Here’s what’s involved in legally immigrating to the United States.

The ongoing debate in an older entry over whether or not illegal immigration is a problem in the United States reminded me of a good infographic I came across the other day that explains what is involved in immigrating legally. This is something a lot of people aren’t aware of and while I did share it on my Facebook account I didn’t get around to posting it here. So I’m correcting that now:

Infographic on legal immigration.

Click to embiggen!

It’s a big graphic so you may need to scroll around a bit to see it all. If you’re using Firefox keep in mind that your browser will auto-shrink the image to fit your screen so you may need to left click on it to make it full size and then scroll around.

At any rate, it shows that, unless you’re a big celebrity or millionaire of some sort, the process of legally immigrating to the United States is both long and has very specific requirements which exclude millions of hopefuls. If you don’t have family already here then your only hope of legally immigrating is if you have a skill set desirable enough for a company to offer you a job that’s also willing to go through the expensive process of sponsoring you. When you’re an engineer or computer programmer that’s less of a problem. When your desired skill set is standing out in a field in triple digit temperatures picking crops for minimum wages then it’s much more of a problem.

Here in the U.S. we are taught in grade school about the inscription on the book the Statue of Liberty holds which reads as follows:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can recall feeling a special kind of pride at learning this as a child. How cool are we, I used to think, that we’ll take in anyone willing to work hard to realize their dreams. Except that’s not how it works anymore and it hasn’t for a long time.

In short, the fabled story of a poor immigrant coming to the U.S. to start a new life and perhaps realize the American dream is impossible today. There once was a time when that was possible, but those days are long gone now. Unless you’ve got a good reason to be here — family, highly skilled, wealth or fame — you can forget about legally immigrating to the U.S. anytime soon.

103 thoughts on “Here’s what’s involved in legally immigrating to the United States.

  1. Well, then, Overlord, you don’t even have any place in this conversation. Because you don’t live here and you don’t see the effects first hand. I’d thank you kindly to SHUT THE FUCK UP about things you don’t know dick about and GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS DEBATE.

  2. Danny, this may shock you, but we’re not unique; other countries experience all the same tensions with immigrants (legal and otherwise) that we do. It doesn’t hurt to have an outside perspective.

    And Overload has a point that you’re not exactly a great advertisement for our country. But maybe that’s the way you want it.

  3. YMO may not be an American, but he is a regular of this blog and I would appreciate it if you didn’t tell my regulars to shut the fuck up, Danny. Not living here doesn’t mean he is ignorant of the problems being discussed anymore than our not living elsewhere necessitates us remaining mute about problems outside this country. Europe has its own problems with immigration, both legal and illegal and someone living elsewhere may have insights that could be useful.

    I don’t mind folks defending their viewpoints passionately, but I won’t tolerate my regulars being told they’re not allowed to participate in the discussion because they’re not American.

  4. Scott;

    Okay, but I have quoted actually numbers from actual studies. quotes a study by Urban Institute which says,
    “According to the most controversial study of those discussed here, the benefits and costs of immigration to the United States in 1992 add up to a total net cost to all levels of government of $42.5 billion. This study, by Donald Huddle, was sponsored by the Carrying Capacity Network, a nonprofit group that advocates major reductions in immigration to the United States. “The Costs of Immigration” (Huddle, 1993) uses estimation procedures that include a wide variety of errors. When these errors are corrected, the post-1970 immigrants in Huddle’s study actually show a surplus of revenues over social service costs of at least $25 billion.”

    This correlates with the findings of which I cited earlier. It also correlates with Hanson (2007) report for Council on Foreign Relations. In fact, it seems that every report which finds immigrants to be bad is written by a right-wing political group, and they all seem to contain the same errors.

    Even Danny himself said that when the immigrants stayed at home, suddenly all the shops were a whole lot less busy. That alone would suggest that they are having some positive effects on the economy.

    Danny, it’s funny, considering I am the one who “doesn’t know dick”, I seem to be the only one of us actually going out and finding data. You have relied only on the anecdote of your own failures to make your point.

