George Thomas Clark debates D.A. King about immigration
This is my recent online exchange with D.A. King, founder of The American Resistance Foundation, a national coalition of citizens actively opposed to illegal immigration. Mr. King spends lots of his own money as he travels and speaks and takes part in rallies and debates all comers.
George Thomas Clark - Don't you think the Bush administration, and politicians in general, consider it in the interest of the United States to allow significant numbers of undocumented immigrants into the country every year? After all, if the very conservative and defense-minded Republican administration considered immigration a grievous threat to national security, wouldn't it station many times more than eleven thousand Border Patrol agents along the border with Mexico?
D.A. King - I think that the Bush administration sees America as a market place, while most of the American people are still stuck on the concept of a nation of law, with secure borders and a common language.
Calling the present administration and the GOP "very conservative" is quite a stretch. Calling them defense minded, when we allow what Senator McCain reports to be 10,000 illegal aliens a day to enter our nation, is nonsense.
They are tied to the campaign donations of the very people that profit from the presence of 20 million illegals.
The President is in violation of his oath of office because of his unapologetic refusal to secure the borders and enforce the immigration and employment laws. Bill Clinton was impeached for far less.
GTC - Are you calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush?
DAK - I think that it must be held as a possibility...no one is above the law, not the illegals who come here, not the employers who hire them and by doing so contribute to our national unemployment, and certainly not the President of the United States.
Personally, I think Bush smirks at the law the same way, and for the same reasons, that my local landscaper does. The almighty "bottom line."
GTC - You said the United States should have the same strict requirements for driver's licenses as in Mexico. (At least age 18, proof applicant can read and write, a current health certificate, proof of residency, pass a written and road test, provide photo ID.)
Are you saying: "Deny driver's licenses to undocumented workers?"
DAK - Very definitely - yes, I am.
GTC - It’s in every motorist's interest to be on the road with qualified drivers. We endanger ourselves by denying people driver's licenses. Undocumented workers are going to drive. That's a given. They should be well trained. The paradox of legally certifying a driver who's here illegally is here noted. This is a road safety issue first.
DAK - It is in every motorist's interest to be on the road with qualified drivers; many of the illegals here have never driven on an expressway. So what? It is in every account holder's interest to be in a safe banking environment...but there is no movement to license robbers. Their point is, we cannot look at the problem of allowing continued illegal immigration with the question of how to make life easier for them.
The driver's license in our country is the de facto national ID...like it or not. You mentioned Mexico's law [one that is enforced] that governs their driver's license. I think we should be at least as secure as that nation.
You may get an argument from Al Qaida.
GTC - Rather than offering a regular driver's license, there could be a different license for foreign residents and workers. We're not only trying to "make life easier for them." We're trying to make life safer for ourselves. Furthermore, it doesn't matter if someone has driven on an "expressway" in his country; if he drives in this country, he'll certainly be on the freeway. And the less training he has, the faster he's likely to drive.
DAK – No. Giving them a "certificate" of driving has been tried...it is a baby step to a normal driver's license. Tennessee tried it. Before the "certificate" law even went into effect after being signed, the illegal alien lobby [LA RAZA] was in court howling "discrimination."
Make life safer for Americans by enforcing the law and deporting the illegals. Why is that such a difficult remedy to comprehend?
GTC - It's a remedy the citizens of this nation are not sufficiently motivated to force through. The reason: despite occasional groans, there is a general understanding that "illegals" are providing services we need. Let's move on.
One of the several articles that you sent me, via links, is called "Illegal Aliens and American Medicine." In this article it is stated that many hospitals have closed because of illegals and a long list of diseases - including TB, Chagas disease, leprosy, dengue fever, polio, and malaria - are being brought in.
For 14 years I've had close daily contact with these supposedly disease-ridden people, and I'm never sick. And most of my many teaching colleagues are also rarely sick. I think health dangers are being exaggerated, and that race is one of the reasons.
DAK - Race has nothing to do with it. Is there a race that is immune to the diseases you list? Usually I find that when there is no basis for rational reaction to the concept that we should secure our borders and enforce our laws, the loser of the argument will interject...race.
Ending 2 years ago, I smoked more than a pack of Marlboro lights every day...for 30 years. I do not have lung cancer. Many others who smoke do. I fail to see the useful logic in your question as it is framed...are you disputing that uninspected illegal aliens from the third world bring in diseases formerly conquered in our nation?
GTC - No, I simply cited my real life experiences and those of many people I know and work with. I'm not disputing that uninspected aliens "could" be dangerous. That's another reason why the "legal" number of temporary workers should be increased: so they can be inspected and monitored and won't have to hide.
