me state once again what is my position on Immigration:
PRO IMMIGRANTS, BUT I CANNOT BE PRO-IMMIGRATION !
UNLESS IT IS TIGHTLY CONTROLLED. NO EXCUSE THAT IT WOULD BE
OFFENSIVE TO HAVE I.D. CARDS
TIMES HAVE CHANGED! FOR
MANY MANY YEARS CHINA WAS A
BACKWARD COUNTRY PRODUCING LITTLE, AND WITH FOOD SHORTAGES EVERY OTHER
YEAR. TODAY -THANKS TO WESTERN TECHNOLOGY- CHINA IS BECOMING
ANOTHER TAIWAN, OR JAPAN. BUT, A LOT
BIGGER. TEN TIMES AS MUCH!
MILLION OF CHINESE (ALMOST
5 CHINESE FOR EVERY AMERICAN) MANUFACTURING THESE
DAY ALL THAT WE USED TO MANUFACTURE 10 YEARS AGO, AND WITH AMERICAN OIL
FIELDS PRACTICALLY DEPLETED, I
THINK IT IS TIME TO PUT SOME GOOD CONTROLS IN OUR BORDERS.
INDIA WAS ANOTHER SLEEPING
GIANT. THEY NEVER PRODUCED MUCH FOR EXPORT. ON THE CONTRARY
FOR CENTURIES THEY SUFFERED TREMENDOUS FAMINES.
MILLION HINDUS (ALMOST
4 HINDUS FOR EVERY AMERICAN)
THEY WOULD LIKE TO WRITE ALL THE SOFTWARE WE DO THESE DAYS. AND WOULD LIKE
TO SEND US ALL THE ENGINEERS, DOCTORS AND TECHNICIANS WE MIGHT EVER NEED (WITH
H-1B VISAS). WELL, THE RULES
OF THE GAME ARE CHANGING FAST, AND WE
NEED TO KNOW WERE ALL THIS IS TAKING US, BEFORE WE EXTEND OUR GENEROSITY
TO MORE ALIENS.
I HAVE NEVER BEEN MUCH OF A "PESSIMIST", ALTHOUGH
BEING A "REALIST" BRINGS YOU PRETTY CLOSE TO THAT
I AM AFRAID THIS RECESSION -IN THE USA AND JAPAN (AND ON THE REST OF THE
WORLD FOR THAT MATTER)- CAME TO STAY. IT MIGHT BE WITH
US UNTIL CHINA'S STANDARD-OF-LIVING REACHES CLOSER TO OURS. THAT
MIGHT TAKE A WHILE!
|P.S. - We just
bought in Wal-Mart a nice electric fan for $12 (Made in China, like
everything else these days, of course). It would had cost three times as
much a decade ago, and salaries where lower.
It is nice to find a cornucopia of things that cheap. The problem
is, it is going to be progressively difficult to keep our factories
open, and paying "American salaries".
|I must admit that immigration is a difficult issue to
analyze, and it brings up my emotions pretty high.
On one hand, some people are firm believers that
immigration is always bad for a country, regardless of shortsighted appearances
They insist that it would be better to have nationals educated in the same
school system, all under the same standards. They bring up the benefits of
having an homogeneous society, where all -or almost all- speak the same
language, have the same idiosyncrasies, profess the same beliefs, and respect
the same values. Immigrants would -typically- work harder and for less, but
often their plight causes pain to those not used to see human misery in our
shores. Furthermore -they say- without cheap labor, industry would have
to be more innovative, automating processes, and using sophisticated robots.
Japanese for instance have historically held
this view, and have been very reluctant to allow foreign workers.
Recently though, realizing they did not have enough youngsters to pay for Social
Security of their elders, they started to allow thousands of Koreans and
Brazilians to settle in their country, mostly in the city of Ota.
||The city of Ota has 5% of Immigrants. A record in Japan.
|On the other hand, you have the other group of opinionates,
who say that -for one reason or another- immigration brings a lot of benefits.
