Death Of A RW Immigration Myth

Hey, Ted Cruz and the rest of you anti-immigrant, far-right tinfoil hat guys: before you start fearmongering about all of the “illegals” who are so desperate for our cool American stuff like free education and awesome healthcare (!!) that they’re flooding across the border like rats, here’s a reality check: not everyone wants the American dream:

The indigenous Mexican migrant farmworkers I have come to know do not dream the American dream as such. They do not hope to become U.S. citizens, leaving behind their hometowns in Mexico. They do not dream of becoming American business owners or entrepreneurs. They do not imagine that, if they work hard enough picking berries in Washington state or pruning vineyards in rural California, they could become wealthy.

Rather, the indigenous Mexican migrant farmworkers I know want to be Mexican citizens, living primarily in their hometowns in the southern Mexican states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero. They want Mexico to be their home. They do not want to have to cross a mortally dangerous desert in order for them and their families to have a chance to survive. They want to live in their ancestral lands with their relatives.

Sadly, the Border Patrol policies (such as “prevention through deterrence”) that encourage migrants to cross in increasingly dangerous areas have increased risk and death on the border. And ironically, the increasing border enforcement is encouraging those who have crossed in the past to stay longer and longer in the United States, instead of doing what they would have chosen to do: return home after the harvest season each year.

I know, pretty hard to believe that someone would actually choose to live in a place Not Murrica, especially a place Down There. And yet … it’s true! What do they wants? Try this:

[…] I asked my migrant friends what they hoped for. First and foremost, the young man nicknamed “El Gordo” explained, they need legal permission to work in the United States. His friend, Samuel, whose leg was recently run over by a farm truck, added that they need basic legal protections as workers that have long been ignored or broken in the agriculture sector and they need health care while they are working in the United States. Finally, Samuel and “El Gordo” intimated a hope that at some point in the future they might be able to stay in their hometown in Mexico without having to migrate to the United States at all.

[…] We must work toward fair enforcement of worker protections for those already here, regardless of their immigration status. Finally, the most basic (and long-term) solution for many immigrants would be transnational development so that those who so desire are able to stay in their home countries. This should include renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA, enacted a few years after my 16th birthday in southern Mexico) in ways that foster the ability of Mexican subsistence farmers to survive at home. In this way, more rural Mexicans would not have to say, like my indigenous Mexican friend Macario while crossing the desert border, “There is no other option left for us.”

That sounds like a great idea but be careful what you wish for: America doesn’t do nation-building any more, at least not the kind that involves countries we haven’t bombed into submission. And with America’s food and agriculture sector dependent on a steady flow of cheap brown labor from south of the border, I don’t think our corporate overlords are interested in seeing you guys stay in your home villages growing tomatoes for your own consumption. No, Burger King and Wendy’s need you picking those tomatoes on our side of the border. So don’t expect these problems to be fixed any time soon. Too many people profit from a broken system.


Filed under farmers, immigration

22 responses to “Death Of A RW Immigration Myth

  1. Jim in Memphis

    So if all they want is the right to work here, then why does the legislation have a provision for granting them citizenship? I bet you would get a bunch of Republicans on board with a migrant worker program that would legalize those here if it did not grant citizenship rights (which according to you they don’t want anyway).

    Seems the Democrats are not interested in what the illegals really want.

    • Seems the Democrats are not interested in what the illegals really want.

      Because the people you call “illegals” are not 100% exactly the same, who 100% all want the same thing or are here for 100% the same reasons. If you’d actually READ the article instead of spouting your right-wing racist crap you’d know that. Clearly you have no interest in learning anything, just repeating your racist talking points.

      The point is, right wing “secure the border” policies are keeping the people you call “illegals” here LONGER — not because they want to be here — many don’t. Many would rather go home after their migratory work season is done. But because it’s become so dangerous to cross the border that they are forced to stay here.

      And of course you completely ignore the employment aspect of this story. Many people would rather do their agricultural work at home. But for some reason they are forced to come here. Now, why is that? Anyone want to look under that rock? Anyone wonder why cheap labor is the backbone of the American economy?

      I mean, Jesus Christ. How can you read “not everyone wants the American dream” as “nobody wants the American dream and Democrats aren’t listening to those illegal people.” For fuck sake.

      This is how we get Tea Party loons hawking craziness like Agenda 21 and Obamacare “death panels.” There is a lack of intellectual fortitude among the right wing that I find really appalling. Every time you come over here you just embarrass yourself and your political movement. You offer a living example to us sentient folks about why your ideology sucks and lacks any credibility in the real world.

