grip. You’re foaming at the mouth over this for no good reason.

  37. Duh


    "Look, I don’t support the Dream Act, I don’t think having a child who is a US citizen becomes a ticket to staying in the US, and I believe in strict enforcement of the immigration law, especially deportment even if it means a US citizen goes with his parents to their home country."

    That is exactly my point.

    Then you said: " Not answering the door when an innocent child is knocking doesn’t seem to me to be one of the choices we should make."

    I see a direct contradiction on your part here. Which is it?

  38. Troy Jones


    "Faith arguments are great if they are accepted by all?" Really, I missed the part where I'm supposed to give Christian charity only to fellow Christians. I thought He said "Love one another as I have loved you" and not "Love one another as they love you."

    Not once has I said anything suggesting weakening our immigration laws or not enforcing them. This issue is about providing pre-natal health care to an unborn child and has nothing to do with the child's parents or a 12 year old child doing evil things.

    If you can't discern the lack of contradiction between the Dream Act/enforcing immigration law against adults illegally in this country and providing pre-natal care to an innocent unborn child who didn't break any laws, I can say no more.

  39. Bill Fleming

    There are no hard numbers on this of course so we have to use estimates, but something like this is the status quo regarding people living in the US “illegally.”

    There are about 7-11 million people. Additionally, there are about 5 million children of these folks who were born here and are American Citizens. Some of these people have been living in the US for decades. This is their home. 16 million people. I’ll say it again… 16 million people.

    About 40% came into the country legally, using work or tourist visas. The best walls anyone can build won’t stop this. And indeed, no one wanted to stop it. We need the tourism and the labor. They are some of the hardest workers in America, willing to do jobs nobody else wants to do, and ? especially in agriculture ? possessing high level skills very few Americans have acquired nor no they wish to acquire.

    When Duh and others go off on these rants, they first of all fail to understand that deporting 16 million people is simply out of the question. It is NOT going to happen. Period.

    Don’t like it? Tough. They are here and they are not going to leave. Any reasonable discussion of this issue needs to begin with a clear understanding of that reality and proceed toward a reasonable resolution.

    Ideas that sound workable to me are the DREAM Act and the AgJobs bill.

    Considering them all “rats” and criminals who would “gut you like a carp” is, to me not only false, but also hideously inhuman. And I fervently urge those who think this way to seriously examine their consciences and reconsider their moral position.

  40. pacificus

    The comment about rats was completely inappropriate.

    But that aside, I have been pondering the immigration debate, and here are a couple of thoughts I had.

    Is it possible the jobs "Americans won't take" are the jobs that don't pay well because immigrants are willing to work for dirt cheap? It seems to me that if immigrants weren't working those jobs then businesses would be forced to pay more and Americans would take those jobs.

    And it is doubtful that immigrants are really necessary to prop up the ag sector. Think of how much money they receive in subsidies and the surpluses they create which the government has to pay to maintain. We need immigrants to prop that up?

    Furthermore low wage immigrants discourage technological innovations in the ag sector that would eliminate the need for human labor and would make the goods more available.

  41. pacificus

    Actually I have lived in California.

    What was the point of posting that article? It does not give any specific numbers on the percentage of workers in the ag sector who are immigrants. I don't see what point you were addressing.

  42. Bill Fleming

    Did you read it Pacifico?

    "The agricultural sector is highly dominated by an immigrant labor force that is about 70 percent undocumented, said Carlos Saavedra, national coordinator of United We Dream Network. And, apparently, no one else wants to take those jobs, he said.

    “Despite the high unemployment rate that exists in this country today, U.S. citizens do not wish to go into the agricultural industry,” he said."

  43. pacificus

    So an illegal immigrant advocacy groups says it is dominated by immigrants. What does that prove? It still does not give any specifics as to how many of the workers are immigrants. Just that most of them who do work in that sector are illegals.

    And his opinion that Americans don't want to work in the Ag sector doesn't refute what I said about the reason why.

  44. Bill Fleming

    Pacifico, would you be surprised to find that nobody really KNOWS for sure how many undocumented workers there are? Really?

  45. pacificus

    Thanks for the info. I could have sworn I just read info that had different numbers regarding how many workers were immigrants, but perhaps it was just for a certain state or two. Or maybe I just misunderstood. I will try to find it.

    But regardless, a major reason why Americans won't take those jobs is because the wages are lower due to the immigrants being willing to work for less.

    Furthermore, considering the amount of subsidies farmers receive that result in surplus production can we really say that the ag sector would be in danger without those workers?

    Especially considering that the cheap labor creates a disincentive to develop technology that would remove much of the need for human labor anyways.