    One more time Danny, stop blaming others and man up to your own short-comings.

  5. Actually, Overlord, there was a boost of revenue for shops that day. It was just nicer cuz shit wasn’t as crowded. Illegal immigrants send most of the money they make to their families back home. How much spending here do you think they do? Get a clue man. And Yeah Les, their might be immigration problems elsewhere, but not on anywhere near the scale as we have it here. BTW, I told Overlord to Shut The Fuck UP because he’s an asshole that makes personal attacks rather than actually attempting to debate properly.

  6. Danny, you make no sense whatsoever. First you say, “…No traffic on the freeway, or on the street, not even on the sidewalk. Very very short lines in the stores.” That is a description of a dying economy. However, you have enlightened me to two things.

    1) The immigrants you refer to are smarter and more skilled than American-born patriots, because they are a threat to these Americans in the job market – even if the Americans have gone to culinary school/had *paid* training, and,

    2) The immigrants you refer to know the value of a dollar, and therefore do not waste it on garbage like American-born patriots do. Instead, they send it home where it is properly valued and used. Maybe you read or heard about the Nicaraguan dishwasher who saved around $60,000 (if I remember correctly) and tried to go home with his earned money. He was unaware that you can’t just freely take your own money in excess of $10,000 out of the country. I don’t know if he got his money back in the end, but I wanted to cheer him on for having the intelligence to use his money wisely. Considering the pay scale at which he was working, he must have known the meaning of living within one’s means. And I admire that immensely. It’s rare to see or hear of that in the land of waste and wrong priorities.

  7. Danny,

    Boosted revenues that day? How do you know? Was there a study done which showed that? Would revenues be consistently up if that happened every day? Where is your evidence? I have cited many reports, you have cited none, and relied only on your own experience (and you hardly dazzle us with your brilliance). Yana is right – when there are no people in the shops it sounds like a dying economy to me.

    You say that I make personal attacks. And yes, I’ll admit I have made personal attacks on you. However, considering the fact that you make xenophobic blanket statements about whole groups, I’m not too sorry about it. Of course, if you had actually ever backed up what you said with data, perhaps showing that the problems that you cited are consistent and not just attributable to you alone, it might put you in a better light. For example, you said you can’t get a job because unskilled illegal immigrants are getting all the catering jobs. I asked you what percentage of your classmates could get a job. You didn’t answer. Now, if, let’s say 50% of them couldn’t get jobs, you might be right. If it is only 5% which can’t get jobs, it seems more than likely that they are simply not people who you would want to employ. Now, I have trouble imagining that more than 20% of graduates are out of work.

  8. To Scott, You are dead wrong or just right out lying. You cannot get welfare without ID. I am born and raised American and also on welfare. I just had my appointment yesterday with my case worker at housing and here are just a few things required for me to bring. I don’t have the list with me but it’s 2 pages long. Original birth certificates, SS cards, copy of my lease, letters from anyone who has helped me out in the past year, including gifts, my divorce papers, custody papers, income tax returns, paperwork for any asset that I own, car title, receipts from babysitters, letter from my daughters school, document from ORS for the past years child support and the list goes on. It’s a long process getting prepared for a housing appointment. The stack of papers and documents I have to take with me is as least an inch thick. If anything is missing my housing gets suspended. There is NO WAY a person can just walk in empty handed or with fake documents and get on welfare. Up until a few days ago I sounded like the idiot that Danny is. A racist, uneducated, hateful fool. But because the anger associated with illegals was eating me alive, I decided to take a look at it through the eye’s of an illegal. If my children lived the way they have to in Mexico (and they can’t just make things better without the support of the government, I would be an illegal alien in a heartbeat. Look at what it takes for a poor Mexican to come here legally and you just might change your mind. Kudo’s to Overlord:)

  9. Yana, You seem to fail to understand how capitalism works. For the capitalist economy to work, people have to spend their money on “junk” as you call it. If illegal immigrants are sending their money out of the country, it is not supporting our economy. Also, what I said doesn’t sound like a dying economy, but rather the result of people who don’t belong and cause the overcrowding of cities (I lived in Pasadena at the time which is near/part of Los Angeles) being gone for a day. You just assumed it to mean there was nobody left doing stuff. There were plenty of American Citizens still going to works, school and shopping. The thing about it all was that there was no traffic congestion, not even during rush hour (LA rush hour is stop and go on every freeway in or out of the city on a normal day), the class rooms were no longer over crowded and that worked out better for the offspring of citizens, etc.

