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The message in the headline is a plain fact and is a perspective on the immigration issue which is hardly ever - or even borderline never presented.   It needs to be presented in bumper sticker format and pushed out to help flip the conversation.   Follow me below the squiggle for a long chat about what I believe is a message gap which exists even within the world of the American liberal which should corrected.

I'm a talk radio junkie.   For those who are not aware we still have left wing talk radio in this country.  Air America sadly failed but on Sirius XM we have a channel called "left" and we also have a ton of podcasts and other listenables from a large number of left wing talkers.  This is what I mainly listen to.  Every once in a while I will dip my ear into the nastiness of right wing hate for as long as I can bear so I can truly say that I have a handle on what they are saying but that's not really important in the scope of this.

For those who haven't listened, most left wing talk radio tends to be presented by incredibly knowledgeable people.  People like Thom Hartman, Ari Rabin-havt, Mark Thomson bring an arsenal of history, context, stories of personal involvement and a serious depth to the issues.   They also frequently take calls and I would say that the majority of the callers are very intelligent as well.  They do allow calls from right wingers (which for the most part are pretty uniformed) as well as a good number of left minded people who are either partly uninformed or they can't express themselves that well.  It is a mixed bag but again - I would say the majority (IE - more than 50%) are intelligent, liberal and can speak to issues.

On a recent long drive I listened through part of 3 call in shows which all addressed immigration.    I was truly surprised by the calls.   The vast majority who discussed the immigration issue spoke about "Illegals" and carried the memes of the right wing - illegals take jobs from Americans and that allowing a pathway to citizenship was going to bring down wages more and cost "Americans" jobs.   I didn't mention the name of Ed Schultz in my first list because of all of the liberal hosts I think he is most frequently compared to right wing talkers.   He certainly has the least depth of historical knowledge and he presents himself in a very different fashion than the others.  I've heard him accused of bloviating and at times not knowing what he is talking about and I can't argue strongly against either claim but I still find myself listening.  He is at the heart a truly liberal guy in the very passionate sense that he embraces liberal philosophy from a mid-western and gun owning perspective (which is a very real thing).

I mention this now because it was his show that had the most.  Caller after caller who were not Republican "plants" who went to excruciating and I believe real depth to speak about how they agreed with policies like Health care for all, women's rights, that they always have and will continue to vote D, many of them union members .... and then they went on to pitch the "It will cost us jobs and I don't agree at all - they are 'Illegals' - they entered the country illegally".   For what it's worth on this issue Ed is 100% in favor of a road to citizenship and he went blow after blow with them.  What was clear was that he knew that again - these people were not lying about their other progressive views and what was clear as well was that he sounded truly flustered that all of the callers seemed to support the idea coming from one of the first callers that -- because they 'broke the law' that really deportation was the best bet.

And - as I mentioned - it happened on other shows too - on Thom Hartman the same thing came across.

But back to Ed and what he attempted to do - without much success sadly - but - he kept hammering this point which should be obvious but is hardly ever made and could honestly be a great bumper sticker:

For every "illegal" worker there is an illegal employer giving them a job

We know it here at Dkos but do we actively think it - do we use that word?   "We want to pass this bill to stop illegal employment".  How about that?  People talk about other countries where there isn't the 'illegal worker' problem but they never mention that in other countries - people who aren't citizens and don't have a visa CAN'T WORK!   Aren't employed en masse and don't provide a backbone of jobs that they are paid for by countless large corporations who are breaking the law by continuing to do this.

Given a chance and messaging this message could possibly open a lot of eyes.  I don't think it's almost ever presented like this and it should be.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    FYI - the bluedog thing is about my dog ... I'm a liberal left winger and proud of it.

    by bluedogsd on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:53:49 PM PDT

  •  People who are willing to hire (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    207wickedgood

    undocumented workers in their homes or businesses, in this anti-immigrant climate, are heroes. Undocumented workers come here for the chance to better themselves and are willing to work hard, often at jobs that native born Americans just don't want to do. While the racists on the right would have employers turn these people away, many employers just don't care that these people are brown and were not fortunate enough to happen to be born here. That is their only crime - that their mother was not in this country when they were born. People who would refuse to hire an undocumented immigrant either because they fear government sanctions or because they don't like Latinos should think twice.

