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Posted: Fri March 17, 2017, 9:43 pm
by Bruce Osburn
I am fully aware that when I post these paragraphs I will be opening myself to all sorts of ridicule -- and maybe even veiled threats of bodily injury -- from those who are so determined to maintain the current porous borders around the USA.

You see, it doesn't seem to matter to free access advocates that there are certain protocols non-US citizens must follow before being granted entry into this country. No, it would appear that they are advocating for unrestricted entry for every Tom, Dick and Mary who wants to come here, legally or illegally. And, in support of that advocacy, hundreds of high profile spokespersons have blasted Trump's proposal to build "the wall". But they are, in my opinion, and in all likelihood, hypocrites.

I have no proof but I would surmise, and with a great deal of confidence, that each and every one of "the wall" opponents has at least one lock and dead bolt on every outside door, window and other accesses into their homes. And I doubt very seriously that the locks are there to keep kids and pets inside the house. No, most likely they are there to keep uninvited guests out. And the same can be said for their autos, trucks and other vehicles because the door locks are not safety devices, they are there to deter thugs from stealing them while they sleep or perhaps prevent someone from jumping into them while waiting for red lights to change to green.

So, if "the wall" opponents are so in favor of allowing unfettered access into the USA, why then do they have locks on the doors of their homes and cars? Why aren't they so willing to allow free access to anyone who takes a notion to enter their property?

Yes, hypocrites, one and all, preaching one policy and practicing just the opposite.


Posted: Sat March 18, 2017, 11:04 am
by lynnsteen
Well said.


Posted: Mon March 20, 2017, 9:11 pm
by sigmore
I'll concur on that as well. Don't get the Christian hypocrites stirred up too much.


Posted: Tue March 21, 2017, 12:12 am
by Jody Meacham
No, not hypocrites.

Hypocrites are people who act in contradiction to their stated beliefs.

None of the wall opponents I know — I know plenty and I’m one of them — thinks the immigrants illegally crossing the border are doing so because they want to steal from us or harm us. But that is what we think people who would enter our homes without permission are up to.

So it’s not hypocrisy because our beliefs about these immigrants and people who break into houses are not the same.

This is a mathematical fact re-proven every day in the United States: If someone who illegally crossed our border enters a house, when that person leaves it is millions of times more likely that the house is clean and the laundry folded than the TV is missing.


Posted: Tue March 21, 2017, 10:53 pm
by Linda Lancaster
i think I need my jaws wired shut. We need a big dose of compassion but we also need a big dose of common sense and reality.


Posted: Tue March 21, 2017, 10:58 pm
by Bruce Osburn
I'll concede that illegal immigrants are not crossing the borders because they want to steal from us or do us harm. But, regardless of why they crossed, there are still some who are doing just that in some form or other.

My definition of stealing is taking something that doesn't belong to the person taking it. (Washing your car using a neighbor's water and garden hose without permission is stealing.) And a person who receives (takes) public services, whether local, state or federal, but has no naturalization or birth rights to those services, does both harm and theft to those who are largely responsible for providing those services. And that's what illegal immigrants are doing when they avail themselves of a vast number of social services, including public schools.

So promoting and allowing unfettered access into this country seems like a pretty high price to pay just because some folks want clean houses and folded laundry. But I would like to think that those who washed the floors and folded the sheets had been invited into the USA and then asked to enter private homes.

As I have said several times before on this forum, my gripe isn't with those who came into this country legally; my gripe is with those who slipped through the back door knowing full well that they could depend on the open borders gang for support. But if the open borders people are so dedicated to their cause then I suggest that they put their money where their mouth is. And in doing so they could help lessen the financial burden placed on those who do not agree with them.

An excellent way for an open borders advocate to show support for illegal immigrant families is to sponsor one. And I don't mean just giving lip service and waving placards; what I mean is taking full responsibility for a family by spending some of their own money. Let them provide an immigrant family with food, shelter, clothing, private schooling and medical care until the family is able to pay its own way.


Posted: Wed March 22, 2017, 7:08 am
by Linda Lancaster
I agree. Put your money where your mouth is. The lack of border control could eventually reduce us all to only God knows what. I cannot imagine the Pelosi types looking for her medical care and other needs in a homeless shelter. Sponsor a family and then I will respect you. Otherwise, go back to your living in a dream world.


Posted: Sun March 26, 2017, 11:12 am
by Jody Meacham
You surprised me, Bruce and Linda.