    Overlord, You don’t know what things are like in America right now. But if you want sources, I’ll gladly find some later today when I get home from running some errands. Either way, you’re a shitty debater because right of the bat you were making personal attacks. If we were face to face and you tried that tacked as repeatedly as you’ve done here, you’d already be in a hospital bed eating through a straw with pulp for testicles.

  10. I know, I know, Danny, you and your MMA.

    You probably don’t know that I train at the World Headquarters for the World’s largest karate organization – the Japan Karate Association. You could try to kick my ass, I suppose….

    You think I’m a shitty debater? Well, funny, because everyone else here seems to think I’m kicking your ass.

  11. Danny, there’s no faster way to blow whatever credibility you think you have than by threatening to kick someone’s ass. It’s irrelevant and it just makes you look weak.

    If you call someone a name, however, readers can make their own decision. For instance, you called YMO an “asshole”, and we can read what he wrote, and what you wrote, and decide for ourselves if that is a correct assessment or if you are just projecting.

    Oh, and it’s “Overload” not “Overlord”.

  12. Thanks Decrepit,

    I would also point out that this isn’t a debate. This is a discussion on an internet site. If this were a debate, you can be assured that I wouldn’t say things in the same way I do here. We talk in different ways to different people. Danny has spewed xenophobic statements since he got here. As a person who believes in the idea that “all men are created equal” (even though we’re not created), I have no time for such vitriol. I think there is a better way of doing things than they are currently being done (i.e. a sensible immigration policy, increased aid and development, etc). Apparently so does Les (otherwise this post wouldn’t exist). So, sorry, but once you start with the xenophobic statements (which are by definition unreasonable generalizations), then I am under no obligation to take you seriously.

  13. By no means am I xenophobic. I have no problem with legal immigrants. And my statements are not generalizations as I have first hand experience with them. Laura, I’m not a racist, uneducated, hateful fool. Quite the opposite. I recognize that illegals come from all over the world and are all races, included English speaking Caucasians from the UK, Europe, and Canada, etc. I don’t care where an illegal is from. They need to be deported. There are almost 11 million estimated illegal immigrants in this country, most of whom, like it or not, are indeed from Mexico/Hispanic countries. If that majority stayed in Mexico and staged a revolution they could keep their country. But that’s not the case. Mexicans come to California illegally because they think it still belongs to Mexico and think they can “take it back.” I don’t know how to prove to you that I’ve heard this shit from their own mouths. But I have. Overload, your personal attacks probably stem from the fact that you’ve most likely got a micropenis and flinging insults off the bat against someone who’s dealt with these dirty illegals firsthand in a country with the highest rate of illegal immigrants in the world as a way to feed your misguided ego. You’re not here, so like it or not you don’t know dick about what you’re talking about. Beyond that, your links are all outdated. Find something from 2010. I can’t find any statistics for the employment rates among Culinary school graduates in the restaurant industry. But I do keep in touch with almost every single student in my graduating class from the B schedule and only 2 of them have jobs in the industry.

  14. Danny says

    By no means am I xenophobic.

    But earlier said;

    the Mexican immigrants where I live, and where I grew up, which are a small city and a small town respectively, are noisy, rude, have loud parties with mariachi music well into the wee morning hours, keep pit bulls which they train to be vicious and then ditch when they get turned on (my dog was recently badly injured by one such pit bull and had to be put down.)


    Todd, you need to get yourself a nice AMERICAN girlfriend.