      I’m tired of you Jim. I need a break.

  2. democommie


    You’re full of shit, your argument is bafflegab, you’re whining, all as usual. Now that we todays measured reply by Southern Beale and my honest assessment of you and your argument, let’s move back to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

    You’ve got 15 employees? That’s apparently what Southern Beale got from you–I can’t find–during your impassioned (and idiotic) diatribe against Obamacare. So, how many?

    • Jim in Memphis

      I don’t have 15 employees, we have 4. I am not sure where SB came up with 15. As far as Obamacare and its effect on our health care insurance, all policy premiums are going up in price due to the new requirements of the law. Sure I am not required to provide insurance as part of the law, but the law is making it more expensive to do so regardless. If things get too expensive, then either we will have to lower pay or drop healthcare as a benefit. It is not like we can just print more money and pass it out like candy here.

      As far as the immigration policy goes, I am not sure what SB is suggesting. Some of the Mexicans claim they really would rather stay in Mexico and work, but somehow large US Corporations or the US government is instead forcing them to come to America to work? Is it our job to make sure the Mexican government can formulate an economic policy and environment that provides jobs for all of their citizens? Is SB suggesting US companies need to relocate farms and other jobs to Mexico to help with their employment situation there? I find that hard to believe as she rants against companies that offshore their production.
      The Democrats will only accept an immigration bill that grants citizenship to all of these current undocumented residents because they want their votes. If the real goal is to make sure these people come out of the shadows, then a simple guest worker program suggested by some of the Republicans would be acceptable. Why should we just blanket grant citizenship to just anyone that wants it? Do other countries accept anyone and everyone into their borders and grant them citizenship or let them work in their country? Shouldn’t the government policy be to provide for the citizens we have now and then look to see if more people are needed/can be supported? With the unemployment rate sitting at 7.whatever percent, do we really need more people coming here looking for work?
      Securing the border needs to take place. We need to know who is coming into the country and why. What other country allows people to enter whenever they want without any type of government authorization?

      • Is SB suggesting US companies need to relocate farms and other jobs to Mexico to help with their employment situation there?

        Seriously? That’s what you got from this?? Hilarious.

        A: next time you go to Kroger, check where the produce comes from. News flash: it’s already being grown south of the border and trucked up from Mexico, Chile, Honduras, etc. by U.S. multinationals named Dole and the like.


        B: the quote from “El Gordo” and the rest was that they’d like their industries to be improved at home so they aren’t forced to cross the border in the first place.

        C: Please get some facts to go along with your argument. For example, the number of undocumented immigrants entering the country has declined steadily for years. For example:

        Immigration from Mexico is at net zero, with slightly more Mexicans leaving the country than entering it. This decline in immigration can be attributed to tightened border controls, weak job and housing construction markets in the United States, increases in deportations, and declining Mexican birthrates.

        This is “death panels” all over again. Right wing arguments based on myth and supposition instead of facts.

        Jim, who does it serve to have this massive police statte? To funnel all of our money out of things like social security and healthcare and food stamps and into things like privatized prisons and privatized border security apparatus? You and your ilk will rue the day you signed on to this craziness.

        Oh wait, you won’t. You’ll just wait for the next Democratic president to move through the Overton Window on this issue, then you’ll squawk and scream about your damn freedoms being lost.

  3. kosh III

    To the teanut fascist in Memphis:

    Some want to build a good life in Oaxaca, but can’t because of US policies and a NAFTA system which is not doing what it was intended which is build 3 strong economies.
    Others, many others, have lived here so long they will stay: e.g. a friend who has lived here since 96, has citizen kids, a mortgage and a decent income. His oldest kid is headed for college now.

  4. Kosh III

    ” Is SB suggesting US companies need to relocate farms and other jobs to Mexico to help with their employment situation there? ”
    I’d rather it be Mexico, part of NAFTA, than the current policies of our alleged capitalists which is to ship American jobs to Red China, Communist Vietnam and tother countries which are hostile to us

  5. democommie

    “The Democrats will only accept an immigration bill that grants citizenship to all of these current undocumented residents because they want their votes.”

    When I read stupidity like the above, I picture Jim with his Gadsden Flag (a good chance that it was made in China) his tricorner hat and his Bushmaster, crouching inside his bunker, daring the gummint to “bring it”.

    That statement, Jim. indicates that you’re a bald-faced liar or a seriously deluded moron.

    • Ironically, that is precisely the argument pro-immigration reform Republicans have consistently made since getting their asses handed to them in the last election. John Oliver lampooned that beautifully in a recent episode of The Daily Show. You know, the “demographic death spiral” Lindsay Graham referred to.