    •  I wouldn't call Wal Mart a hero myself (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      207wickedgood, IT Professional

      But I guess there's a fine line between exploitation and heroism.

      Money doesn't talk it swears.

      by Coss on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WMT has over 2 million employees, (0+ / 0-)

        very few of whom are undocumented.

        •  Most companies don't hire (9+ / 0-)

          undocumented workers because of altruism. They do so to pay them shitty wages and avoid taxes.

          Money doesn't talk it swears.

          by Coss on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:24:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sure with some that is the motivation. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            But if you need to hire 300 people to pick fruit all day, you are not likely going to be able to find documented Americans willing to do that. Often companies hire the undocumented out of necessity. In any event, as a progressive, I know that these people and their families within a generation or two create well educated, entrepreneurial workers who add to our countries economy and tax base. The concept that these immigrants are a drag on society is a myth.

            •  No, you're not likely to find (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tweedledee5, 88kathy, IT Professional

              Americans willing to work for less than minimum wage. Because they have to live here and make enough to live on.

              Many undocumented workers return home with the money they've made where the cost of living is far less.  I'm not blaming them, but the employer is making the choice to pay a shitty wage over a living wage because it benefits the employer.

              Money doesn't talk it swears.

              by Coss on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:41:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Incomplete thought: (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Coss, Tweedledee5, 88kathy, Kevskos
              you are not likely going to be able to find documented Americans willing to do that
              For so little money and no benefits.
              If growers and motels and office cleaners paid a living wage and some basic safety net, more white peo... I mean American Citizens would line up for the jobs.
              But because the employers can turn to a ready workforce that is in the shadows and can be abused without risk, they can get away with paying wages so low their fulltime employees qualify for food stamps. Or would if they were documented.

              If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

              by CwV on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:46:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Look, a fruit grower can keep increasing (0+ / 0-)

                wages until he gets enough documented workers to show up and do the job. But it would be a very significant amount, and that would result in two things: much higher costs for consumers at market and an inability to compete with imports. The best solution IMO is to allow people who are poor and desperate for work to get the job they covet, and to let those who would refuse such work to go try to find something better. As a progressive, I'd rather see the most desperate families helped, and I'd rather that poor Americans not be priced out of buying low-cost fruits and vegetables for their children.

              •  I remember John McCain saying (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tweedledee5, Kevskos, IT Professional

                something to the effect at Americans wouldn't pick lettuce for $80 an hour. I mean what a flipping jackass. I find that to be a backhanded racist comment. Its not that the work is "below" Americans, it's that the pay is not worth doing the work if you have to live in this economy.

                Money doesn't talk it swears.

                by Coss on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:59:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I can get you 301 ex-Cons, trailer park and Ghetto (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tweedledee5, Kevskos

              ... folks who would love to do any job that will hire them.

              Go into the ghetto, lots of unemployed there.
              Go to a trailer park, lots of unemployed there.
              Go to the exit gate of a prison, lots of unemployed there.

              Back in the day, that's exactly where we used to get those migrant workers. My uncle, between his undergrad and law school - "dropped out" of the system for a year and went off to be a migrant farm worker in the 50s. As a Mexican - American he was unusual for NOT being white or black and not being a felon... A decade later he would have fit right in, and so he joined Ceaser Chavez's folks.

              But we've changed the game.

              Today we use the white trash of the trailer park as prison guards to hold the black and latino youths of the ghetto away - making one set too stupid to vote in their interests and the other having no right to vote... and then we import people illegally to do the jobs our still-existing underclass used to do, because their rights can more easily be ignored.

              •  Prove it. (0+ / 0-)

                Doc2 may be saying some pretty stupid things, but we also done some experiments to prove he's not crazy.

                Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Ga’s farm-labor crisis playing out as planned

                After enacting House Bill 87, a law designed to drive illegal immigrants out of Georgia, state officials appear shocked to discover that HB 87 is, well, driving a lot of illegal immigrants out of Georgia.

                It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

                Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars’ worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they’ve done to Georgia’s largest industry.

                Barely a month ago, you might recall, Gov. Nathan Deal welcomed the TV cameras into his office as he proudly signed HB 87 into law. Two weeks later, with farmers howling, a scrambling Deal ordered a hasty investigation into the impact of the law he had just signed, as if all this had come as quite a surprise to him.

                Crooks and Liars: Alabama Harvests the Bitter Fruit of Its Harsh New Immigration Laws: Tomatoes Dying On the Vine
                People warned Alabamans that if they went ahead and passed their own version of anti-immigrant legislation, they would suffer similar economic consequences. But they did it anyway. Now, the state's anti-immigration laws -- which involve using schoolchildren as proxies for enforcement -- are easily the most draconian and vicious anti-immigrant laws in the country.

                And guess what? They are now paying the price. Not only are the schools suddenly emptying of Latino children, more tellingly, the state's tomato farmers are in crisis because there's no one available to harvest the fruit. And the authors of the legislation are just telling them, "tough luck":

                    STEELE, Ala. -- A sponsor of Alabama's tough new immigration law told desperate tomato farmers Monday that he won't change the law, even though they told him that their crops are rotting in the field and they are at risk of losing their farms.

                    Republican state Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale met with about 50 growers, workers, brokers and business people Monday at a tomato packing shed on Chandler Mountain in northeast Alabama. They complained that the new law, which went into effect Thursday, scared off many of their migrant workers at harvest time.

                But it looks like we have a solution:

                Forbes: The Law Of Unintended Consequences: Georgia's Immigration Law Backfires

                To forgo a repeat of last year, when labor shortages triggered an estimated $140 million in agricultural losses, as crops rotted in the fields, officials in Georgia are now dispatching prisoners to the state’s farms to help harvest fruit and vegetables.

                -7.75 -4.67

                "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

                There are no Christians in foxholes.

                by Odysseus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:37:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  And (4+ / 0-)

            treat them like shit, work them long hours, rape the woman and know they will not rat out the illegal employer because ICE will not care and cart the worker back to their country of birth.  

            "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

            by Kevskos on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:37:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you. JFC. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tweedledee5

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:40:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  This is utter nonsense. (7+ / 0-)

      Employers hire undocumented workers for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of exploiting them, subjecting them to unsafe working conditions, robbing them of overtime, and skirting other legitimate expenses of doing business and treating employees with respect. Illegal employers enjoy having a two-tired labor system with an underclass they can mistreat, and they are comfortable meting out this treatment BECAUSE they are racists.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:39:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If that were true, then you (0+ / 0-)

        would have me believe that the reason today's GOP wants to deport all these folks and not allow them to work for these terrible employers is to protect them from substandard working conditions. Newsflash - the anti-immigrant tide in this country is driven by anti-Hispanic racism. Period.

        •  You're confusing the players. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          88kathy, Kevskos, IT Professional

          White working class folks who don't understand the game blame migrant workers for the fact that illegal employers prefer workers who they can exploit. The GOP plays on that racism, and they prefer a system where workers are desperate and fearful of deportation--all the better to silence and exploit them. They deport just enough to keep that climate of fear alive. But notice how they don't punish the employers, the source of the issue.

          Make no mistake. The corporate GOP are the ones hiring people illegally, because it's the best way to bust unions, pay shit wages, harass, abuse and endanger workers, and avoid taxes themselves.

          They just don't want these workers with the power to unionize, or god forbid, vote. But there's nothing the corporate GOP loves more than a near-slave working class. Hell, they'd bring back slavery altogether if they could figure out how. It's why they're so happy to move factories overseas where they can abuse workers. When they hire illegally here, they get all those benefits without having to relocate.