  46. John

    I just wish conservatives would stop describing illegal immigrants as vermin or animals and remember that they're human beings. Is that too much to ask?

  47. Bill Fleming

    Do you know who the "farmers" are, Pacifico? Dow Chemical, Gulf Western, John Guiamarra, Ernie and Julio Gallo, Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, Cargil.

    A very small number of large, global corporations dominate the food industry.

    And they were the VERY ONES who brought all the illegals in, by the truckload.

    They have been doing it for decades.

  48. pacificus

    Thanks for the link. I was not aware of the relationship CIS had with some of the more unsavory characters in our society.

  49. Bill Fleming

    Now, Pacifico, please read this if you would:


    "Most applicants quickly lose interest once the reality sinks in that these are back-breaking jobs in triple-digit temperatures that pay minimum wage, usually without benefits, according to the union. Some small farms are not required to pay minimum wage and in 15 states farms aren't required to offer workers' compensation."

    That's because, Pacifico, farm workers are not covered by the NLRA (Wagner Act) and thus don't have the same collective bargaining rights as other American workers do.

    American workers have been trying for decades to get the growers to increase their pay and benefits, even staging strikes and boycotts in the '70's, but progress has been slow. The growers solution has always been to bring in illegals to break the strikes. Undocumented workers are the key to keeping the farmworker labor force in line and wages low.

    It would be great if that could change, and a program like AgJobs could probably facilitate that change.

  50. pacificus

    Thanks for the link. I was not aware of the info regarding farm workers not being covered by NLRA.

    But like I have been saying, I do not agree with the notion that without immigrants the ag community would collapse. Instead they would eventually turn towards technology which would reduce the need for human labor, as has been done in the sugarcane industry and other parts of the world.

  51. Bill Fleming

    To the degree that those jobs can be mechanized, Pacifico, they have been. But a great many crops must be tended to, picked, and packed by hand. Table grapes for example, grapes for fine wine… and dates, and cotton. If it could be done by machine, it would already be being done that way. Besides, there are a lot of crews who work the machines too. By the way, why is it you want to eliminate peoples' jobs? I thought jobs were the big problem in our economy.

    What's wrong with creating a way for people to come here, work the fields, and go home if they want to and come back next year. Or, if they want to immigrate, create a pathway by which they can do so?

    The reason so many people are here illegally is that it is so difficult to get a work visa and move back and forth across the border. So they just stay. Because they need the jobs.

  52. pacificus

    I am not sure I agree with you that all jobs have been mechanized to the highest degree possible.

    For example, here is the summary from a paper about immigration and the mechanization of the grape industry.

    "The final barrier to widespread adoption of DOV or other mechanized systems is the continued availability of immigrant labor. Border interdiction has likely reduced the supply of harvest labor, but there has been virtually no interior or employer enforcement activity by the INS. If this becomes an enforcement priority and immigrant labor flows are effectively reduced, interest in mechanical alternatives will increase dramatically. "

    Yes I realize that there would still be workers who handled the machines, but for one thing mechanization would create better working conditions, and for another my point all along (while no doubt poorly argued) has been that the ag economy would not collapse without a large number of immigrants.

    That seems to be one of the favorite talking points of the pro-immigration crowd but I'm just not sure I can buy it. There may be good reasons to allow immigration but that is not one of them.

  53. Bill Fleming

    Pacifico, have you ever worked in a vineyard? Have you seen how those machines work? Do you understand that there are birds nests and animals and human waste and all kinds of stuff in those vines and that the auto-pickers can't tell a raison from a rat? Not the kind of stuff I want in my cabernet sauvignon, how about you?

    Watch out, Pacifico, that pop wine might be a weasel!

    Anyway, say they eliminated all those jobs, then what? The people would still be here and would find something else to do. How does mechanizing the ag industry solve the problem of 16 million undocumented people being in our country hiding in the shadows, afraid to come out?

  54. Bill Fleming

    Pacifico, have you ever considered that there might be a reason things are the way they are immigration wise, and that it's not the fault of the workers but rather of the people who hire them? And the people who buy and use drugs?

    Do you understand that there is a whole bunch of human trafficing going on… people being smuggled into fields in semi trucks, piled up on top of each other like cargo in vans and pickups? Subcontractors promising workers the good life and then basically enslaving them by charging them as much in rent and food as they earn?

    Did you see any of that going on when you lived in California?

    I did. I got to know a lot of those people personally.

  55. pacificus

    Like I said, my initial post was in reference to immigration being necessary for the ag community. I understand that there is a lot more involved in the greater debate on immigration.