Immigrants, many of whom never had an opportunity to have a job, work hard for
the money. They do it for less, and do not demand the benefits we are used
to. True they have -on the average- less formal education, but there are
plenty of menial jobs where not much education is needed. And many
Americans despise those jobs anyway. Think -for instance- about picking
oranges 12 hours a day, for less than $2 an hour. So, what basically they
admit, is that immigration is good only because we take advantage of these
immigrants. Moreover, in modern societies families tend to have less
children, and that puts in risk our social security benefits years from
Furthermore, on the average, immigrants have larger families, they arrive at the
prime of their life when they are in good health and ready to work hard.
We did not have to spend a penny on their education, and most are not used to be
dependent on social services. Therefore, despite of their obvious needs
for those services they go without them, sometimes oblivious to the fact that
they would qualify for them. But -more often than not- being illegal, plus
the language barrier, plus their ignorance about their rights, they are unfairly classified
as non-beneficiaries for those services. Statistically, they are
not as costly to our Welfare system as many other poverty national groups are.
|I grew up in the NW part of Spain, a region known as
Galicia, that relies heavily in
agriculture and has a population density higher than the rest of Spain. For many decades
Galicia -similarly to Ireland- has suffered for several decades an emigration
epidemic. Irish went to
England, and then they moved by the thousands to America when they suffered the
"potato crisis". Similarly, Galicians ("Gallegos") went looking for work to
Catalunya (region on the NE part of Spain), to Castille (where Madrid is), to
the Basque country (Bilbao, where Spain's center of heavy industry resides),
and during -and after- the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) they left for Latin
America. There are tens of thousands of Galicians in every major
city in that continent. As a matter of fact there are so many Galicians in Latin America that when they refer to Spaniards they
call them "Gallegos". Because, although we represent 25% of the
population of Spain we are 90% of all the Emigrants who left the Iberia
I am in my heart very appreciative
to Latin America, and I would love to return the favor to them as
much as I humbly could. Because, when things were tough in Spain, we
had an "escape valve" to our social problems: EMIGRATION. It
was a sad solution, but it was a solution, otherwise many of my country folk
would have perished, or suffered severe famine. Instead, most of
relatives and other compatriots prospered in Latin America, a few returned
rich to Galicia, others settled for good in Caracas, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro,
Santiago de Chile, Montevideo, Asuncion, Mexico City, San Juan, Havana, Bogotá,
... where they -and their children- became proud nationals of those
||What is the point the story?
I left Spain because of love, I got married to an American citizen. So, my
story is somewhat different to the typical Immigrant tale. However, most
of my uncles and relatives are spread throughout Latin America. Many of
whom I never had a chance to meet.
The story of an immigrant who has to abandon his country, his culture, his
relatives, and move to a different country is always sad. It is even
sadder if he arrives in a country with a radically different culture and
It is for that reason, that I am compassionate
with Immigrants. And I hate to see them being abused. As
far as I am concerned, who abuses them could be as well be demeaning my uncles,
and many of my relatives who are scattered throughout Latin America.
|I firmly believe that "controlled" immigration is
good to almost any country these days. But I would prefer helping those
countries, rather than taking their poor nationals (or their best educated
people, which is the case of the H-1B visas). I am a witness
to the fact that deep within the heart of every Immigrant there is a very sad
In the photo above, Haitians in their capital (Port
au Prince) lining up for visas in front of the US Embassy.
Why do I say
"controlled" immigration? Because if
uncontrolled then we have "illegal Immigrants", and since they
have not legal right to be here, we close our eyes to their needs, often we
take advantage of them, or we conscientiously ignore their rights, allowing
legislation that would treat them as less humans than we are.
Furthermore, we can establish limits that we can check, and quotas that we
Be aware, that current labor legislation allows farm
hands, and other "guest workers" (Immigrants with menial jobs) not to
be protected under the same labor laws that the rest of us are.
That is not fair!
||About 91% of all Americans are either Immigrants, or
direct descendants of Immigrants, who arrived in this country less than 100 years ago.
So, why do not we treat Immigrants with the same respect
and protection we offer to the rest of our citizens?
I do not want portray an image where it looks as if all
Immigrants are often mistreated. We Americans do not have such a
malice. Of course, most Immigrants see this
country as one who welcomes them, gives them an opportunity to become citizens
in five years, offers them jobs and opportunity, and often treats them a lot
better than they would probably be treated in their country of origin.
The minimum wage standards, should be just
that : MINIMUM, no matter who the human is!
No laws should allow
to pay less
than that MINIMUM.
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