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:45:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not unless they are paid equal to what an (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tweedledee5, IT Professional

      American citizen is paid, otherwise it depresses wages for everyone

  •  "eVerify is a liberal plot... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, WorkerInUSA, IT Professional

    to set up a system to have DC decide if you should be allowed to have a job."

    is what I was told when I suggested that we don't go after the workers but rather the employers who hire them and make it desirable for them to come here.

    Now I did work for an employer that got in trouble for hiring an undocumented worker. (four actually)  He had copies of their State Issued Driver Licenses and their Social Security Card. (everyone had to provide this to him or he would not employe you.)

    But he got fined because the DL and SS cards were fake, rather were issued illegally by a DMV Clerck who was doing a side business with her boyfriend at the SSA.

    Immigration at the time would not drop the fine because he should have known these were illegal workers.  But his lawyer told him not to question the status of someone if they had proper documentation or he could be sued by the EEOC.

    In the end they dropped the fine, and signed up for eVerify.  Every store I go into lately seems to have a sign saying they use eVerify.  One of the local ministers here is complaining that this is an attack on hispanics who, even if authorized to work in the US, feel they will be turned down for the job because they are hispanic.

    If they can set up eVerify so farmers could use it with out expensive equipment, this might end the illegal hiring.

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:44:08 PM PDT

  •  But but... the Job Creators... why U hater? (3+ / 0-)

    :P

    Must be some kind of socialist to be attacking the job creators like that. Those upstanding moral individuals who protect America's jobs by...

    Shipping employment overseas where they can, and hiring under the table illegals where they can't. Then calling INS on payday so they avoid the bill...

    - There's the real story.

    Not only are there illegal 'bosses', but they downpress the workers every which way they can.

    Sure they generate a LOT of wealth. But for who? Certainly not for the rest of us.

    But next time you wonder who that Super-Pac that's funding some 'KKK minus the serial numbers' candidate from the Tea-Baggers... its those 'magical job creators' using the wages they didn't pay their illegals and the money they "saved" by sending your job to some factory in Bangladesh where the building is collapsing...

  •  its insourcing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tweedledee5, IT Professional

    to drive down American wages

  •  So the product of all this illegal activity, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Odysseus

    is it illegal as well? Is the dinner you eat in a restaurant with an illegal dishwasher tainted? Does it make you illegal, does it make everything you do illegal? If an illegal laborer worked on building your home, are you living legally? Is it contagious?

    'Cause your eyes are tired & your feet are too & you wish the world was as tired as you." - Lowell George

    by rasbobbo on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:54:44 PM PDT

    •  If you wore anything made of cotton during slavery (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rasbobbo

      were you a slaver? No.

      •  & of course eating corn doesn't make you (0+ / 0-)

        a farmer, but if corn was illegal, eating it might well be as well, no?
        If slavery was illegal, wouldn't the product be as well? & wouldn't the mill that turned that illegal cotton into cloth be tainted as well & the shirt factory. & the store that sold it, on up to the person that buys the shirt?

        'Cause your eyes are tired & your feet are too & you wish the world was as tired as you." - Lowell George

        by rasbobbo on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:32:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I needed a CDL at some point. My employer made (5+ / 0-)

    sure I got one.  At another point, I had to update my social security card to reflect my married name, I did it on company time and I remember another gal and I went together to the social security.

    I don't think it would have been too much to expect the employers to get their worker's papers straight, up to and including citizenship.

    But the employers didn't why? Maybe stealing wages, maybe keeping unions out, maybe keeping workers in fear.

    Mexicans and other South Americans have been taken advantage of by English speaking employers who have taken advantage of their work ethic.

    If you have never eaten food touched by a person cheated out of citizenship, tell me how generous a path to citizenship is.

  •  If you get rid of one, don't you get rid of the (0+ / 0-)

    other? Win-win.

  •  The federal government tracked down Bin Laden (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    The federal government can hire brigades of Neckbeards to read my wife's text message telling me to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home.

    But the federal government can't run an H2B visa program?

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:14:02 PM PDT

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