Second-Generation Americans Against Refugees

Once again, Tony Fracasso from the long-running broad-comedy show “SpeakupWNY” weighed in, this time on immigration, in my most recent Kathy from Williamsville thread

So Alan,

Do you support mass migration of people from other countries to the USA? Yes or No.

Do realize this cost the net tax payers tens of millions of dollars?

80 years ago when people immigrated to the USA they still followed the rules on the books plus we didn’t have the costly social programs we have today.

Like Derek Noakes loves animal videos on YouTube, Fracasso loves to demand “yes or no” answers and to use the phrase “net tax payers”. My response

Do I support “mass migration of people from other countries to the USA”? Absolutely. Immigrants like the Fracasso family helped make this country what it is today. Never mind that Italian immigrants found it hard to assimilate, were discriminated against, subjected to hatred and bigotry, and tended to live amongst each other in homogeneous neighborhoods, now Italians are considered to be just like our WASP founders.

Of course, it’s also a complete lie that immigrants are a net drain on the economy. For instance,

Via Buffalo Niagara Partnership

Immigration grows the economy and helps enhance local cultural vitality. Immigrants also create jobs for native Americans here in WNY:

Via Buffalo Niagara Partnership

So, if you’ll notice above, I pointed out to Fracasso that, 100 years ago, Italians were treated rather horribly by native-born Americans, and like new immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, they found it tough to assimilate and kept to themselves in insular communities. Fracasso responds

That was then and this is now. To different scenarios. When are families came over a 100 years ago the country was in a different economic state. We also didn’t have the social programs we have now compared to 100 years ago. This has nothing to do with bigotry or hatred. Is that a tactic in the Democratic Playbook? When someone doesn’t agree with you call them a hater or a bigot?

I’m also rather sure the mass of immigrants that came over 100 years ago came into the states by following the laws.

Why do we have borders and laws Alan?

So, here’s my response: 

Right. YOUR playbook is to shout about how YOUR ancestors came here “legally” at a time when immigration from Europe was essentially unrestricted, save for the “not an anarchist” box that needed to be ticked before you could get tested for syphilis on your way through Ellis Island.

But when it comes to brown, Spanish-speaking tweens from Central America who are escaping social, economic, and political problems that are not dissimilar from, say, turn-of-the-century Italy, all of a sudden it’s an “invasion”. Yet you want to sit there and tell me that’s not bigotry or hatred – or that the bigotry and hatred that was hurled at Italian and Irish immigrants 110 years ago was not just as disgusting and sordid.

We do have borders, Tony. When was the last time you actually crossed the southern border? Have you ever crossed the Rio Grande or taken a day trip to TJ? Ever? Have you ever witnessed the interminable lines, super-tight security, and state-of-the-art anti-drug and human trafficking measures put in place at even remote crossings in the desert Southwest? Have you seen the miles and miles of barren wasteland out that way?

Yes, we have borders and they are reasonably protected, and here’s the reason why this is all about bigoted hysteria and not at all about facts:

While illegal immigration of kids 12 and under has shot up by 117%, theoverall number of people of any age crossing illegally is at a 40 year low, and even the number of kids crossing has dropped.

Most of the anti-immigrant hysteria stems from a conscious or unconscious belief that Obama is a foreign Manchurian candidate who is here to destroy America as we know it. If you don’t believe me, just look at Weppner’s own birtherite hysterics.

Furthermore, the kids are mostly from Honduras: “The fact that Hondurans represent the highest percentage [27%], followed by Salvadorans, makes clear that the major push factors are violence,” said Susan Terrio, an anthropology professor at Georgetown University who has interviewed dozens of unaccompanied immigrant children.”

“Invaders” my ass.

Yes, we do have borders and they’re being reasonably defended, and we also have laws. I don’t know why you’d so quickly invalidate your own argument, but the law states that undocumented unaccompanied minors cannot be deported before they have a court hearing – due process.

What you’re really saying is, “why won’t Obama disobey the law?

Here is a Forbes list of 7 myths about immigration

Myth 1: There are more immigrants than ever and these immigrants break the mold of previous waves.

Between 1860 and 1920, fourteen percent of the population was foreign-born. The average for the 20th century is 10-plus percent. The proportion is not different today—about 13 percent. Until the 1880s immigration originated in northern and western Europe but in subsequent decades they came from southern, central and eastern Europe, which was culturally, politically and economically different. Not to mention Asians, who arrived in significant numbers.

The difference seems to be national origin, not numbers. 

Myth 4: Present-day immigrants do not assimilate, unlike previous waves.

About forty percent of newcomers speak reasonable English anyway, but the three-generation pattern echoes that of previous immigrants: the second generation is bilingual but speaks English better and the third generation speaks only English. By the third generation, out-marriage is strong among immigrants. A century ago, seventeen percent of second-generation Italian immigrants married non-Italians while 20 percent of second-generation Mexicans marry non-Hispanics today (even though, given the numbers, it is easier for them to marry another Mexican.) Second-generation immigrants do better than their parents, as in the past.

That proves my point about Italians, supra

Myth 5: Low-skilled workers take away jobs, lower salaries and hurt the economy.

As producers and consumers, illegal immigrants enlarge the economic pie by at least $36 billion a year. That number would triple if they were legal—various studies point to a $1 trillion impact on GDP in ten years. Low-skilled workers fulfill a need by taking jobs others do not want, letting natives move up the scale. Without them employers would need to pay higher salaries, making those products and services more expensive. They have a tiny negative effect on wages at the lowest end that is offset by a rise in the wages of those who move up—the net effect is a 1.8% rise.

That’s right – even undocumented immigrants help to grow the economy

Myth 7: Immigrants don´t pay taxes and cost more than they contribute. 

Immigrants pay many local and state levies, including real estate and sales taxes, and about $7 billion in Social Security taxes. Between the 1970s and the 1990s they represented $25 billion more in government revenue than what they cost. They would contribute much more if they were documented. Most immigrant children have at least one parent who is a citizen, so counting all of them as part of the cost of immigration is deceptive. The welfare state was never a “pull” factor: until after World War II immigrants were not entitled to relief programs. Immigrants did not cause government spending to grow by a factor of 50 in one century.

These myths are further confirmed and expanded upon in this Washington Post article, and this article from the Southern Poverty Law Center

If people like Fracasso are so concerned about facts and the law, then it would likely behoove them to educate themselves not only about the facts about immigration – legal and not – and what laws apply. 

Immigrants do not harm or destroy America – they make America stronger. 

7 comments

  • undocumented unaccompanied minors cannot be deported before they have a court hearing”…a law presented and passed by none other than George W Bush in order to accommodate big agricultural corporate interests who want these low wage earners working on their farms. Funny how the conservatives always forget to mention that when they refer to it as “lawlessness”…..

    • Stoop labor ain’t cheap buddy! Oh wait, yes it is. As long as “big government” doesn’t get involved and give them wetbacks in mah fields any of them rights!
      *sips mint julep, increases rocking in chair whilst fanning*
      Hot today…

  • You should edit your tony quote, “when are [sic] families….”
    On a deeper level, his misuse of “are” as “our” explains a lot.

  • Your best post in awhile. I agree 100%.

  • Does anyone actually know who migrated back and forth from the southern and northern borders 110 years ago? It’s pretty easy to say Europeans came over legally, hell they were on ships, duh.

  • That was then and this is now. To different scenarios. When are families came over a 100 years ago the country was in a different economic state.

    Speak English or go back where you came from!

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