If the state of Arizona recognized the problem of illegal immigration arises from the nation of origin not providing enough jobs for it’s citizens and being incredibly corrupt as well as the United States having a huge demand for cheap labor it wouldn’t support this bill in any way shape or form. It’s incredibly short sighted and only appeases people who think illegal immigrants just need a good old fashioned police shake up to scare them away. There is no unbiased way to determine someone’s legal status simply by outward appearances or behaviors. To base any legislation off of that is BLATANTLY prejudiced and has to function on a level that defines “illegal immigrant behavior” with stereotypes. It’s a waste of time and money. Many people in Arizona claim to be conservatives and abhor big government, but this law is the epitome of the “nanny state”. This legislation will only encourage a development of an underground market of buying and selling documentation and people taking riskier means to get into the United States. These people are desperate and already deal with a great deal of harassment to begin with. It’s just another obstacle people will learn to get around. A real solution is needed and the legislation in Arizona reflects no research or understanding of why migration exists and why people are so willing to go through hell and back for work.
Sometimes I really want to be one of those overly feminine twee pretty girls. The ones with the long hair and the bangs, who look a bit like they just stepped out of a Godard film. All stripes on their shirts, high waisted skirts, oak leather bag, ballet flats: black or tan, bow in their hair - so…
“What I hate most is that so many people can’t see the difference between being lazy and being depressed. No, I didn’t get off the couch that day. No, it’s not because I’m a lazy asshole. It’s because the world and everyone in it was a little bit too much for me to handle that day. Be glad you’ve never felt like that, and the next time I do, try to be a little more compassionate. Assholes.”—Speak, girl
“Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.”—King Whitney, Jr. (via enspiren)
I was pretty stuck up in high school and never thought twice about judging others. Everything that came out of my mouth was negative. My best friend Zoeria never participated in my endless petty rants and jealous shit-talking. One day I asked her how she resisted the urge to talk crap about everybody. She told me, “Because I’m not perfect either. I don’t like pointing out other peoples’ flaws because I have lots of them myself.” What a humbling statement! I suddenly felt sorry for all the ugly things I’d said about others because I myself was very, very flawed. I realized how incredibly lucky I was to be surrounded by so many friends despite MY flaws. I decided to change my outlook on life and stop searching for every reason under the sun to be angry and annoyed. It sounds really cheesy and generic, but my life changed so much once I started to focus on the positive and laugh off the negative.
Immigrants pay taxes, in the form of income, property, sales, and taxes at the federal and state level. As far as income tax payments go, sources vary in their accounts, but a range of studies find that immigrants pay between $90 and $140 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. Undocumented immigrants pay income taxes as well, as evidenced by the Social Security Administration’s “suspense file” (taxes that cannot be matched to workers’ names and social security numbers), which grew by $20 billion between 1990 and 1998.
Immigrants come to work and reunite with family members. Immigrant labor force participation is consistently higher than native-born, and immigrant workers make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force (12.4%) than they do the U.S. population (11.5%). Moreover, the ratio between immigrant use of public benefits and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently favorable to the U.S. In one estimate, immigrants earn about $240 billion a year, pay about $90 billion a year in taxes, and use about $5 billion in public benefits. In another cut of the data, immigrant tax payments total $20 to $30 billion more than the amount of government services they use.
3. Immigrants send all their money back to their home countries.
In addition to the consumer spending of immigrant households, immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to U.S. federal, state, and local governments. While it is true that immigrants remit billions of dollars a year to their home countries, this is one of the most targeted and effective forms of direct foreign investment.
4. Immigrants take jobs and opportunity away from Americans.
The largest wave of immigration to the U.S. since the early 1900s coincided with our lowest national unemployment rate and fastest economic growth. Immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs for U.S. and foreign workers, and foreign-born students allow many U.S. graduate programs to keep their doors open. While there has been no comprehensive study done of immigrant-owned businesses, we have countless examples: in Silicon Valley, companies begun by Chinese and Indian immigrants generated more than $19.5 billion in sales and nearly 73,000 jobs in 2000.
(Source: Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore, Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Arlington, VA (Mar. 1994), p. 13.)