I had not expected to find so much support for what areas with the heaviest immigration are doing and have done for years. You obviously recognize why there are so many sanctuary churches, cities, counties and -- soon probably -- states.

These places recognize the value of treating people well who risk their lives to find work to help their families. So often the United States has turned its back on people who embody the courage, initiative and work ethic that we profess to admire. We said they were the wrong color, worshiped the wrong god or our god in a different way than we did, spoke a different language or did any of a million other things in a way we didn't approve of and thus found reason not to like.


Posted: Sun March 26, 2017, 12:09 pm
by Linda Lancaster
I am in no way against any other person regardless of their race, religion or any other reason. There are rules on how to enter or become a citizen of this country. Either change the rules or abide by them. That is all I am asking.


Posted: Sun March 26, 2017, 2:37 pm
by Jody Meacham
And all I'm asking is that our rules fit the circumstances of people who are desperately fleeing hardship and war and reflect our national ideals. Your previous post makes it clear you think the people coming here are the problem. They aren't. They are fleeing the problem.


Posted: Sun March 26, 2017, 4:11 pm
by Linda Lancaster
Not all of the people fleeing here are problems, but some of them are. If I were an illegal immigrant or refugee, I would be skeptical of any city or state that told me they would protect me from the current laws of our land. Sounds to me like I would be opening myself up to being blackmailed or entering in a pathway to a sort of slavery. I am not that gullible. It sounds so kind to be a sanctuary but it really is a smokescreen. The whole bunch proposing all this do nothing but throw crumbs at the desperate.Talk about taking advantage of the downtrodden. They just want to make themselves look like they care about the less fortunate. Are these sanctuaries going to have any rules or guidelines or just wing it? It will be interesting to watch this unfold. Nothing in this life will ever be free or easy.


Posted: Mon March 27, 2017, 12:54 am
by Bruce Osburn
I don't think the majority of "the wall' proponents base their objections to illegal immigration on color, religion or language. But there's no denying that there is at least one of... "a million other things in a way we didn't approve of and thus found reason not to like". And that one thing is people slipping into this country without permission, whether they be wealthy or poor, educated or under educated.

I don't recall "the wall" proponents voicing major opposition to those who come here legally. And they come daily, by the thousands and of many colors, religions and languages.

The open border zealots are surpassed only by Mexico in their desire to maintain inadequate border control. And it appears that, as far as Mexico is concerned, the more inadequate, the better. So it's no surprise that Mexico is dead set against Trump -- or anyone else, for that matter -- creating an impenetrable barrier along our southern border, whether it be a wall or increased surveillance and patrol.

And it isn't difficult to understand why Mexico doesn't want a tight border because closing the border to illegal crossings would contribute greatly to crippling Mexico's biggest source of foreign revenue. You see, Mexico's poor, under educated masses -- los campesinos -- are the most valuable natural resource the country exploits and exports. They contribute more foreign income to Mexico's economy than #2 oil or #3 tourism.

Prior to 2014 oil exportation was Mexico's #1 foreign revenue source but was replaced by money transfers made by Mexican nationals outside the country. News sources report that those remittances from the USA to Mexico were approximately 25 billion dollars in 2015. (That amount is greater than the budgets of some states.)

And what makes the #1 natural resource so much more valuable to Mexico is the country does not have to spend one peso in order for those billions of dollars to flow into the economy every year.


Posted: Sat April 1, 2017, 3:40 pm
by Jody Meacham
Normally I like to make my arguments in my own words, but the words of journalist and writer Anatole France are way better than mine to begin this reply:
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

People of means from other countries don’t need to break the law if they wish to enter the United States to work. The law is written to make their access easy with various student and work visas that the poor south of our border can’t take advantage of. By writing our immigration law in this way, people whose goal is keeping out others they don’t like can say “Oh, it’s not Mexicans/Catholics/Spanish-speakers/poor people I’m against. I’m just against lawbreakers.”

That and you’re also against people coming to the United States for the same reasons nearly every one of our own ancestors did. For what reason if not to keep out people we choose, based on our own prejudices, to ban?

The United States has a long history of writing laws so that people prejudiced against someone’s race, religion, income or a host of other reasons can discriminate without having to admit to that prejudice.

After the Civil War, many Southern states enacted literacy tests and poll taxes to keep black people from voting, but they didn’t want to block white people. So the laws exempted voters from these tests if their grandfathers had the right to vote before the Civil War (the origin of the term “grandfather clause”).

