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The 1965 Immigration Act: Anatomy of a Disaster
FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | 12/10/02 | Ben Johnson

Posted on 05/31/2004 1:19:19 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo

America's current mass immigration mess is the result of a change in the laws in 1965. Prior to 1965, despite some changes in the 50's, America was a low-immigration country basically living under immigration laws written in 1924.  Thanks to low immigration, the swamp of cheap labor was largely drained during this period, America became a fundamentally middle-class society, and our many European ethnic groups were brought together into a common national culture.  In some ways, this achievement was so complete that we started to take for granted what we had achieved and forgot why it happened.  So in a spasm of sentimentality on the Right and lies on the Left, we opened the borders.

Born of liberal ideology, the 1965 bill abolished the national origins quota system that had regulated the ethnic composition of immigration in fair proportion to each group's existing presence in the population.  In a misguided application spirit of the civil rights era, the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations saw these ethnic quotas as an archaic form of chauvinism.  Moreover, as Cold Warriors facing charges of "racism" and "imperialism," they found the system rhetorically embarrassing.  The record of debate over this seismic change in immigration policy reveals that left-wingers, in their visceral flight to attack "discrimination," did not reveal the consequences of their convictions.  Instead, their spokesmen set out to assuage concerned traditionalists with a litany of lies and wishful thinking.

Chief among national concerns was total numeric immigration.  Senate floor manager and Camelot knight-errant Ted Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, assured jittery senators that "our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually."  Senator Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, further calmed that august body, insisting "the total number of potential immigrants would not be changed very much."  Time has proven otherwise. Average immigration levels before the 1965 amendments took effect hovered around 300,000 per annum.  Yet 1,045,000 legal immigrants flooded our cities in 1996 alone. 

The 1965 "reform" reoriented policy away from European ethnic groups, yet implemented numbers similar to 1950's rates in an attempt to keep immigration under control.  However, Congressmen managed to miss a loophole large enough to allow a 300 percent in immigration, because they did not take into account two "sentimental" provisions within the bill.  Immediate family members of U.S. citizens and political refugees face no quotas.  Their likely impact on the nation was ignored, presumably because aiding families and the dispossessed cast the right emotive glow.

Yet leftists could sound like hard-nosed defenders of the national interest when necessary.  In urging passage of the 1965 bill, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, D-New York, wrote in a letter to the New York Times, "The time has come for us to insist that the quota system be replaced by the merit system."  As if merit is the operative principle along the Rio Grande today!  Similarly, Representative Robert Sweeney, D-Ohio, insisted the bill was "more beneficial to us."  In fact, the 1965 bill made "family reunification" - including extended family members - the key criterion for eligibility. These new citizens may in turn send for their families, creating an endless cycle known to sociologists as the immigration chain.  The qualifications of immigrants have predictably fallen.  Hispanic immigrants, by far the largest contingent, are eight times more likely than natives to lack a ninth-grade education, and less than half as likely to have a college degree.

The bill did not end discrimination based on what President John F. Kennedy called "the accident of birth." (This of course begs the question of whether birth within the nation, the basis of common national community, is just an accident, but let that pass for now.) It de facto grossly discriminates in favor of Mexicans and certain other groups.

Not only has the bill failed in its stated purpose, it has realized many of its critics' worst nightmares.  Concern mounted that this bill would radically change the ethnic composition of the United States.  Such things were still considered legitimate concerns in 1965, in the same Congress that had just passed the key civil rights legislation of the 1960's.

Specific influx predictions that were made seem tragicomic today.  Senator Robert Kennedy predicted a total of 5,000 immigrants from India; his successor as Attorney General, Nicholas Katzenbach, foresaw a meager 8,000.  Actual immigration from India has exceeded by 1,000-times Robert Kennedy's prediction.

Senator Hiram Fong, R-Hawaii, calculated that "the people from [Asia] will never reach 1 percent of the population."  Even in 1965, people were willing to admit that we have a reasonable interest in not being inundated by culturally alien foreigners, and it was considered acceptable to say so on the floor of the Senate.  Try that today, even as a supposed conservative! (Asians currently account for three percent of the population, and will swell to near 10 percent by 2050 if present trends continue.)

The only remaining Congressman who had voted on the 1920s quotas, Representative Emanuel Celler, D-New York, insisted, "There will not be, comparatively speaking, many Asians or Africans entering this country."  Today, the number of Asians and Africans entering this country each year exceeds the annual average total number of immigrants during the 1960s. 

