Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

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FinderDoug
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Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby FinderDoug » Tue May 18, 2010 6:33 am

Faux this morning has a propaganda piece on the rising burden on the State of Arizona resulting from illegal immigration.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/17/im ... dy-says/St

It's a very interesting case study in news shaping. The "study" was undertaken by FAIR – The Federation for American Immigration Reform - a shiny, candy-like button of a name - which consulted on the writing of the bill (Fox Guarding Henhouse Syndrome) - and the results were exclusively released to Faux (if no one has coined the term "Mouthpiece Journalism", I call dibs).

Of course, FAIR indicates that losses from a boycott would be far less than the savings to the state if the burden on the state from the immigrants in question was removed. One supposes this is the point of the "news" story is (the "Your Protests Will Make No Difference, So Why Bother?" play - a popular variant on the "Your Vote Will Make No Difference..." strategy). Lip-service is paid to the opposing side's numbers, which indicate a loss of 140k jobs and $11.7b in gross state product if all undocumented immigrants leave Arizona (with a fascinating parry from the report's chief researcher that's completely nonsensical). And it all gets wrapped in a big, fat "this is good" bow of asininity:

“We discovered after looking at places where big raids were made that salaries went up after the raids because employers now had to pay competitive wages to Americans.” Martin said. “And that will mean more money for the state.”


It's an interesting study, this piece. I wonder if Faux works on a template and includes certain terms X number of times...

---

All of which got me thinking on the topic itself. I'm of the opinion that because there is a process for immigration, if you want to live in America, you need to go through the process. Are people who circumvent the process here illegally? Yes. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact, and circumstances don't change the law as written. You can steal bread to feed your family - the end is noble, even vital, but it still amounts to stealing in the eyes of the law.

Should they be prosecuted for it? Here's the problem: the system has already quasi-integrated them. When you willingly employ an individual, when you take tax money from them, when you accept children into the educational system, when you treat them at the clinic, you send the message that it's all okay - yeah, yeah, I know you're not actually a citizen, and I know you don't actually have a visa, but that's okay, because you need X and I need Y and we'll all be okay, every one of us... To extend the analogy, if the baker allows you to take a loaf of bread for your family, he sends the message you're welcome to the bread. The baker's at fault for the resultant confusion when he decides to change the rules about taking bread after the fact.

It was all well and good for people to look the other way when it benefited them in cheap labor. Now? Yeah, well - since the forthcoming law doesn't do anything to affect the root cause, and just demonizes the individual who has circumvented the system, you have to believe it will be less about whether someone will use an undocumented worker, and more about how long they can glide under the radar while employing one.

I pass day laborers of Hispanic descent in Herndon, VA every day, who are waiting around by the Sunoco station for someone to pull over and offer them a day's work. Are they in the country legally, or merely unemployed? I can't tell by looking at them. So can someone explain how Joe Law Enforcement is going to be able to in Arizona? They have some kind of special detection device down there that we're lacking here in non-scorpion country?

Oh, right - they're going to ask to see your papers if they have reasonable cause to believe you're here illegally. Reasonable cause. Like 'race' isn't the first square on that game board.(How long before the first news program puts a reporter of Hispanic heritage undercover to see the how/when/why of such a "reasonable cause" stop in action? Want to bet it isn't Faux?)

Yesterday, in another venue, the question of Nationalism versus Patriotism came up. I kinda watched it from the sidelines, mired in post-trip deadlines and running about, but it got me thinking as I read this morning's Mouthpiece Journalism article in light of the whole Arizona immigration debacle and the political hay to be made.

Patriotism is recognizing that there's an issue for the United States and finding a solution that strengthens the whole. As it applies here: shore up the border? Yes. And not JUST with Mexico, but ALL points of entry, from ALL nations, to ensure that people who want to emigrate have a fair path (just as anyone who isn't a full-blooded native American was afforded that privilege somewhere in their family tree) and people who don't want to be (or shouldn't be) are weeded out. Instead of criminalizing the people who are already here around the system and already partially integrated, you find a way to naturalize them. They want to be here, and work, and achieve something for themselves and their children, so find a way to add their strength to the nation's.