    That first one sounds a lot like tarring a whole group with one brush – and not a nice happy brush. The second one sounds a whole lot like saying American girls are somehow better than Mexican girls (nice job reinforcing that stereotype with the all caps).

    And the coup de grace

    They had that “Day without a Mexican” thing ….
    What ended up happening was a fuckin’ nice day out for the rest of us.

    Oh dear, Danny, looks like you’ve been making plenty of xenophobic comments here.

    As for the more recent stats, I am not aware any exist. However, pretty much everything cited derives from long term studies so should be robust enough. Certainly more so than the complete lack of data that you provided. You did promise data earlier actually. Where is it Danny?

    As for my motivation – well, I actually just got into it to point out that all reasonable data shows that immigrants, whether legal or illegal are actually good for the US economy – that is a widely accepted fact. After that, well, it’s just so fun annoying you.

    You seem to be obsessed with penises. I mean, it’s all you seem to go on about. Dick this, dick that, and now you’re obsessed with mine. I’m flattered, really, but you know, sorry, I’m not interested.

    Finally, it seems impossible to believe that only 2 of your classmates got a job out of cooking. I’ll assume that’s 2 out of the 30 – 40 you talked about earlier. So, that’s what, 5% of the graduating class actually getting a job? Wow! Why the hell did you enroll in that course? Got rocks in your head or something?

  15. But I do keep in touch with almost every single student in my graduating class from the B schedule and only 2 of them have jobs in the industry.

    Well, that was money well spent!

    Nice job on researching placement prior to your investment of time and MONEY.

    Prolly some cheesy ‘Culinary Academy’..quite expensive, COMPLETELY USELESS (apparently as no one is getting placed in JOBS), and has a 100% graduation rate for those whose tuition checks clear.

    They used to call schools like this “diploma mills”

    I hope you fight better than you argue your points…probably not.

  16. Here is another one:
    “It’s difficult for me,” said Carmen Arevalo, 30, who arrived in the United States 12 years ago from El Salvador and doesn’t speak English. Arevalo has an 8-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter in Miami public schools and says she has constant challenges with communication, even though many of her children’s teachers speak English and Spanish.

    She has been here 12 years and still doesn’t speak English. She cant help her kids with their school work and has trouble communicating with the school. Instead of the solution being for her to learn English, its the school systems job to provide translators.

  17. Overlord, I think you are quoting statistics for legal immigrants, I only have a problem with illegal immigrants.

  18. Scott, the language barrier with Mexican immigrants is difficult and uncomfortable – and I mean, also for me in daily life. This is true whether or not they are documented, since I have no way of knowing that. The trouble that I have is when I am doing business over the phone, involving money for a service I pay for, I have to listen very hard to understand what is being said – and I also don’t feel sure I am understood. Just yesterday I was speaking to a landline phone company rep, who had been with the company for 7 years. We actually did pretty well until she offered to give me her “direct line” – she had to repeat those words 3 times before I understood. On the other hand, when it is dealing with neighbors in casual non-business life, I don’t have a problem. My Mexican immigrant neighbors keep to themselves, but one such household took my parking place before they knew better. It was not a problem to communicate about that – nicely, even 😉

    I do agree that immigrants who wish to stay here should learn the language, but even if they do, if the accent remains, it is uncomfortable in business/work situations when dealing with customers and the public.

    As far as teachers having to teach Spanish-speaking children English, I do think it would be hard if it weren’t that teacher’s specific duty. But it has long been the case that to get good jobs in America, preference is given to those who are bilingual.

  19. Scott,

    Almost every study (the Snopes article makes this abundantly clear) shows there is virtually no difference between legal and illegal immigrants in terms of their beneficial effects on the economy.

    I have no problem with a country deporting illegal immigrants, provided it gives a means for people to be there legally. The infographic posted by Les shows that it is virtually impossible, even for highly skilled people, to immigrate to the US. If you have better systems, you’ll have less problems with immigration.