Yet the largest ethnic shift has occurred within the ranks of Hispanics. Despite Robert Kennedy's promise that, "Immigration from any single country would be limited to 10 percent of the total," Mexico sent 20 percent of last year's immigrants.  Hispanics have made up nearly half of all immigrants since 1968.  After a 30-year experiment with open borders, whites no longer constitute a majority of Californians or residents of New York City. 

As immigrants pour in, native Americans feel themselves pushed out.  In 1965, Senator Hugh Scott, R-Pennsylvania, opined, "I doubt if this bill will really be the cause of crowding the present Americans out of the 50 states."  Yet half-a-million native Californians fled the state in the last decade, while its total population increased by three million, mostly immigrants.  This phenomenon also holds true in microcosm.  In tiny Ligonier, Indiana, (population 4,357) 914 Hispanics moved in and 216 native Americans departed during the 1990s.  Hispanics now outnumber the Amish as the area's dominant minority.

Thirty-plus years of immigration at historic levels have also had an economic impact on America.  In 1965, Ted Kennedy confidently predicted, "No immigrant visa will be issued to a person who is likely to become a public charge."  However, political refugees qualify for public assistance upon setting foot on U.S. soil.  The exploding Somali refugee population of Lewiston, Maine, (pop. 36,000) is largely welfare-dependent.  Likewise, 2,900 of Wausau, Wisconsin's 4,200 Hmong refugees receive public assistance.  In all, 21 percent of immigrants receive public assistance, whereas 14 percent of natives do so.  Immigrants are 50 percent more likely than natives to live in poverty. 

Ted Kennedy also claimed the 1965 amendments "will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."  Teddy cannot have it both ways: either the immigrant will remain unemployed and become a public charge, or he will take a job that otherwise could have gone to a native American.  What is presently undisputed - except by the same economic analysts at Wired magazine and the Wall Street Journal who gave us dot-com stocks - is that immigrant participation lowers wages. 

Despite the overwhelming assurances of the bill's supporters, the 1965 Immigration Reform Act has remade society into the image its critics most feared.  Immigration levels topping a million a year will increase U.S. population to 400 million within 50 years.  Meanwhile, exponents of multiculturalism insist new arrivals make no effort to assimilate; to do so would be "genocidal," a notion that makes a mockery of real genocides.  Instead, long-forgotten grudges are nursed against the white populace.  Native citizens take to flight as the neighborhoods around them, the norms in their hometowns, are debased for the convenience of low-paid immigrants and well-heeled businessmen.  All the while, indigenous paychecks drop through lower wages and higher taxes collected to provide social services for immigrants.  And this only takes into account legal immigration.  

These results were unforeseen by liberals easily led about by their emotions.  Others were not so blind.  Jewish organizations had labored since 1924 to unweave national origins quotas by admitting family members on non-quota visas.  The B'nai B'rith Women and the American Council for Judaism Philanthropic Fund, among other Jewish organizations, supported this reform legislation while it was yet in subcommittee in the winter of 1965.  Roman Catholics had the twin motivations of still-evolving social justice doctrine and the potential windfall of a mass influx of co-religionists from Latin America.  Other organized minorities pressured for increased immigration to benefit relatives in their homelands. The ultra-liberal Americans for Democratic Action, the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild joined the chorus.  Further, the Communist Party USA supported higher immigration on the grounds that it destabilizes working Americans.

Americans must realize demographic trends are not inevitable, the product of mysterious forces beyond their control.  Today's population is the result of yesterday's immigration policy, and that policy is as clearly broken as its backers' assurances were facetious.  A rational policy will only come about when native Americans place the national interest above liberal howls of "prejudice" and "tribalism."


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: 1965; aliens; amnesty; border; borders; culturewar; illegals; immigrantlist; immigration; invasion
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1 posted on 05/31/2004 1:19:19 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Mr. Mojo

BTTT


2 posted on 05/31/2004 1:21:20 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Mr. Mojo

I will bookmark and read this as soon as I can. It's important!


3 posted on 05/31/2004 1:25:25 PM PDT by cvq3842
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To: Mr. Mojo

-exactly-except it's already too late-----


4 posted on 05/31/2004 1:29:53 PM PDT by rellimpank
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To: Mr. Mojo; gubamyster; HiJinx; Libertarianize the GOP; madfly; B4Ranch; hedgetrimmer; ...