And let's concede that race isn't an issue with you, but I guarantee it's an issue with many who are most vocal about sealing the border. I've recently received mail from people asserting, "They don't have our ways... They could never learn our ways... They only want to take... They only want to live the lives they've always lived... They want to establish a Little Mexico... They are trying to overpopulate the Southwest by excessively high birth rates... Don't drag this country down to the level of Mexico."
I haven't lost an argument; I've proved that race is as relevant as I'd contended. Regarding the drivel from letter writers above, I am personally assuring you that Mexican immigrants are very interested in adopting many of our ways. That's why they came here. They not only work hard here, they go to movies, eat at McDonald's, shop at the malls, listen to American music as well as their own, and their kids grow up to be football, basketball, and baseball fans. They become as American as you or I.
They don't want to cling to a so called Little Mexico style of life. On the contrary, they want to be - and are becoming - part of the great American middle class. Immigrants have always worked to improve themselves, and they've always succeeded.
DAK - Again...we are talking about illegal immigration. You again try to label them as immigrants as if they came here according to the rules. They did not.
As far as them assimilating...have you been to Los Angeles or Gwinnet County Georgia recently? Your statement of fact that they want to be American is disputed by Hector Flores, who is the head of LULAC...his words: we refuse to give up our language or our culture. Sounds like the "nation within a nation" that the militant Latino separatists preach to me. I give you Angel Gutierrez [if it comes to it, we must kill the gringo]...Mario Obledo [If they don't like California becoming a Hispanic state....they should go back to Europe." Racism anyone? See our "Race Industry" page for audio of this and more.
GTC - I've been to Los Angeles a few hundred times, and that includes numerous trips in recent years. Let me guarantee you that the Los Angeles area has the largest English as a Second Language program for adults in the world. Countless Spanish speakers - in fact speakers of every language in the world - are clamoring to get into schools. They want to learn English. I teach ESL for adults not far from Los Angeles. I know the people from Mexico as well as from countries around the world.
I don't care what a handful of self-serving pseudo-political leaders say. People from foreign lands unequivocally do want to learn English. When Hector Lopez says, "We refuse to give up our language (and) our culture," he doesn't mean people aren't going to become part of this country's society. They came here to be part of the American Dream, and they know they will not be able to earn a good living until they learn English. Historically, looking at many Europeans and Asians who've come here, the first generation, arriving as adults, does often have trouble becoming fully assimilated. But the second generation - their children - is thoroughly American.
Militant bigmouths do not represent the aspirations of anyone but themselves. I don't know who Angel Gutierrez is, and I don't care. If he kills a gringo or anyone else, his ass is going to jail. Period.
I've already listened to the audio of your "Race Industry" page. Excluding a few loudmouths, I heard duly elected Latino politicians giving partisan speeches to their core constituents. That's politics in a democracy.
If you really fear an uprising, rest easy. It ain't gonna happen.
I'd like to talk about Bear Stearns. This investment firm published a magnum opus called "The Underground Labor Force Is Rising to the Surface." Though this article was designed to make underground labor sound bad, it often did the opposite.
Twelve to 15 million illegals are working. That certainly means they aren't loafing and gobbling up welfare benefits. They are in fact invigorating the powerful U.S. economy. Cheap labor is an asset that the political and economic powers of this country crave.
DAK - There is no such thing as cheap labor...it is taxpayer subsidized labor...and in a nation of law, all crime is "bad"...Or do you have other "good crimes"? (Also,) if you read the Bear Stearns and Cosman's reports and somehow derived that illegal labor is good for America...we need to agree to disagree. The tax gap [30 billion a year] to the IRS alone that is outlined in the Bear Steans study ends that irrational point. Come on.
GTC - When talking about "crime," it's time to be realistic and acknowledge there is a de facto legalization of roughly the current level of undocumented immigration. You can technically call it a crime, but the United States government really doesn't perceive it as a crime. Many people support this influx, and many who say they don't are only theoretically opposed.
Financially, it is certainly rational to assert that "illegal labor is good for America." Those performing that labor spend billions of dollars every year in this country. I'm surprised some people don't understand how much that helps this country.
DAK - The "government” is us...it is a crime because it is illegal...label it a pumpkin if you want, but violating the law is still a crime here in Georgia. Another crime is not following the law when you are sworn to uphold it. Ignoring the law is not changing the law. Or shouldn't be.
Twelve to 15 million illegals are indeed working, but for about half of the wage that 12-15 million real, legal immigrants or citizens would earn. These workers have for our entire history been the basis of our middle class, which is disappearing before our eyes. There is no middle class to speak of in Mexico.
GTC - First, I want to stress that I see no signs of a "disappearing" American middle class. The United States is an economic powerhouse, unequalled in history. We're not a weak and declining nation; we're a strong and vibrant nation.