  56. Bill Fleming

    Pacifico, allow me to direct you to a 2004 article in the Wall Street Journal, where you can find some background on the CIS organization you linked to. Be sure to read this part:


    “To date at least, restrictionism hasn’t been a political winner. Earlier this year in California, GOP state Senator Rico Oller ran for Congress by passing out fliers depicting Mexican aliens as turbaned terrorists.

    He lost the March primary to Dan Lungren, the pro-immigrant opponent he was attacking in the fliers. Nor did immigrant-bashing help Jim Oberweis of Illinois in his recent Senate bid. In radio spots Mr. Oberweis suggested that the immigrants not here to steal U.S. jobs are only here to collect welfare.

    Voters rejected such rhetoric and awarded the primary to Jack Ryan, a vocal supporter of the President’s immigration reform. However, the border brigades are unbowed.

    Groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Numbers-USA, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), ProjectUSA and the Coalition for the Future American Worker (CFAW) continue to use direct mail, television, radio and other media to target pro-immigration lawmakers throughout the country.

    Among others, they’ve mobilized against Arizona Republican Congressmen Jim Kolbe and Jeff Flake, as well as Representative Jim Leach (R., Iowa) and Senator Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.). The crime? Support for legislation that would streamline the process for hiring foreign workers and allow certain illegal aliens to apply for temporary visas and U.S. citizenship if they pay fines and meet various work requirements.”

    Wall street Journal ^ | June 17, 2004 | REVIEW & OUTLOOK

    Not exactly an objective source, man.

  57. Bill Fleming

    No apology necessary, Pacificus. Your questions facilitated an opportunity to explore the whole issue on a much deeper level than was going to happen otherwise. You opened it up as opposed to trying to shut it down, as Duh was trying to do. Kudos for that, amigo.

  58. Les

    Bill, your 16 mil number is very questionable.

    Travel from Minneapolis to New York to Miami to Dallas to Denver. Most in the service industries hardly speak our language. This is not just a Latino, nor ag issue.

    I doubt most are of the legal variety.

  59. Bill Fleming

    Les, are you surprised? That's where the low paying jobs are. In the service industries. And unlike some who post here, I happen to believe that most of the immigrants who come here — legally or illegally — come here to work, and work hard.

    As to the number of undocumented workers, what do YOU think it is, Les?

  60. Les

    No surprise to me Bill.

    I agree they come here to work until the are Americanized. They then become part of the entitled attitude. Don't guilt trip me if you've ever been a beneficiary of a program as I'm not against true need.

    I would look like a fool to put a number on the undoc workers Bill as do those who try. I do not believe the documented alien workers are being counted as undoc when their docs time out or become lost in our bureaucratic mess.

    With 75% of the population living in the area Ive described Bill, how many people would it take to cover all those bases of service. My guess would be 10%.

  61. Bill Fleming

    Les, don't confuse yourself, my friend. If their documents are in order (i.e. haven't expired) they are not illegal. This country is a nation of immigrants. And yes, by all means, they should learn to speak English if they want to work here. Even the offshore workers in India have to do that (although some of them, just barely, in my experience ;^)

    Now, what is the basis for your assertion that these folks only work until they become naturalized? Do you have any evidence of that being the case?

  62. Les

    Not confused Bill, I said when the docs time out or become lost in the mess.

    Not only work until naturalized, I said only work until they learn as many of our children and become Americanized(ie to good to do those jobs or physical etc).

  63. Bill Fleming

    ip. Both. A good idea, I think, actually.

    Of course, not one any "natural borner" would go for, I'm sure.

    Interesting question, man. Should we ALL have to do something for our country in order to "earn" our citizenship? Sort of an extension of JFK's "…ask not what your country can do for you…" idea?

  64. Duh

    And then the same thing will happen here as it is in Mexico, i.e. the mexicans get arms, combat and military training, then defect to the cartels and gangs who promise them more money. Then you have armed military professionals running drugs rather than the 12 year old hatchet job as described above. Brilliant idea ip.

  65. Bill Fleming

    Sounds like Iran/Contra to me, Duh. And the Afghanistan poppy crop "subsidy." Isn't that how the big boys do it?

  66. Duh

    What it comes down to is that the Government of Mexico has failed its citizens for decades and they continue to want us to bail them out, take their citizens and assume their problems. I am amazed at the defiance of the Mexican government and their outrage at our attempts to protect ourselves. Where is their personal responsiblity? Their outrage is only a response to our weak border policy. If they didn't think our government was wishy-washy, they wouldn't waste time bitching to us and would take care of their own business. I cannot imagine Mexico having the same posturing with tougher countries with No immigration tolerance. What is ironic is what the Mexicans do to illegals in their country. No comparison, but you never hear about it.

    This is really no different than the greedy nephew whining and pandering to the rich aunt in the hopes of getting something that he doesn't deserve.


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