Thanks for posting this analysis. I can't tell people enough how Ted has played the largest role in bringing our nation to near-ruin.


5 posted on 05/31/2004 1:43:19 PM PDT by NewRomeTacitus
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: All
well-heeled businessmen. . . indigenous paychecks drop through lower wages and higher taxes collected to provide social services for immigrants.

That almost reads like a definition.

Some well-heeled businessmen even refuse to hire American youths (they're lazy and want too much, ya know) but wave our Flag as American youths go off to war to protect us all including ILLEGALS working for well-heeled businessmen. Go figure.

Meanwhile the "Diaspora model" continues. "I.e. we had to think of ways in which the source countries would seduce and use their nationals and ex-nationals abroad to help in diverse ways with the development of their home countries," says Jagdish Bhagwati Columbia University professor and campaigner for a World Migration Organization (WMO).

"Thus, schemes to encourage remittances are implemented. Dual nationality is increasingly granted, to cement the emotional and practical bonds with the home countries. India and Mexico have embarked on a massive effort to integrate their citizens abroad with their home countries." [End excerpt]

This ain't about immigration in all cases.

http://gurusonline.tv/uk/conteudos/bhagwati.asp

7 posted on 05/31/2004 2:04:19 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (Benedict Arnold was a hero for both sides in the same war, too!)
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To: rellimpank

No, its not. Some of us are talking about getting a repeal of this bill. It will be a grassroots effort, but it can be done. There are mechanisms that can be used to repeal bad laws.


8 posted on 05/31/2004 2:07:01 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: Mr. Mojo

ping for later reading.


9 posted on 05/31/2004 2:10:29 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: Mr. Mojo

Those damn Kennedys.

The nation will be suffering from their reign for decades to come.

And what is Kerry but Kennedy-Lite? Anyone who votes for him is a fool.


10 posted on 05/31/2004 2:12:12 PM PDT by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Mr. Mojo
As immigrants pour in, native Americans feel themselves pushed out.

Chief Joseph is smiling...

12 posted on 05/31/2004 2:14:40 PM PDT by snopercod ("I'm working under a great handicap...no talent.")
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To: Mr. Mojo
...Ted Kennedy swore to defend the constitution. He lied. He swore to keep the Kennedy namesake above the law...

...POS...

13 posted on 05/31/2004 2:14:47 PM PDT by gargoyle
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Mr. Mojo
America's current mass immigration mess is the result of a change in the laws in 1965

Bob Grant has been warning us about this for DECADES.

15 posted on 05/31/2004 2:17:19 PM PDT by bankwalker (Washington needs an enema.)
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To: ohiocreek

I am expressing an opinion. I didn't ask you to agree with me did I? I'm NOT a communist.


16 posted on 05/31/2004 2:17:34 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: cyborg

I could spend all day attempting to unravel where you're coming from, so will just ask straight out:

Whussup with that?


17 posted on 05/31/2004 2:23:00 PM PDT by NewRomeTacitus
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To: NewRomeTacitus
You might find this of interest:

The New Economics of Immigration

18 posted on 05/31/2004 2:26:23 PM PDT by sarcasm (Tancredo 2004)
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To: NewRomeTacitus

I'm sick to death of essays blaming everything on non-white immigrants as opposed to voting politicians out of office.


19 posted on 05/31/2004 2:30:36 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: cyborg

They are only an inconvenience when they do not assimilate into the US culture / English language.


20 posted on 05/31/2004 2:33:33 PM PDT by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: cyborg
I'm sick to death of essays blaming everything on non-white immigrants as opposed to voting politicians out of office.

I blame it on both. But I also do something that is taboo. I blame the businesses that employ illegals as well. Few want to actually lay any blame at the feet of the contractors and farmers who joyfully encourage illegal immigrants just so their profit margins are a bit higher.

21 posted on 05/31/2004 2:37:23 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
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To: cyborg

Thank you. Your initial statement led at least one person to believe something other than what you intended. As you contribute a unique viewpoint to these threads it would be a shame if you got suspended for forgetting a (sarc) tag.


22 posted on 05/31/2004 2:38:49 PM PDT by NewRomeTacitus
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To: taxed2death

It's not only non-white immigrants who do not assimilate but that's never pointed out. Plenty of native born Americans do not assimilate into the 'culture' of the US. As for speaking english, well my mother speaks english and she is STILL told to go back to her country (although she's a naturalized citizen).