  20. Overload, that graphic is pretty bias and leaves quite a few things out (including military service as someone else mentioned before.) But of course, I don’t expect you to know that because you aren’t a Citizen of this country and therefore don’t have to learn about our constitution or immigration laws in middle school like we do. The citizens of this country come first, or they should. But then you have these sanctuary cities like Los Angeles (who’s mayor constantly invites illegals to move there) that provide all kinds of free services to them and they even tend to get priority. Go to Los Angeles and then try to get emergency medical services at any hospital in the city. The truth is, as it stands we have some of the most lax, if not the most lax, immigration laws on the planet. Mexico itself has harder immigration laws, and if you think they don’t have any problem deporting those who immigrate to their country illegally or worse, you’re living in a dream land. You have to realize, it’s not just an issue of the immediate immigrants. It’s exponential population growth and since a lot of hispanics are catholic they breed like crazy because birth control is against that religion’s doctrines. Which means that the offspring of natural citizens have to compete with these immigrant’s children. Now, the quota for naturalizing legal immigrants could be tighter given this factor (Natural born citizen’s reproduction rates vs/compounded with immigrant’s birth rates) then you throw in the 11 million illegals and their exponential reproduction rate and that’s a serious problem. We need to deport the illegals, tighten our borders, and make it harder to gain legal citizenship (lower the quota). Period. Once again, this is a situation where unless you’ve come here and seen what the illegals are like and what they do, you can’t truly grasp how severe the problem here is.

  21. Danny, I hear you and completely believe what you are saying about Los Angeles. I can’t imagine myself wanting to go there. The experience there versus mine where I am, and others who don’t know what that place is like, is hard to imagine. It’s good that you know that you can’t expect others to know exactly what you are referring to, if it is far from their experience. It’s a big city. There are too many people, too many criminals, and too much of everything bad for my taste. I think this is why you and I don’t agree on immigrants. Not only can I not imagine myself going there, but I can’t imagine any of the immigrants I encounter putting themselves in a place like that. It’s a case of the environment bringing out the lowest common denominator in everyone. Economic class is a factor, as well.

  22. Danny,

    Okay, well, if you are right we would expect to see certain things. For example, if the illegals are destroying the school system, we would expect to see California doing worse in SAT scores than other states. Let’s chose “critical reading” and “writing” as our metrics, shall we. California has a participation rate of 49%. Not great, for sure, but higher than Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, Minnesota and about 20 others. Fairly average. The average SAT score for reading was 499, which places it identical to Pennsylvania (not too many Mexicans there, methinks), and higher than Maine, Georgia, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Texas, Hawaii, South Carolina, Indiana,Florida and a few others. The average SAT score for writing was basically identical – 498. Again, this placed them fairly centrally in the table, although above Alaska. Obviously there must be a huge illegal immigration problem in Alaska too.

    Let’s look at your next comment – birth rates. You say the birth rate is exponential, because of their religion. Again, let’s look at the data.
    here is the population growth data for California. If you are right, the population growth rate should increase year after year. But what do we see? Well, we see the population increase has not exceeded 2% per year since 1993. It was frequently above that during the Regan Presidency. Some data does suggest that foreign born women do tend to have more children, but it isn’t clear where those children were born (in their native country or the USA), nor does it tell us about their mortality rates. It is certainly known, however, that women tend to have more children in countries where the mortality rate is high. However, the overall stats do tend to contradict the notion that California is being over-run by immigrants.

    So, Danny, again, you failed to produce data and again relied on a little story. However, on even the most cursory of inspections of the data, your story fails to hold water.

  23. Yana, you really should visit. At least L.A. County. But it’s not about the lowest common denominator. It’s the fact that L.A. is a sanctuary city. You won’t even begin to understand what the bulk of illegals are like until you’ve lived in or in the county of a sanctuary city. You don’t know the disrespectful anti-American crap they pull, especially on the 4th of July. Keep in mind, I don’t live in L.A. Proper, I live in the Mojave Desert in L.A. County, a decent 2 hours away from L.A. proper.