Regarding Mexico, I just spent a week in Morelia, in the heart of the country about two hundred miles west of Mexico City. I recommend a trip like this for you. If you go, you'll see a growing middle class. Morelia, the state capital with a population of about a million, has three malls, one anchored by Sears. And in another mall I bought a digital alarm clock at Radio Shack. If I'd wanted, I could've eaten at Burger King or McDonalds. There's poverty in Mexico, yes. But there's a middle class, too. In fact, housing prices in Morelia now are about what they were in Bakersfield, California two or three years ago. Mexico is definitely progressing.
DAK - Eating at McDonalds does not a middle class make...I wish Mexico and Mexicans all the best, but they cannot have my country. And I disagree with you that the U.S. is on the upswing. Have you seen the national debt, budget deficit this year?
If Mexico is so strong, why is (Mexican President) Fox sending so many "national heroes" to "El Norte”?
GTC - We have an enormous national debt because the Republicans, who inherited an unprecedentedly large budget surplus, slashed taxes and raised spending.
I didn't say Mexico was "so strong." I said it "is definitely progressing."
The $13 billion sent to Mexico in 2003 - combined with revenue from past and future years - will help that nation develop. That money is hard-earned here and well-used there.
DAK - Last year that figure went to 16 billion. Are you saying that 16 billion could not have been "hard-earned and well-used " here? Fox depends on those remittances as part of his budget. Why can't we?
Sixteen billion here, 30 billion there...soon, it will add up to real money. But not for the gated community elite crowd. They do not care about the future of the nation, only this quarter’s bottom line. Oh, and re-election money.
GTC - Trillions of dollars flow into the United States from all around the world. It's called investment. We live in a global community. Sometimes the money flows from here to other countries. That is healthy and natural interaction.
DAK - This money is not sent here by criminal labor. Is that your point, that illegal immigration is just another industry? If it is, I may sadly agree with you, an industry of organized crime.
GTC - Many of the elites, the Enron boys and others, are indeed not interested in anything but increasing their wealth. People across the political spectrum are keeping an eye on them.
DAK - HA! Who is keeping an eye on the watchers? Bush? Corporate America?
GTC – Another point from the Bear Stearns report - housing permits are way up. That's certainly a plus. Builders are building, and employing lots of people from this country, too - carpenters, roofers, plumbers, electricians, etc.
DA - Who built our homes 15 years ago?
The house I am sitting in was built in 1984...I watched every step of the process...all of the workers were those pesky Americans who were under the impression that it was their right to earn a living wage in their own country. Do you measure everything by the dollar and race?
GTC - No. I've already clarified the racial issue above. Regarding the dollar, it's essential to emphasize that workers here are adding to this country, not taking from it.
DAK – Again, if you have truly read the Bear Stearns and Cosman report and want to disregard all of the data, and continue to parrot that illegal immigration is good for America...go ahead. The people like myself who are demanding that we return to their rule of law are starting to win. So I assume we are bad for America?
GTC - No, people like you certainly aren't bad for America. You're an important part of our political equilibrium.
Back to economics a moment - banks are opening hundreds of new accounts every business day. That means more money invested here. And that creates more jobs in the banking and related industries. Another plus from immigration, documented or not.
DAK - Nice try...the topic is illegal immigration... Let's stay with that. We as a nation allow more legal immigration than is the total of all other nations on the planet. The bankers I am sure will agree with you…Hey! We can make money from illegal aliens! Let's do! Keep 'em coming! Again...which other laws do we ignore next in the name of profit?
Creating jobs for the very illegals that are taking the jobs seems like economic suicide for the Americans to me.
GTC - Evidently, you're concerned about the dollar, too. I have good news. Most of the banking and construction jobs being created are staffed either by U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. Lots of illegals are employed, too. But that's the point; they're working and contributing. That's the antithesis of "economic suicide."
DAK - Your premise that most of the construction work is staffed by legal immigrants and citizens is a fantasy. Please do more research. You are making an argument on a falsehood. I send you to www.cis.org,
GTC – You rely too much on computer links. In the real world, I was raised in a construction family and still know many people in the business. Nationwide, the majority of construction workers are definitely either citizens or legal residents. At the same time, I am not discounting the very large and growing group of illegal immigrants who work in construction. In certain areas, they would constitute a majority. But not nationwide.
I'd like to also stress some of the negatives discussed in the Bear Stearns article.
There's a loss of tax revenue because an estimated five million aren't paying taxes. They aren't paying taxes because their American employers aren't reporting their earnings. I imagine here is where some would emphasize the arrest and/or prosecute the employer approach.
DA - Since that is a large part of existing federal law...USC Title 8 1324, you are correct. What a concept, enforce the law for everyone. I think it is called "equal protection" and comes from the Constitution. I send you to the 14th amendment.