      Because, sadly for the Republicans, Democrats already HAVE the votes of brown citizens. Republicans don’t.

      Once again Jim continues to demonstrate how the Tea Party’s myopic, black-and-white, hyper-partisan approach to everything is completely unsuited to the highly complex and nuanced issues facing the country today. They are unsuitable for governing, period.


        Jesus fucking Christ I never said they DIDN’T. YOU said I said that. I NEVER SAID THAT. For fuck’s sake, Jim. What the hell is wrong with you?

        What is it about the word “many” that you don’t understand? MANY DOES NOT EQUAL ALL. You idiot.

        Of course the Democrats want a path to citizenship for those who want it, why wouldn’t they? Not every immigrant is a fucking Mexican migrant farm laborer. Seriously, they’re not all the same! They’re not!!! Amazing!!!!

        How many of these folks were brought here as kids through no fault of their own? How many of these people have been here for decades, pay taxes, have lives here and want to move out from the shadows? How does it serve anyone to have a person who has lived here for years who, if they get into a car accident, flees the scene because they’re afraid their status will be revealed? Or if they’re a crime victim, don’t report it for the same reason?

        My point which you refuse to acknowledge is that NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A CITIZEN. Despite the fearmongering of Ted Cruz and the racist loons like him that ZOMG MILLIONS OF BROWNS WILL SUDDENLY FLOOD ACROSS THE BORDER TO VOTE DEMOCRAT. Are you too lazy to read the story?

        Go away Jim. You aren’t helping your cause in any way. You just demonstrate again and again why your arguments are weak and your kind has no business anywhere near the levers of power.

      • Jim in Memphis


        I realize I misspoke with my original comment saying the Democrats will only accept citizenship for all of the illegals. My intention was to say the Democrats will only accept legislation that offers a path to citizenship for the illegals. I cited articles for DC on that basis, not realizing what he was saying I was lying about.

        That being said, everything you want can be accomplished with giving all of these people permanent residence status like thousands of other legal immigrants here. The Democrats refuse to even consider that option. My point is that there is no compelling reason for the United States to offer citizenship to any of these immigrants. We do not owe them anything. Nobody has the right to just waltz into a country and take up residence without the acceptance of the government and then demand they be granted the rights of citizenship. Name one other country that would accept this.

      • My point is that there is no compelling reason for the United States to offer citizenship to any of these immigrants.

        Thanks for making that clear.

        So now we know the Republican position: no citizenship for you, ever. Even if you were brought here as a two-year-old, or a 12-year-old, or came here of your own volition. Sucks to be you. Sorry, Charlie.

        No compelling reason for us to make you citizens. None. We don’t think you have anything to contribute to the nation. You don’t get a say in the governance of the country where you work and pay taxes. You don’t have any rights. You must be punished because you Did It Wrong (well, maybe your parents Did It Wrong but sucks to be you anyway.)

        But by all means, continue picking our tomatoes for $20 a day. We really appreciate that.

        Thanks, Jim!

        Y’all this is some class-A wackadoodle right here, and we’ve got it on the record. Read and weep.

  6. kosh III

    ” Nobody has the right to just waltz into a country and take up residence”

    Then self-deport yourself because your ancestors probably waltzed in and murdered and stole from the Chickasaw, Kumeyaay, Saponi etc etc

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  8. democommie

    “Name one other country that would accept this.”

    Up until about 1875, the U.S. Before then, various states had their own immigration laws. Citizenship and immigration are not necessarily joined at the hip but when one emigrates from their homeland to another country, with no intention of returning (about 90-95% of those who came here between 1790 and 1930) citizenship is a necessity if one wants to vote or hold public office.

    Gosh, Jim;

    You think that there’s only ONE lie in this:

    ““The Democrats will only accept an immigration bill that grants citizenship to all of these current undocumented residents because they want their votes.”

    ? Really, do you?

    The biggest lie is that last clause.

    Completely ignored by you, btw, is what happens to “guest workers” when, 20 years down the road, the gummint decides to round them up and deport them? They’re NOT citizens, they’re fucking gone. Based on the Great White Father’s treatment of the ORIGINAL residents of this country I would be a bit nervous if I was sortabrown and NOT a citizen, but on the books.

  9. democommie

    Hmmmm, no JIm. I wonder if he’s taking weekends off from his job shilling for teh ReiKKKwing or if he just wanted to rush down to FL for the GunzPRIDE parade that will surely be taking place today or tomorrow.