    Overload, your sources are once again flawed. Your SAT scores are from 2007. Which really isn’t too bad in and of themselves, but why don’t you compare them to a year in which the estimated rate of illegal immigrants was lower? And your second link got it’s information from the CENSUS. Which is only applied to CITIZENS. Undocumented non-citizens living here don’t get counted, they’re undocumented.

  24. Danny,

    Do you have some reason to think the 2007 SAT scores are anomalous? Please cite data which contradicts mine or give me some reason why it should be rejected. Otherwise, it stands.

    Sure, the census data may not be perfect, but you haven’t provided even a single shred of data for any claim you have made at all. If you can’t provide data, we have no reason to believe anything you say whatsoever. You have already shown that you despise foreign immigrants, and people with that mindset often have no problem with lying about them.

  25. Ouch Overload! I have to side with Danny on this one. I would think that statistics from 2007 to the present would be much more relevant than the statistics you provided because of the recent influx of illegal immigrants. Also, he makes a good point about where you got your information, the census. That’s hardly a good source of info for the facts you are looking for. Please, find some more current facts to back up your discussion. If not for the sake of a good discussion, but for the folks who are taking you seriously, as I am. FYI, I also don’t believe we were created and I wonder how that belief influences the way one believes concerning other nationalities.

  26. Laura,

    I am under no obligation to provide evidence, since I am not the one making the positive claim. Danny is the one claiming that illegal immigrants are destroying the nation / economy. Therefore, the burden of proof belongs to him. He has completely shirked that responsibility. He has provided no evidence whatsoever. My claim is essentially “I don’t see any evidence for those claims”.
    When I have provided data, all he has done (and you too, apparently) is to just say “that’s not right” – quite without providing any counter-evidence. Well, here’s news for you – if you want to claim the data I presented is not representative, then you MUST cite relevant facts to back up your claims.

    Look at it this way, if he rolled in here saying “Elves exist”, then the burden of proof would be on him to prove that, rather than on me to disprove it. Essentially the same is happening here, where he is saying “illegals are destroying the economy”. Therefore, the burden of proof is on him.

  27. Overload, you’ve just proven you’re a complete and utter moron, dispite what you’ve provided links to. I don’t despise foreigners, and I’ve said that many times. I despise illegal immigrants. Fuck, I think a mere 4 generations back on my dads side of the family are LEGAL immigrants from Mexico. My grandfather doesn’t want illegals here either. Most Legal immigrants want the illegals kicked out just as badly as the natural born citizens of this country. I’m dealing witha lot of shit right now. Don’t worry though, overload, a post with a decent sized list of links is comin’. Again, you’re not here in this country to see this shit first hand and how severe it is.

  28. Here’s some links for you now, actually, Overload. SAT scores have declined since 2005.

    Here’s an even better one, which outlines the fact that SAT scores are no basis for the success of the public school system at the end of the article.

    Also, here’s a fine example of the behavior of illegal immigrants. Fuck them and fuck you.

  29. I must say, Danny, that if Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website is the quality of the links you’re going to offer than you may as well pack up and go home without further effort as it’s hardly an unbiased source. Not only is it not unbiased, but it’s outright deceptive as the whole Shirley Sherrod incident has shown. Breitbart isn’t above flat-out lying to achieve his goals and when caught in said lie he resorts to playing the victim. Surely you can find an objective source without resorting to known deceptive Republican talking-point websites.

    Additionally, for all the bitching you did about YMO’s using SAT data from 2007, the article you link to that suggests SAT scores are no basis for the success of public schools is from 1996. The link prior to that is also from 2007. So if the age of YMO’s data is too old to be considered worthwhile then what makes you think using an even older source is any better?

  30. WOW! Danny actually managed to go out and find data!

    Of course, none of the data actually supports his conclusions. I see nothing in anything that you cited which has anything to do with illegal immigrants. The SAT scores tell you nothing – you haven’t compared them against anything else! Now, you say SAT scores are dropping – but do your really expect them to go up every year unfailingly? Are you so naive? In fact,when you look at the worst score for math (515 in 2007), it is still higher than the mean score for math in every year, except for 3. In fact, it looks rather like the 2005 scores are anomolous, as the 2007 scores are higher than the long term average. Of course, we have no idea what happens in 2008, 2009 or 2010. You seem to be basing your entire premise on 2 data points! 2!!! Meanwhile, the Verbal / Critical Reading scores are virtually unchanged over the entire time period. That’s kind of strange considering that you reckon that they can’t understand English. Of course, as Les points out, you rejected my data from 2007. Therefore, to be consistent, I’m going to reject yours.