North Carolina Republicans tried the same trick with a voter ID law designed to prevent black people and college students from voting. Lawyers subpoenaed the emails of legislators who wrote the law. It showed the legislators researched the forms of identification that black people and college students were most likely and least likely to possess. From that information, driver’s licenses were made acceptable ID (least likely for black people) but student IDs were not. That’s why North Carolina’s law lost in court. It's telling that the legislature's response has been to try to exempt legislators' emails from public access, not expand acceptable forms of ID.

Nobody’s advocating for a wall to keep Canadians from harvesting wheat in Minnesota or frack for oil in North Dakota.

The imagined dangers these laws are supposed to protect us against are the smokescreen. The wages a Mexican earns in the United States were exchanged for the value of that person’s work to a U.S. employer. If it helps that worker here as well as his family in Mexico, that’s good for everybody. Why resent the Mexican family’s good fortune? It does not hurt the United States.

Neither does the $300 billion paid into the Social Security system over the years by people using false account numbers who will never collect, nor the nearly $12 billion in state and local taxes collected each year from undocumented immigrants.

If you want to do more than just looking like you care about the less fortunate, then protest the law Trump signed Tuesday that eliminates the Obama rule requiring that federal contractors disclose and correct safety and wage theft violations.


Posted: Sat April 1, 2017, 6:59 pm
by Linda Lancaster
How do poor people, lacking reliable transportation purchase alcohol in rural areas? Do they show ID? Is the alcohol purchased illegally? Nevertheless they obtain it? Same for the college student? Opposing voter ID is just plain politics. Nothing more , nothing less. Everything requires proof of ID now days.. or at least important things. Do you need ID to purchase tobacco?


Posted: Sun April 2, 2017, 12:37 am
by Jody Meacham
Voting is a right. There is no right to buy alcohol or tobacco, which may be purchased for others' consumption.

You may be aware that the same people who oppose requiring papers to buy a firearm -- because that, too, is a right -- want to require IDs for voting. The difference is that it has now been proven in court that the purpose of requiring voter identification is to deny certain people the right to vote.


Posted: Sun April 2, 2017, 9:52 pm
by Bruce Osburn
I agree that the U.S. has a history of passing laws riddled with inequities that were aimed at one group or another. But, for the most part, those discriminating laws have been repealed or amended to reflect a more compassionate and all inclusive society. However, there are citizens who still adhere to the practice of excluding from their midst individuals they don't want to associate with because of profession, social connections or other factors that don't measure up to set standards.

They do that by creating private organizations and enacting and enforcing rules and regulations that may be very similar to the discriminatory laws passed by our ancestors hundreds of years ago. But no one vilifies them for exercising their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as they see fit. On the other hand, if another group takes issue with people slipping into the U.S. uninvited, then that group is branded as intolerant, uncaring, un-American, bigots and right down to the favorite ace-in-the-hole card... racists.

I'll agree that those who paid money into the Social Security system should be allowed to avail themselves of the benefits of that system, no matter what their immigration status. After all, the system readily accepted their mandatory payroll deductions right along with everyone else. But the statement... the $300 billion paid into the Social Security system over the years by people using false account numbers... is a little vague. Does that figure also include employers' matching funds, or does the $300 billion figure represent the amount paid into the system by the illegal workers? And just how long a period of time is... over the years? Five? Ten? Twenty or more? And I fail to see why $12 billion collected every year from illegal immigrants by local and state taxing authorities should justify their presence in any way.

It has been estimated that there are 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. So the $12 billion tax collections divided by 12 million illegals comes out to $1000 per illegal person (men, women and children). So, based on those numbers, it would appear that a family of six contributes $6000 per year into the local tax coffers, which I say is an impressive amount no matter who pays it.

But it's also reasonable to suppose that that family of six has at least two children enrolled in public schools. And the public school system here in my corner of Georgia spends nigh on to $10,000 per student per year. Of that amount the county antes up about 40% with state and federal funds making up the difference. So it costs the county $8,000/year to school those two children.

But the $6,000 collected in taxes from that family does not go into the school system's bank account to help defray the cost of keeping the two children in school. Instead, it goes into the county's general fund where it is used for services such as police, fire, roads, etc. It does not lessen the burden of those who actually fund the school system because that system is funded by property taxes, not sales tax.