Nationalism is asking for papers. It's comical when it happens to Indiana Jones on a blimp. It's less funny when the wrong answer gets you stuck in a boxcar and you disappear, even as people say, "this is the greatest nation on earth, THAT can't happen HERE." How long before they're asking to see the proof of your party affiliation or the American-ness of your blood? They WANT you to believe it can't happen here - in the same fashion they wanted you to believe that marching on Selma wouldn't make a difference, that your vote won't make a difference - that boycotting Arizona won't make a difference.

A big part of the problem is too many of the "Haves" in this country have forgotten what hunger is (both physical and spiritual). We've created subsequent generations of privileged kids who think manual labor is beneath them and want to make fast, easy money, whether as a pop star or an athlete or a CEO. Flip burgers for $6 an hour? As if. Hell, Faux turned it into excretainment as that moronic show with Paris Hilton and Lionel Ritchie's kid - what was it? Watch Dipstick Rich Brats Not Function In Society?

I'd love to see a survey of 1,000 random individuals across the spectrum of income and background to define in 20 words or less the American Dream.

I think the results would be staggering.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue May 18, 2010 10:24 am

I suppose I have an extemist position on this issue. I think the consequences to our society of full scale anti-immigration efforts would be much worse than simply having open borders.

It would require turning our society into a police-state in order to physically remove all illegal immigrants by gunpoint. Do we want to do this?

Removing all illegal immigrants would seriously cripple our economy. Do we really want to do this?

We consider our own ancestors as heroes because they were willing to travel thousands of miles to a strange land at serious risk to build new lives and support their families back home. Do we really want to treat these folks as if they were terrorists come here to attack our country?

The economic power structure in the southern border states consists largely of descendents of Europeans. The community of immigrants in the southern border states, legal and otherwise are largely the descendents of hispanics. Coincidence? Would the issue be so combustive if it were otherwise?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
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FrankChurch
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby FrankChurch » Tue May 18, 2010 1:22 pm

Ezra, not a very CENTRIST position you have there. I might have to keep my eye on you. You may be useful after all.

I'm moderate on the issue, actually. Have more border security, but there are other things that are important. End the drug war. Not only does it end the violence on the border, it cools the anti-immigrant fever. The ones who are here have to be taken out of the shadows. If they are willing to say their names, they can have a method to legalization. Go after companies that hire illegals. Don't punish the illegals, punish the bosses. Put people in jail, not just giving them stupid ass monetary hits.

Actually, that's not very moderate.

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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby markabaddon » Tue May 18, 2010 2:08 pm

Excellent post Doug, have you considered submitting it in a slightly modified form to HuffingtonPost or to DailyKos?

Nice work,

Mark
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Chuck Messer
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue May 18, 2010 7:36 pm

Yes! Doug that is one of the most well-reasoned, non-knee-jerk positions on this issue I've read. I think maybe Huffpost or someone might just be interested. You might look into it.

Chuck
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Chuck Messer
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue May 18, 2010 7:42 pm

And it has long been my contention that many of the bloviators on the right are people who have never had an uncomfortable day in their lives. Maybe they should be sentenced to going through the hoops of getting unemployment in a "Right to Work" state and looking for work as a regular Joe (not the plumber) for a year. Of course, they'd have to be denied any name or face recognition. See how they like it.

Chuck
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby FrankChurch » Wed May 19, 2010 7:28 am

Most conservatives live in Right To Work states and they hate Unions.

Texas wants to call Slavery the "trans-continental trade policy."