    The second one doesn’t even mention illegal aliens.

    The video. Well, what does it show? How can you tell those people protesting are illegal immigrants? Some of them looked pretty local to me. How do you know they weren’t legal immigrants who were protesting about their fears the fact that the new SB1070 act means that they are going to suffer increased police intimidation and racial profiling.

    You say you’re not racist. But everything else you write is.

  31. Scott,

    And later in the article it says

    “Family reunification accounts for approximately two-thirds of legal immigration to the US every year”

    which was mentioned in the chart.

  32. I don’t see your point. In order to have reunification a family member must have made it here legally. We are already accepting more immigrants than all other nations combined. You think there should be an easy legal path for every person on the planet?

    Sorry if I missed it earlier, what country are you from YMO?

  33. No Scott, I do not necessarily think there should be easy immigration for anyone on the planet. On the other hand, I see no reason why I, you or anyone else shouldn’t be able to live where we like. I certainly do not feel that I am ‘owned’ by my country. I am reasonably happy to have been born in Scotland, but it remains an accident of history and circumstance rather than some achievement of mine. I now live in Japan, but I have lived and worked in other countries.

    The reason I pointed out that family reunification was the major factor in immigration is because it is covered in the chart Les posted. You tried to claim that the chart was in some way obfuscating facts – despite the family route being the single closest box to the “start”. The chart rightly put the number 1 cause for immigration closest to the start. You claimed it was making it look like immigration is impossible. The fact that so many people do immigrate does not mean it is easy or fast to do so.

    Other than that, my sole point is that Danny and yourself claim there is an illegal immigrant “problem”, yet every legitimate study published show that they are actually good for the economy, which doesn’t really sound like a “problem” to me.

  34. Maybe my post about the chart was poorly worded, I wasn’t trying to say the chart was obfuscating facts, I was simply pointing out that we have more immigrants than all other countries combined so saying it is practically impossible to get in is not accurate.

    I also agree that people should be able to live where they want as long as they abide by the laws of the nation they are living in. I do not believe in people getting services like education while they are not paying taxes.

    There are more factors than just the economy when it comes to illegal immigration.

  35. For a country that has prided itself on inclusion for so long I find it hilarious that all of a sudden (it seems) there’s this new climate of paranoid protectionism. Competing with ‘illegals’? Give me a break. Sounds more like “have the government make it easier for me to get a job”.

    Remember, there’s a passage in the Declaration of Independence that specifically complains about the lack of ability to bring people into the country. And that still holds true; especially in the IT industry.

  36. Simon, you’re right it is odd. But paranoid protectionism isn’t new in this country or even with this generation. At one time (during the potato famine) the Irish were the immigrant menace. Chinese and Japanese have had their turn. For a while people from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were “taking our jobs”. I’ve probably missed a few from that list. Right now it’s Mexicans I guess.

    Same criticisms for all the groups too. Dirty, disrespectful, criminal, bring diseases, cheapen labor, uneducated, diluting “our” culture; they just pick up the needle and drop it back at the beginning of the broken record.

  37. the Irish were the immigrant menace

    Does this mean we can deport Bill O’Reilly and Pat Buchanan? I hope so. As you note, I do love the irony that in the 19th century the Irish were the great threat to traditional American culture and values. Now we have Pat and Bill crusading against the Mexicans, the gays, the secularists… in the name of traditional American culture and values. Great.

  38. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

    You do realize that is LIBERTY saying that NOT the United States. It was never intended that the US would be able to take on every poor person in the world. The golden door is NOT the door to the Welfare Office.

