[FoRK] U.S. Undocumented Immigrant Numbers Surge

Luis Villa luis.villa at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 18:24:50 PST 2005


On Mon, 21 Mar 2005 18:03:46 -0800, Justin Mason <jm at jmason.org> wrote:
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> 
> Stephen D. Williams writes:
> > The only real reason to restrict immigration is to avoid damaging
> > dilution of the immigree society.  Choosing the filter methods may be
> > fraught with various biases, but trying to absorb a billion people
> > suddenly isn't going to work either.
> >
> > You would think that when there are enough people who want to live in
> > the US that they would clean up their own locality to duplicate the US
> > rather than just trying to inherit from our past.  Mexico is the obvious
> > example.  Laws with teeth, systematic purging of corruption, sane
> > infrastructure.  Is it really that difficult?  There are billions
> > waiting to swoop in to build suburbia anywhere that a critical baseline
> > exists.
> 
> Who's supposed to do the 'laws with teeth, systematic purging of
> corruption, sane infrastructure' part?
> 
>   - The (corrupt) government and its bureaucracy, who are all doing
>     quite nicely thank you, without these things interfering with
>     their kickback cashflow?  or:
> 
>   - The citizens, in an armed revolution or something?
> 
> It's quite a big deal removing corruption from a society. bear in mind
> it's often not just govt, but the entire social system -- I talked to
> people in Nepal who wouldn't deal with banks, for example, due to the
> corruption in *that* system.

+1. 

Couple other notes:
* as in Russia, the top strata of society (in terms of wealth and
power) in many Latin American countries are either kleptocrats or the
descendants of kleptocrats. They have a vested interest in the status
quo.

* we often complain that poor Americans (and even our middle class)
have it pretty bad in terms of income, power, whatever, and how the
Man Keeps Us Down. Anyone who says that has no fucking idea how good
they have it relative to most of the rest of the world.

* It's been pointed out, wrt the embargo on Cuba, that if you are
working every waking moment to not starve, you have very little time
to ponder overthrowing the government, Justin's second point.

Closing note: Latin American histofy prof at Cornell once told a
friend 'it is impossible to study Latin American history without
becoming a Marxist.' I'm not sure about impossible but I'll accept
'damn hard.'

Luis


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