If the Canadians harvesting wheat in Minnesota and fracking for oil in North Dakota are here uninvited, then I say send them packing. But if they are here with passport and work permit, then I say more power to them and there is no need to build a northern wall.

The illegal immigrant situation can be painted in many different ways, but I still think they are not an asset to this country.

If voting is a right, why aren't my teenage grandchildren allowed to vote?


Posted: Tue April 4, 2017, 3:09 pm
by Jody Meacham
I’ll start at the bottom, Bruce, by saying I’m shocked you didn’t know that voting is a right.

The U.S. Constitution mentions the right to vote five times, more than any other right. The last mention is in the 26th Amendment and says “The right of citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States.” Are your grandchildren 18?

The United States of America is not a private club.

The issue with people entering the country illegally is real. The response of building walls, deporting hard-working people, and splitting up and permanently harming families that are desperately struggling to make a better future for themselves is self-defeating in that the result is worse than the crime it's intended to prevent. It’s like pulling a guy who’s speeding, discovering his wife in the back seat is in labor, and insisting he sign the ticket and pay the fine right there before he’s allowed to move on and no, we do not accept credit cards or checks and you can’t drive to the ATM.

These stupid solutions are done merely to remind certain people that we can wield control over their lives even though we profess to uphold justice. And if people don’t like being called “intolerant, uncaring, un-American, bigots and right down to the favorite ace-in-the-hole card ... racists” for doing that, the solution is for them to quit acting that way.

The $300 billion paid into Social Security by undocumented immigrants was a number given by the chief actuary of the Social Security system in 2013 but he didn’t say over what period of time. He did say such payments represent about 10 percent of the value of the trust fund.

My point about money paid toward Social Security and in state and local taxes is that the people who cross our borders illegally are rarely a financial burden to the United States. They pay other taxes as well, their work creates other jobs, the businesses they create also create jobs, their spending creates jobs.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report in 2007 that said, “Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.”

Your example of public school costs is problematic in two ways. First is that property taxes are local taxes and undocumented immigrants pay them on the property they own.

Second is the vast majority of families with children in school pay less in taxes than it costs to educate their children. That’s why public schools were invented and it’s the way taxes work: the costs of the government services they pay for are nearly always spread over a larger population than use that service. A majority of people would find it very difficult, if not impossible, to survive or prosper financially if we had to pay the full cost of the government services we use. But we also realize that everyone benefits from a society where everyone gets an education.


Posted: Wed April 5, 2017, 9:48 am
by Bruce Osburn
No, the grandchildren I was referring to have not yet turned 18 so it looks like there is at least one obstacle thrown up in the path of the right to vote. And some states restrict felons' rights to vote.

But what makes 18 the age one has to reach in order to become eligible to vote? Why not 16, or 14 or even 12? Children of that age are certainly capable of going into a voting booth and pulling the levers their parents tell them to pull. So it's my opinion that 18 became the magical age when the 26th Amendment was passed simply to placate those who said that if someone was old enough to be drafted into the military then that person was old enough to vote. But if the Constitution could be amended to require the voting age at the federal level to be at least 18, why not make government issued photo IDs a requirement also?

No matter how much I try, I cannot agree with these two statements Jody included in a previous post: My point about money paid toward Social Security and in state and local taxes is that the people who cross our borders illegally are rarely a financial burden to the United States. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report in 2007 that said, “Over the past two decades, most efforts to estimate the fiscal impact of immigration in the United States have concluded that, in aggregate and over the long term, tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized—exceed the cost of the services they use.”

So going strictly on the premises that illegal immigrants are rarely a financial burden to the United States and the tax revenues generated by immigrants—both legal and unauthorized— exceed the cost of the services they use... it would appear that the most logical and proper thing to do is to go ahead and allow unfettered immigration into this country. Let anyone who wants to come, come.

Knock down the turnstiles and rip out all physical barriers at the borders. Dissolve the border patrol, shut down immigration checkpoints at all ports of entry. Remove all traces of controlled entry and let the people come! And, who knows?... maybe after just a few years the economy of the U.S. will be bursting at the seams with all the taxes, hard work, family values and other contributions immigrants are said to provide this country. At that rate maybe we could even retire our $20 trillion national debt.

Problem solved!

Your example of public school costs is problematic in two ways. First is that property taxes are local taxes and undocumented immigrants pay them on the property they own.