5. Immigrants are a drain on the U.S. economy.
During the 1990s, half of all new workers were foreign-born, filling gaps left by native-born workers in both the high- and low-skill ends of the spectrum. Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. As Alan Greenspan points out, 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age. That means we haven’t spent a penny on their education, yet they are transplanted into our workforce and will contribute $500 billion toward our social security system over the next 20 years.
(Source: Andrew Sum, Mykhaylo Trubskyy, Ishwar Khatiwada, et al., Immigrant Workers in the New England Labor Market: Implications for Workforce Development Policy, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, Prepared for the New England Regional Office, the Employment and Training Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Boston, Massachusetts, October 2002. http://www.nupr.neu.edu/11-02/immigration.PDF)
6. Immigrants don’t want to learn English or become Americans.
Within ten years of arrival, more than 75% of immigrants speak English well; moreover, demand for English classes at the adult level far exceeds supply. Greater than 33% of immigrants are naturalized citizens; given increased immigration in the 1990s, this figure will rise as more legal permanent residents become eligible for naturalization in the coming years. The number of immigrants naturalizing spiked sharply after two events: enactment of immigration and welfare reform laws in 1996, and the terrorist attacks in 2001.
(Source: Simon Romero and Janet Elder, “Hispanics in the US Report Optimism” New York Times, Aug. 6, 2003)
7. Today’s immigrants are different than those of 100 years ago.
The percentage of the U.S. population that is foreign-born now stands at 11.5%; in the early 20th century it was approximately 15%. Similar to accusations about today’s immigrants, those of 100 years ago initially often settled in mono-ethnic neighborhoods, spoke their native languages, and built up newspapers and businesses that catered to their fellow émigrés. They also experienced the same types of discrimination that today’s immigrants face, and integrated within American culture at a similar rate. If we view history objectively, we remember that every new wave of immigrants has been met with suspicion and doubt and yet, ultimately, every past wave of immigrants has been vindicated and saluted.
9. Weak U.S. border enforcement has led to high undocumented immigration.
From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrol’s budget increased six-fold and the number of agents stationed on our southwest border doubled to 8,500. The Border Patrol also toughened its enforcement strategy, heavily fortifying typical urban entry points and pushing migrants into dangerous desert areas, in hopes of deterring crossings. Instead, the undocumented immigrant population doubled in that timeframe, to 8 million-despite the legalization of nearly 3 million immigrants after the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. Insufficient legal avenues for immigrants to enter the U.S., compared with the number of jobs in need of workers, has significantly contributed to this current conundrum.
10. The war on terrorism can be won through immigration restrictions.
No security expert since September 11th, 2001 has said that restrictive immigration measures would have prevented the terrorist attacks-instead, the key is effective use of good intelligence. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were here on legal visas. Since 9/11, the myriad of measures targeting immigrants in the name of national security have netted no terrorism prosecutions. In fact, several of these measures could have the opposite effect and actually make us less safe, as targeted communities of immigrants are afraid to come forward with information.
Poor Women Receive 42% of Abortions Who receive abortions in the United States? That’s the question asked by the Guttmacher Institute in a just-released survey.
While the demographics remain similar in most respects since the last study in 2000 — a majority of women (61%) who get abortions are already mothers; young, black, and Hispanic women are disproportionately represented — one change really stuck out. In 2000, 27% of abortion patients were poor women, whereas in 2008, that number had risen to 42%. Quite a jump.
What caused the leap? On a positive note, efforts within the reproductive health movement to provide abortion procedures on sliding scale fees and subsidized by donations increased accessibility. However, the big reasons seem to be the impact of the recession in deterring women from having children and a 25% increase in women in poverty from 2000-2008.
The study concludes: “Rather than restricting access to abortion, policy efforts could accomplish more by increasing access to a broad array of reproductive health services, including abortion. Groups overrepresented among abortion patients also have above-average rates of contraceptive failure and unintended birth.” The equation seems like: more contraception = fewer unintended pregnancies = fewer abortions = no-brainer.
In addition, I’m again compelled to point out that pro-lifers could significantly reduce the incidence of abortion simply by focusing on poverty and the ability of women to survive as mothers. They wouldn’t get any opposition in this from the pro-choice camp. With Mother’s Day coming up, we should recall that being a mom is a tough job, made even tougher when you only make an average 73 cents on the dollar and cannot access decent child or health care.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”— Leo Buscaglia (via kari-shma)