    • Jim in Memphis

      I was headed in the opposite direction over the weekend. Had to go up to Michigan.

      Anyway, our government has shown that it doesn’t matter if you are a citizen or not, they will round you up if they feel it is necessary – see Japanese citizens circa 1940’s. So the question remains why it is incumbent on America to welcome all of these illegal immigrants with an offer of citizenship? Citizenship is not necessary to make them legal residents. It is not necessary for them to legally live and work here if that is what we decide is best for the country. If we are just going to accept all of them as citizens, then why have an immigration policy at all? Do you think it would be wise for America to just open up the borders and say anyone interested can come on in and as long as you have no recorded crimes you can live here and enjoy the rights of citizenship?

      • Ah, the ol’ “separate but equal” argument, thanks for staying true to type, Jim.

        You’re being completely moronic. Once again, anyone who looks at the world in such complete black and white terms is not worth taking seriously. Equating a 13-year path to citizenship with “just opening up the borders”? Really?

        This is what’s wrong with modern conservatism. A complete inability to look at any debate in any real terms. An utter lack of interest in understanding any issue beyond the parameters of “I got mine, fuck everyone else.”

        The issue is far more complex, detailed, nuanced and has far more moving pieces than you’re intellectually capable of grasping. So crawl into your hole up in Michigan with your militia friends, arms yourselves to the teeth, and prepare to gallantly fight the Reconquista of your dreams.

      • Jim in Memphis

        SB – Supposedly immigration was fixed back in the 1980s when we did this amnesty plan and said we would never have to do it again. Fast forward to today and we are ready to repeat the same process. Forgive me if I am a bit hesitant to believe this proposed plan will solve any of our immigration issues. Personally I would not vote to grant anything to anyone that is here illegally. I don’t think we need to round them up and deport them, but I would prefer we penalize businesses that hire illegal immigrants and I would bar them from any state or federal aid as well. They will leave on their own at that point. Separate from the issue of the current illegal immigrants is how many people we wish to allow to immigrate legally into our country and who we want to accept. That is a different issue and should be resolved with its own legislation. If we need a guest worker program then lets debate the merits of that.

      • Really? I don’t remember anyone saying Reagan’s amnesty plan was a one-time fix, that we’d “never have to do it again.” Of course, I was just a pot-smoking hippie chick back then so maybe I missed it. But for God’s sake, how big of an idiot do you have to be to believe any issue is going to be solved once and for all, forever amen? As if the world stopped turning and everything was just locked in place? Because it’s not like a hundred bazillion other things haven’t ALSO changed since then which drives the immigration issue. Workplace changes. Economic changes. Violence in home countries thanks to our little military exercises in far away places that leave folks looking for opportunity elsewhere.

        And what is your solution? 11 million people, they say, are here illegally. But you don’t want to “round them up and deport them.” You want to “leave them on their own?” You don’t see a problem with having 11 million people living in the shadows? That doesn’t seem a tad problematic to you? You don’t think that might cause some problems for the rest of us? You think they’ll just leave on their own, do you? Whyever would you think that? Most of them have been here for decades — some were brought here is children. Why all of a sudden would they leave? For many of these folks, this is the only home they know. They’re just going to “self-deport”? Because apparently all of the imaginary free healthcare and other goodies you seem to think they’re getting is just going to stop?

        This is hilariously delusional.

  10. democommie

    “Anyway, our government has shown that it doesn’t matter if you are a citizen or not, they will round you up if they feel it is necessary – see Japanese citizens circa 1940′s.”

    Oh, yeah, just like they did with the Germans and Italians in WWI and WWII–oh, wait, they didn’t? I guess that those folks weren’t “brown” enough.

    The U.S. government rounded up about 110,000 Japanese Americans (ca. 2/3 of them U.S. citizens). It was admitted, long after the damage had been done, that the internment was based on racist xenophobia.

    I think perhaps you’re unconciously getting at the root of it, Jim.

    Racists are upset that they can’t EASILY identify the “other” when the other is Hispanic. Sure, Indians, Japanese, native americans (well, the unmungrelized ones, anyway) and other groups of “other” that are easily seen to be difurnt from white REAL MurKKKans ™ can be rounded up, just on their looks. But lots of them people from south of the border look too much like people who’ve been here for the last couple of hundred years (especially in TX, AZ,NM and other southern and southwestern states. And if you want to round them up, you have to find the 11M in the 35M or so residents of the U.S. who are Hispanic/latino. Yeah, that’s gonna be an easy task.

    I wish there was a simple, easy solution, like, I don’t know, a fence acrost the border which would be 100% effective at stopping people from coming here.