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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby cynic » Wed May 19, 2010 7:49 pm

hopefully, as concerns of employment opportunity are part of the immigration debate, continuing this tangent is not too far off topic.
Chuck Messer wrote:And it has long been my contention that many of the bloviators on the right are people who have never had an uncomfortable day in their lives. Maybe they should be sentenced to going through the hoops of getting unemployment in a "Right to Work" state and looking for work as a regular Joe
hi chuck,
i understand your position on "bloviators on the right" ("group of slope-headed, prognathous-jawed, gun-toting, holocaust-trivializing, loutish, smelly neader-fucks." was a fine clue).

but i'm not sure what negative effect the "Right to Work" laws have on "getting unemployment (insurance payments ?)".

if you meant (i suspect) "getting employment in a "Right to Work" state", i am at an even greater loss to understand. Finding -union- work in an RTW state can be tough, but otherwise, employment opportunity is dependant on the needs of local industry and services.

colorado is not a "right to work" state, so i assume you refer to your experience elsewhere or by anecdote?

i'm glad your working, all the best, mikey
follow your bliss,mike

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Chuck Messer
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby Chuck Messer » Wed May 19, 2010 10:16 pm

Actually, I meant an at-will employment state. The employer can fire you for the way you comb your hair, etc. And, since employers pay into the unemployment insurance fund, you can be denied unemployment if it's deemed to be your fault if you were unemployed.

I used to work for Dish Network, who uses this condition to the max. They have a 200% rate of turnover, which seems to have become a part of their business model. They constantly change the rules for the call center people, as if they're actually trying to get the employee to get enough violations to justify termination. If the number of experienced call center employees is kept low, labor costs are kept low.

I was let go after a year at that place, so I didn't qualify for unemployment. I didn't slack off, I didn't abuse breaks, I busted my ass. Didn't matter. It was a tough nine months until I got a steady job.

The system sucks. I've been there and it simply sucks. It hands nearly absolute power to employers, and brother, it really does corrupt absolutely.

Chuck
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby Chuck Messer » Wed May 19, 2010 10:20 pm

And, I'm not sure what this has to do with the Arizona debate, only the people from faux news who are cheering this on.

I do think some form of immigration reform is needed. The current system simply doesn't work. Immigrant bashing, even if it's illegal immigrants, is not going to help.

I see Arizona may threaten California with a power boycott if they boycott Arizona. It seems California get about a quarter of its power from them.

Chuck
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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby FinderDoug » Thu May 20, 2010 6:32 am

Mark, Chuck - Thanks; I thought it was a little rushed; and I don't know if politics is my thing. It gives me twisted innards. But I might try to do something with the piece besides polish it and drop it into my long-neglected blog. I mean, I did pay all that good money for a degree...

Frank - Actually, the overall issue has been festering far longer than the current drug war violence. I'm not denying there's some added interest in getting the hell out of El Dodge for a lot of people who'd rather not wind up dead for being in the wrong place when the bullets fly. But well before that, it was a play to escape poverty and an exploitation by human traffickers to make a buck slipping people over the border to fulfill that desire. It was already an entertainment cliche when the opening of Men In Black made hay with it thirteen years ago.

Nor would I put the drug war violence factor very high as a contributor to anti-immigrant sentiment on this side of the border. The anger has much, much more to do with a) politicians on both sides using it as a talking point to advance themselves or their agendas, and b) the media elements that choose to inflame the issue by becoming the multi-million home outlets for the Us versus Them mentality that's become entrenched within our own borders and directed at one another. Us versus Them is great for winning wars against global aggressors. But a large segment of our society has forgotten (if they ever knew) that "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." (Sure, it's biblical, but I come to it by way of Lincoln.) They've given themselves over to agitators without pausing to ask what the investment of those people in the issue really is. Sheeple - the other other white meat.

I wonder... what's the ancestry of some of these politicians jumping up and down about the immigrants in question? Did their grandparents and great grandparents arrive on crowded ships and get processed at Ellis Island and leave their homelands for a better opportunity for themselves and their children?

I see Arizona may threaten California with a power boycott if they boycott Arizona. It seems California get about a quarter of its power from them.