  39. I’m from texas and just recently found this website. I just wanted to let some of ya now that I highly disagree with some of ya. First, scott, illegal immigrants do pay taxes. And yeah like laura said before some with fake names but also some with their real names. Oh yeah and they don’t get welfare because once again like laura said they need a legal id which is very hard for them to get. I would like to tell danny that birth control is not against no religion they have kids because they choose to. Have you every seem that show 19 kids and counting? Well they chose to have them. I really don’t like fighting about all of this like danny seems to but here is my opinion. I personally don’t have a problem with illegal’s living here but I also don’t have a problem with deporting people that don’t deserve to be here. But you do got to just keep blaming illegals for all your problems. There is killers, druggies, gays, lesbians, people that steal, rape, and hurt other people in every rave in this world. So my point with that is that not only illegal people are bad but i do belive that if an illegal immigrant has committed a crime he does not deserve to be here. Another thing we had a day in school when all the immigrants were going to get up and leave school and you know what danny to evers surprise even the citizens walked that day. And for scott that things that kids that don’t speak english I don’t know if your a treacher or what but if you atte you shouldn’t be teaching because obviously they are trying to do something of their lives and they do pay taxes. How would you feel if someone told you that they shouldn’t be teaching your kids cause of the way they look our talk? Oh and just to inform ya were i was going to school before the people that are legal were always the once dropping out of school and to do nothing. Oh yeah, danny, just to let you know immigrants do fill out the census here in texas. So I think people need to stop making excuses and get up their ass and stop complaining and stoop trying to blame others for not finding a job. Anyone can do anything if they really want especially been legal.

  40. Sorry i meant to say stop blaming them for all you’re problems and that their in every race. I hope ya understand what I was trying to say as you can see is very late and i was tiered but I really wanted to give my opinion

  41. Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been here, but Lalis, you clearly know nothing of religion. It is indeed against the Catholic Dogma to use birth control, and the dominating sect of Christianity in Mexico is Catholicism. Secondly, that show 19 kids and counting is a reality show about a DEVOUTLY CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN family who never use birth control and continue to pop out kids because they think the reason they keep having kids because god wants them to, not for the purely scientific reasoning of how the human reproductive system works. And No, illegal immigrants don’t fill out the census anywhere. They’re undocumented, they wouldn’t even come up on the list for census workers to check on. You think they shouldn’t be here if they commit a crime? They’re doing one by being here. Which is why they’re called ILLEGALS.

  42. It is indeed against the Catholic Dogma to use birth control, and the dominating sect of Christianity in Mexico is Catholicism.

    That’s also true in Italy (97% of the population) and Poland (96%), both of which have birth rates lower than the USA (22% of the population is Catholic).

  43. I wonder if Danny thinks that CAPITALIZING words makes people take him MORE SERIOUSLY?


  44. Are afraid of people like you I also know people who are or really were illegal immigrants and had always filled out the census. This year they were pretty much begging them to fill it out. And no I’m not ok with them being here if they are criminals and I don’t think working for a better life for them and their families is a crime

  45. Sorry guys I meant to write something before that and to add a web site but us not letting me do it so thats all I could send

  46. OK the point is made about taking services, but what if someone is here and use no services what harm are they causing?

    A lot of these people just want to get in so they can start working towards success for themselves and their children. If they want to get in but sign a contract foreswearing the free use(can still get it with money) of any and all social services until they become a citizen I don’t see the problem. For things like emergency medical(for anyone) and public education for children that would shock the conscious of most people to deny them just make them pay it later if they can’t right now.

    As for the population and economy, the population could all fit inside of Florida, not comfortably but you get my point. And there are plenty of resources to develop and contribute to the growth of the economy. People often forget even as someone takes a job they have to eat and they do consume, so they are also a consumer that adds demand and drives the economy to make more things and therefore more jobs. The whole “they’re taking our jobs” bit is nonsense. If anything leaving them out will make them take our jobs, because factories will just relocate overseas and hire the immigrants. It’s a lot better if they move here so they and their children can contribute.

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