GTC - A very serious problem that I have many times seen, as well, is the problem of children of undocumented workers not attending school. According to the Bear Stearns article, only half of those under 18 are in school. And minors comprise 17 percent of illegal. People who don't go to school will obviously be more likely to commit crimes and struggle economically. I'm still amazed when I meet 18-year olds who've been here four or five years, and they tell me they've only gone to school here a little. This issue needs attention.
DA - I agree...it needs attention in Mexico and Latin America where these people come from.
Why is it the job of the American taxpayer to not only provide aid that is sent out, but to surrender their own system to fit around the children of people who are not supposed to be here? Note that Player vs. Doe is a rule that the illegal alien lobby is very vocally in favor of enforcing.
What makes the Third World the Third World? Poor education, low wages, over population and corrupt government. I would respectfully suggest that we are racing headlong to exactly that for our children's America by allowing the third world to demand and receive the benefits of legal residents while we allow them to pour into our country.
GTC - Reasonable people evidently disagree: I don't believe America is "racing headlong to... over-population and corrupt government." China has five times our population; India has four times ours. That's over-population, and perspective.
DAK - So, are you saying that we should wait until we are another India, China ...or Mexico, regarding population, to act to secure our borders and enforce our laws?
GTC - The problem is simply not of that magnitude, nor will it ever be. The entire nation of Mexico only has about a hundred million people.
In summary, I believe the plusses of illegal immigration far outweigh the minuses, and that is the de facto position of the United States government. Furthermore, economics, history and geography make continued Latino population growth in the Southwest (and elsewhere) inevitable. And, as I've indicated, it is also desirable. This is a multi-racial, multi-ethnic nation.
DA - What does multi-racial or ethnic has to do with securing our borders and enforcing our laws? See what I mean about the race thing? Most of us are not willing to sit back and drink our kool-aid and assume that because Mexico is to the south of us that we must watch our own nation be colonized illegally while we subsidize the process. Your views are in the huge minority. One would [I would] label them somewhat poorly thought out.
Imagine that all 10,000 illegals who may enter tomorrow settle at your house. Desirable?
GTC - Please more carefully read my previous statement wherein I stressed that "history and georgraphy" make it inevitable that this nation's Latino population will increase. The gravitational pull of this nation is inexorable in that regard.
And your statement that we're being "colonized" is simply inaccurate. Being colonized implies being dominated. We are absolutely not being dominated. Why do you feel oppressed? You sound like a middle class guy who's got it pretty good.
What is your occupation, by the way?
DAK - I was an insurance agent with my own agency. I have put that aside, and spent my savings and have gone into serious debt to try to educate people like yourself and encourage our government to do what their oath demands. I was a US Marine in 1970 and 1971...I understand oaths and duty.
Come look at Georgia, make a phone call or do some business and realize that English is now an optional language in the American South. Your definition of "colonization" is lazy. Who is dominant in having American law enforced? American citizens or the 20 million illegals, their employers and their lobby?
We were passed an intact nation, fought for and earned by the sacrifice of our grandfathers. What would they say to your concept that "if we have it pretty good, what's the worry about the border or the law?"
The Third World is being allowed to enter our children's America while the people who speak up against it are labeled, at best, un-American. I work hard to do two things...secure the border and enforce the law. When did that become a politically incorrect action?
GTC – It’s not politically incorrect. But, fundamentally, the current policy of the U.S. government is to permit a certain level of undocumented immigration deemed beneficial to this country.
I certainly do respect your viewpoints and dedication to your cause. But I urge you to lighten up a little and quit going deep into personal debt.
I want to emphasize that no nation can afford an infinite number of people. If the United States nears that limit - and we are still very far from it - we as a nation will recognize it and take the appropriate steps. The good news is that Mexico's economy is likely to continue growing and in a generation provide far more opportunities than currently offered.
DAK - Have trouble parking today? I did. Here in the formerly tree covered south, we are watching 54 acres of trees and farmland be turned into strip malls and parking lots each day. English is now an optional language. We are seeing a pattern that will double the population of our nation in our children's lifetime...the appropriate steps are to obey existing law and stop the illegal immigration which represents 3-4 times our all ready very high legal immigration. Again...I think you need more research on the issues. Please see www.numbersUSA.com and other sources of data on population growth.
GTC - There's always plenty to learn. That's why I earlier emphasized that you would benefit from taking a fact-finding trip to Mexico, as I recently have. You need more person-to-person research on the issues you're lecturing about.
DAK - You assume too much, sir. I am happy that you enjoy your time in Mexico...I have traveled the world, including Mexico, for 30 years. My exposure and education on the facts is just fine, thanks...
Mexico is run by a corrupt oligarchy. You have more confidence in its positive future than I do.
GTC - I'm always confident about democracies, and Mexico is now a democracy.
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