I saw that late yesterday - again, trumpeted by Faux. Apparently the morning propaganda didn't work ("your boycott will do nothing") and we've moved onto the next level ("if you do that, you'll be sorry"). It might be a good time to build some wind farms in California (onshore, offshore - either way, T. Boone Pickens will be happy to serve you, and if you can pay for it - I know that's a challenge in California with the current economy - you can stimulate some jobs there) and harness the mighty Santa Ana, and tell Arizona to enjoy the 25% drop in their utility revenues.

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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby cynic » Thu May 20, 2010 6:42 am

hi doug, i share your concerns, this is a sad state of affairs.
unfortunately, at least twice in the past, 1930 and 1954, mass deportations and voluntary exodus took place.Both times largely due to employment level .
The tendency of the law to "look the other way" is greatest, perhaps even "encouraged" when unemployment is low.
The great value of immigrant labor, past, present and future is unquestioned.
We used them, underpaid at that, and god bless them, many were content and even felt fortunate.
The heartbreak of unemployment and the loss of the american dream effects citizens as well as migrants.
Is this mere propaganda?
Is The Federation for American Immigration Reform merely a propaganda machine? Hasn't the us congress sought their input in the past ?

"Should they be prosecuted for it?" ..What's the fine? Should they not be deported?
" if the baker allows you to take a loaf of bread for your family".. is charity. Is the baker legaly or MORALY bound to feed you if he must deny his own children to do so ?
" the forthcoming law doesn't do anything to affect the root cause".. What is the cause if not high unemployment and no budget?
You're correct, it IS political hay. Perhaps we can persuade 5 or 10 million citizens to sponsor work visas instead ?
"It's less funny when the wrong answer gets you stuck in a boxcar " .. Please forgive me doug, but i think that borders on bullshit hyperbolic nonsense. Bring that up when the concentration camps are near full, before we start building ovens.
" "Haves" in this country have forgotten what hunger is".. Many have been reminded. Some are living it right now.
It does come down to politics, money and the law. We're in a fukd up situation.
I suspect (hope) that the avoidence of violence will be of the greatest concern, keep the rioters and vigilates at bay.
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby FrankChurch » Thu May 20, 2010 7:29 am

I have been looking into this a bit and found a bit more about causes:

The terrorist wars in Central America wrecked the countries, sending many of the people here for work. It aint just Messicans.

Massive poverty is the main cause, obviously. Poverty brought on by corruption, but most importantly, the after effects of Nafta.

There's also the interesting issue of Americans moving to Mexico because it is cheaper.

-------------

People always blame immigrants--that paranoia is all through our history. Jewish immigrants created huge amounts of anti-semitism. You had signs saying, "no dogs, no Irish" when Irish immigrants came over. Germans were demonized because of World War one. Blacks aren't immigrants, but they were treated badly by everybody else. The whole miserable parade--hopefully we will one day progress. God willing.

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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby cynic » Thu May 20, 2010 8:36 am

seasonal farm work was the main deal for immigrants in the early 1900's, and a return south to home in the off season.

many southern african americans made the trip to the midwest through the northeast for havest season. ya go where the work is.
a considerable number of eastern europeans have returned home from the states, britain and elsewhere in the last 4 years or so.

i've worked with about a half doz. guys that put in 5-10 yrs in the states on visas, and were able to retire at home in mexico, returning to their family.

one guy i worked with (divorced white male) put in enough time here (2-3 mos.) every summer, to keep up his health insurance plan (min. employer support with max. self-pay), and spent the rest of the year running his chartering boat in Alcapulco.

my great grandfather removed the "von" prefix when he came to the states in 1920.

we do progress in many ways, it just does't happen fast enough.
follow your bliss,mike

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Re: Propaganda and the Arizona Immigration Debacle

Postby cynic » Thu May 20, 2010 9:11 am

this is all going to come down to the law and money, jamed through the sieve of politics.
this is a very emotional subject, and emotions are seldom denied.
the best we'll get is that everyone will be equaly pissed off.
i'll shut up now.
thank you for your patience.
follow your bliss,mike


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