Board of Contributors: What part of immigration don't YOU understand? | March 21, 2007 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - March 21, 2007

Board of Contributors: What part of immigration don't YOU understand?

by Stephen Levy

As I began preparing to be part of a March 31 conference in Palo Alto on immigration, I offered to submit a column to the Weekly on my topic: the economic issues of immigration.

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Stephen Levy is Director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy and can be reached at The "Immigration Challenges and Opportunities" forum is free and will be from 9:15 a.m. to noon at Hewlett Packard, 3000 Hanover St., Palo Alto. For information call 650-289-5425 or visit or e-mail


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Posted by Buckoux
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2009 at 10:29 am

A Solomon's compromise. Enact a law that enables a path to citizenship for those who are here "undocumented" and, correspondingly, restrict citizenship to those born in the US to illegal immigrant parents until the age of 18, upon which they can choose to be citizens of Estados Unidos de Mexico, or the United States of America. Or the other way around.

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Posted by bru
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 25, 2009 at 12:28 pm

bru is a registered user.

Why do people who use economic arguments apparently think that economics is all there is to the world?

Is it clear that most of the people in the country think there is too much immigration, and way too much illegal immigration and want something done about it.

Typically, economist are trotted out to tell us the reality of how wrong people are. They have told us for years that rises in the minimimum wages hurt jobs and business. Yet the numbers show that every time the minimum wage is raised unemployment goes down and the economy gets stronger.

I hate to say "don't confuse me with the facts", because I like to think of myself of intelligent, rational and fact driven. There are however arguments that are not based on facts, but on doctrine, faith, authority, etc.

What is happening to the southern US border area in terms of crime and violence has something to do with porous borders and a gap in culture. I don't like it. I don't care what an economist tells me about it wants me or tells me to think.

I don't like the dilution of American culture, and I do not like being associated with racists or red necks. I am neither. The fact that I do not like tuning through radio and TV channels searching for an English station is not evidence of racism and it does not mean I do not appreciate diversity or other cultures.

I never supported the mainstream US culture discriminating against minorities, and so I really resent it when I encounter discrimination from immigrants from south of the border in stores and restarants. The fact that I mention it, perceive it, or that it makes me mad should not impeach or disqualify my opinion. I have stood up for equal treatment of minorities, only to be treated rudely by a group who are hostile to the very country who has taken them in and provide them with jobs, and helps support their home country.

At this point I favor creating an objective reality that can be determined. That is, when things happen under the table, off the books, then anything can be argued. Close the border and cut off the jobs to non-citizens. Return those who are not supposed to be here to where they should be, and lets start from there.

If there are not enough janitors, waitors, or produce pickers, let's look at the wages for Americans. Why should we have some kind of special class of "virtual slaves" in this country because we want to be cheap and not pay what it costs have certain products and then rationalize it.

This kind of absurdity bleeds over to everything else in the country eventually to the point that no one can stand to not get some kind of special treatment and can always point to someone else who is benefitting by special treatment until we have a completely corrupt country and economy.

Finally, there is a big problem with Mexico. Let's have a discussion about what it does to both the US and Mexico to allow what is an under the table corrupt reality that takes advantage of desperate people, keeping them desperate, with no pressure exerted to fix their country or clean it up.

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 25, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

At the very least we should not grant any privilege to a foreign national that his country does not grant us.

Like this comment
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on May 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

"Yet the numbers show that every time the minimum wage is raised unemployment goes down and the economy gets stronger."

Bru, it is a pity you wrote this as a way of "proving" your point, because it is so wrong, and turns off people from reading the rest of what you wrote.

Please find ONE quote about unemployment going down after a national minimum wage is enacted THAT ISN'T IN NAME ONLY. For example, the last time there was a minimum wage enacted, after Dems took over Congress, it "raised" minimum wage to a point that only 1/2% of ALL employees were affected..and 1/2 of THOSE were kids working parttime after school from middle class families. In other words, it was an "after the fact" raise in minimum wage, since 99.5% of ALL employees in the USA were already earning above minimum wage.

As you have correctly noted, our employment rate and GDP improved throughout 2007, but it had nothing whatsoever to do with minimum wage.

Back to immigration...(legal or not)

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.