I'm aware that school systems (at least the one here in my county) are funded by property taxes. And I also know that the school tax paid by any one middle-class residential property falls far short of meeting the costs of educating any children living there. By my calculations it would take a total of 20 years collecting taxes on that one property just to pay for educating one child. And that's where school tax on commercial property comes into play because those properties share the burden.

The fact that... undocumented immigrants pay them [taxes] on the property they own does not necessarily mean that there is a net gain in taxes collected. The same amount of taxes would have been collected on the property anyway, no matter who owned it... legal citizen, illegal immigrant or even unoccupied. Unless, of course, the illegal immigrant had just recently bought a brand new house which had been built on a vacant lot; then the tax base would have been increased and more property taxes collected.


Posted: Wed April 5, 2017, 8:00 pm
by Linda Lancaster
Bruce: your comment regarding knock down the turnstiles, etc. made me laugh more than I have since Clinton lost or won the election ( depends on who are asking) Since 2008, this country has lost their common sense, perhaps forever.


Posted: Thu April 6, 2017, 1:53 pm
by lynnsteen
While I agree with your "common sense" assessment in principle, I think it occurred sooner than 2008 though, like maybe the 1990s, maybe even before that. Our so called public servants are no longer willing to attend to the country's business, but rather the business of their respective political party (you could substitute the word interests for business). Gone are the days of political statesmanship, like happened during the Watergate hearings when both sides were interested in getting to the truth. All we have now is just political bickering, with the relentless spouting of talking points.


Posted: Tue April 11, 2017, 4:11 am
by Jody Meacham
Interesting, Bruce, in your first sentence of your reply to me that you describe “one obstacle thrown up in the path to vote.” Are you saying you wish there were more obstacles to citizens’ right to vote?

Yes, many states restrict felons’ right to vote. Punishment for being convicted crime typically results in numerous, but not all, rights being suspended. Just the act of being locked up is a suspension of several rights.

Yes, the Constitution can be amended and yes, the amendment giving 18-year-olds the right to vote was prompted by the draft because people objected to citizens being drafted into the military and sent to war by a government that draftees had no right to vote on. That’s not magic; it’s a logical reason whether or not you agree with it. The Constitution specifies the rules for amending it, and all amendments since the first have been done the same way: Two-thirds of each house of Congress must pass the amendment and then three-fourths of the states must ratify it. So it’s not easy to accomplish.

But it’s not necessary to amend the Constitution to require identification to vote. Indiana became the first state to require voter identification in the 2006 election and that law was upheld in 2008 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, prohibits federal and state governments from abridging the right to vote based on a person’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” and gave Congress the authority to enforce that amendment. The voter ID laws of North Carolina and Texas have been blocked because courts found that those laws were designed to discriminate against racial minorities, which was forbidden by the Civil Rights Act of 1965, a law passed pursuant to the 15th Amendment.

Your argument about knocking down the turnstiles is a straw man argument. From your very first post in this thread, when you referred to “free access advocates,” you have tried to paint everyone who doesn’t believe in your concept of borders to be in favor of no border controls at all. And while I’m sure there some people who feel that way, opposing a border wall and supporting massed deportation is at the extreme end of a wide range of beliefs. No border controls at all is not the only alternative; it's at the opposite end of that spectrum. The majority of Americans are between those extremes, which include controls to block smuggling and track the international movement of people as well as goods, but not to treat foreigners who have committed serious crimes the same way as people who have lived here peacefully and constructively even if they broke the law to get here.

The Georgia Department of Education published a document in October 2015 entitled “Financing Georgia’s Schools: A 2015 Briefing.”

It says: “In FY 2014, public K-12 school districts in Georgia received $14.5 billion in revenue, or $8,530 per FTE (full-time enrollee). As depicted in figures 1 and 2, 40.9 percent of this revenue came from local sources, 51.4 percent from state sources, and 7.8 percent from the federal government.”

While property taxes are the greatest portion of the local share of funding, they amount to an average of $3,040 per FTE. Only 10 of Georgia’s 180 school systems are allowed to use sales taxes for operations, but all use sales taxes for capital expenses like new buildings, to repay debt on school bonds used to build schools and to issue new debt for construction.

The federal share of Georgia public school funding, which I help pay, generally targets specific student populations or programs like schools where the low-income population is greater than 35 percent of the student body, “funding support for migratory children,” staff training, programs for neglected or at-risk students, disabled students, child nutrition and after-school care among others.