23 posted on 05/31/2004 2:39:08 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: Mr. Mojo

Bob Grant has been yelling this for 25 years, to no avail. That louse RFK really dug a hole for this nation.


24 posted on 05/31/2004 2:39:20 PM PDT by montag813 ("A nation can survive fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within.")
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To: NewRomeTacitus; cyborg
Why would cyborg be suspended? Are you JimRob? Didn't think so.

Many people are disgusted when some FReepers veer away from the real problem of illegal immigration (higher taxes, public services stretched to the max) and instead make jokes about tacos and the "icky brown people".

25 posted on 05/31/2004 2:40:49 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
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To: NewRomeTacitus

Yes I can see how it could be confused that way. I'm a bit frustrated is all. Politicians don't care and it makes legal immigrants look bad for taking advantage of a legal process well advertized by the American government.


26 posted on 05/31/2004 2:41:11 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: cyborg
I'm sick to death of essays blaming everything on non-white immigrants as opposed to voting politicians out of office.

This author does blame the politicians (the Kennedys, Johnson, etc.). Who can blame immigrants for wanting to bail their 3rd world hellholes and come to the greatest nation that ever was?

Do you disagree with the following (from the essay)?: "new arrivals [from 3rd world nations] make no effort to assimilate; to do so would be "genocidal," a notion that makes a mockery of real genocides.  Instead, long-forgotten grudges are nursed against the white populace.  Native citizens take to flight as the neighborhoods around them, the norms in their hometowns, are debased for the convenience of low-paid immigrants and well-heeled businessmen.  All the while, indigenous paychecks drop through lower wages and higher taxes collected to provide social services for immigrants.  And this only takes into account legal immigration.   These results were unforeseen by liberals easily led about by their emotions." 

The only part of the above paragraph I disagree with is his blanket statement about "new arrivals." I would amend it by saying "the majority of new arrivals."

27 posted on 05/31/2004 2:43:52 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Bella_Bru

No I see what NRT meant. I asked for it to be deleted. I'm about as frustrated as the next person about political inactivity over illegal immigration.


28 posted on 05/31/2004 2:45:13 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: cyborg
We will see political inactivity on both sides for a while. Our party is supposed to represent the interests of business, both big and small, therefore many Republicans won't touch the issue (can't go pissing off donors) and of course the Dems will never touch the issue either.

Let's just hope Tancredo catches on!!

29 posted on 05/31/2004 2:48:03 PM PDT by Bella_Bru (It's for the children = It takes a village)
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To: Mr. Mojo

There's a lot I disagree with. It's a lot of broadbrushing.


30 posted on 05/31/2004 2:50:27 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: Bella_Bru

I wish more politicians looked out for the interests of voters. It's too bad they say one thing and then do another when they get elected.


31 posted on 05/31/2004 2:53:02 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: Mr. Mojo
A rational policy will only come about when native Americans place the national interest above liberal howls of "prejudice" and "tribalism."

Not gonna happen.

32 posted on 05/31/2004 3:22:58 PM PDT by spodefly (This post meets the minimum daily requirements for cynicism and irony.)
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To: Mr. Mojo

End immigration.

We have enough people, and we are out of room.


33 posted on 05/31/2004 3:47:06 PM PDT by Age of Reason
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To: cyborg

You might be correct, regarding your comment on English. I've recently had to deal with quite a few eastern Euro pe-on types in my bidness lately. They like to play dumb, like they don't understand English...I catch'em all out by manipulating a few choice words while giving them a work description or estimate. I can tell the ones who truely do not have a grasp of English right away......the others who do understand, well, they smarten up very quickly and "remember" how to speak English almost instantaneously......it's always good for a chuckle around here.....
As far as my own personal experience goes......it is mostly non white immigrants who chose not to assimilate.


34 posted on 05/31/2004 4:06:03 PM PDT by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: Mr. Mojo

repatriate: (verb) to send or bring (someone or something) back to their own country

repatriation: (noun) Repatriation of refugees is essential to rebuilding their country.

Just a couple suggestions for new Immigration legislation.


35 posted on 05/31/2004 4:07:53 PM PDT by backtothestreets
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To: taxed2death

I guess it depends on where a person lives, and perception of assimilation. I know a lot of immigrants who don't want their children to assimilate into 'American culture'. My mother was much more strict about my friends because she feared me getting Americanized and hanging on the street corner, being disrespectful,etc. My father, an Ellis island immigrant, just issued death threats to the locals and when that didn't work we moved (out of Queens).

About English... you're right about that.


36 posted on 05/31/2004 4:14:48 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: cyborg

One-third of the Russian immigrants are on some kind of welfare program --- I think they'd be classified as white --- depends on where you draw the color line --- but we certainly don't need them. I can't really think of any group of immigrants we really NEED but we can still have some immigration of those who will work and support themselves and who won't rely on government programs. We have to be careful that they don't come from countries or cultures that are trying to destroy us and that their governments aren't involved in any way in their immigration. Such as demanding control over our laws or building mosques from their government's money. Immigration should be as individuals and not entire towns and large groups. I'm sure all of us can think of some immigrants we know who are not any problem to this country at all and who fit in just fine with our values.


37 posted on 05/31/2004 4:23:45 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: taxed2death

Sometimes I wouldn't care if some immigrants couldn't talk at all --- it's not so much what language they chose to speak but when they can't support themselves because they won't learn the language of this country and you see the very high rates of Medicaid and food stamp use, then you do mind. Also when they demand everything be provided to them in their own language they really do get annoying.


38 posted on 05/31/2004 4:27:40 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: FITZ

I agree... don't get me wrong. I think Ted Kennedy is an idiot, and his immigration act didn't do anything for my mother or any of my family members. She came here before that but it's because she had a skill. Streamlining the process would help greatly starting with the elimination of illegal immigration.


39 posted on 05/31/2004 4:28:59 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: hedgetrimmer

How can we get the 1965 act repealed without a wholesale change in parties? Either Bush or Kerry would veto any such legislation assuming we could get it past the Senate.


40 posted on 05/31/2004 4:31:07 PM PDT by Truth29
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To: cyborg

Even more than a skill the ability to get and keep a job. More and more I think immigration should be limited to those countries which back us in our fight against terrorism --- unless as individuals they would go fight for this country. Why should those won't who send troops benefit by coming here --- letting Americans fight and die in wars --- but they sit back here and demand free college tuition money and jobs.


41 posted on 05/31/2004 4:38:56 PM PDT by FITZ
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To: Truth29

It may take years to get the statute repealed, it may mean electing a president that will sign it.

It does mean that like minded citizens must work at the grassroots level to get the statute authored, and to get support by the voting public for it.


42 posted on 05/31/2004 4:40:32 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: Age of Reason

Exactly, we do not need them. But for white liberals to play father/god to the immigrant/non-white Jesus we could wipe this nonsense under the rug of history.


43 posted on 05/31/2004 4:45:15 PM PDT by junta
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To: Bella_Bru

Bella_Bru wrote:



I blame it on both. But I also do something that is taboo. I blame the businesses that employ illegals as well. Few want to actually lay any blame at the feet of the contractors and farmers who joyfully encourage illegal immigrants just so their profit margins are a bit higher.




YES!

Too many politicians on both sides wink at it, too.


44 posted on 05/31/2004 4:46:25 PM PDT by tiamat ("Just a Bronze-Age Gal, Trapped in a Techno-World!")
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To: Mr. Mojo

It was the beginning of the end!


45 posted on 05/31/2004 4:47:47 PM PDT by Mears
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To: FITZ

Yup I agree


46 posted on 05/31/2004 4:56:28 PM PDT by cyborg
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To: tiamat

Yes, and all the above are guilty of breaking federal law but since we're now so close to being a banana republic, obeying the laws are just for those stupid old middle class folks that really believe in the standards this country used to embrace.


47 posted on 05/31/2004 5:02:09 PM PDT by american spirit
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To: Mr. Mojo

BTTT


48 posted on 05/31/2004 7:53:26 PM PDT by TLI (...........ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA..........)
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To: NewRomeTacitus

Good article to read tomorrow.


49 posted on 05/31/2004 11:08:50 PM PDT by janetgreen (WAKE UP President Bush !! Mexico has INVADED us!!)
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To: NewRomeTacitus

I can't tell people enough how Ted has played the largest role in bringing our nation to near-ruin.




Oh, dont stop at ted - the whole clan are despoilers.


50 posted on 06/01/2004 6:28:03 AM PDT by Iron Matron (Those who serve two masters also have two faces)
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