Guest Bloggers

Reader Rants: Get this out of my AZ! – Marilee Cornelius (marilove)

Ok, my deepest apologies for that subject. I’m not above playing the pregnant card on this one, so I totally am. (I only have 3 weeks left to do it… so expect lots of it for the rest of the month.)

If you’ve been around Skepchick for a while (and by a while I mean like at least a week) you know Marilove… and you kinda gotta love her. She definitely keeps this place interesting. Today she is ranting about her home state of AZ, which is always a fun topic on Cinco de Mayo! I hear Hispanics are really happy down there right now! (That’s what she said!!)

Anyway, I’m particularly loopy today, so I’ll pass this one over to Marilove because I have no business writing on a public forum right now.

The Fuck Nuttery that is Arizona

Marilee Cornelius

I was planning on writing a scathing rant about the very controversial Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona that Gov. Brewer recently signed. I’m sure most of you are quite aware of this bill, and the boycotts and financial losses Arizona has been taking because of it.

But then someone on my livejournal friends list shared this:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – No Problemo
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

There’s really nothing else I can add. Colbert says it best, as usual.
Tangently related: Some may think Comedy Central dropped the ball recently by complying to extremists, and I’m inclined to agree. But we are still really lucky to have them, especially the darlings of the network, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Many try to write them off as “just comedy shows”, especially Jon Stewart himself, but they are so much more than that and so very important.

Back to the fuck nuttery that is Arizona: I am native to Arizona. I was born in Lake Havasu City, AZ and grew up on the AZ/Cali border, deep in the Sonoran Desert, until I was 19. I’ve lived in Phoenix now for almost a decade. This is my home state, and Central Phoenix is my adopted city. I love both, dearly. But this bill, along with the constant uphill battle for LGBTQ equality … honestly, I’m tired. I’m so tired. I’ve defended this state for a long time. But I’m finding it harder and harder to defend.

Worse, this extreme immigration bill is not the least of the crazy going on in Arizona right now. Take the previous Arizona Congressman and current Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth for example:

Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) is not backing off his claim that a six-and-a-half-year-old same-sex marriage ruling in Massachusetts could conceivably pave the way for men marrying horses. source

PEOPLE VOTED FOR HIM, and will probably vote for him again. I just … I just don’t get this line of thinking. I really don’t. It completely breaks my ability to understand, and I’m a pretty sympathetic and empathetic person. Horses? Really, Hayworth? Really? What freaks me out is that one of the only other Republican choice is John Fucking McCain, and right now the Democrat options are lookin’ slim. I have some hope that Hayworth won’t be elected (he’s perhaps too crazy even for Arizona, the land of Sheriff Joe), but I just don’t know if I can handle any more John McCain.

We certainly can’t forget the Presidential ‘birther bill’ that advanced all the way to the state House. Really? This is how we’re spending money we don’t have? We’re cutting education funds left and right, and THIS shit is what is important? Really? Thankfully the Whitehouse came in and dismissed this ridonkulous bill, but the fact that it made it as far as it did is astonishing and fucking frightening.

And I remember this day quite clearly, as I was volunteering for a local LGBTQ organization at the time that dealt primarily with local LGBTQ politics:
Arizona Governor Takes Away State Domestic Partner Benefits, Says ‘God Has Placed Me in This Powerful Position’

This is one of the very first things she did when she was appointed to the position of Governor. I won’t even get into Brewer’s anti-choice stances and legislature; it’s all quite scary. Note that she was *not* elected, but rather appointed to the position when Napolitano, a Democrat, left for Washington for the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. I’m still bitter. It doesn’t help that Brewer is, at this moment, leading the race for Governor (though I personally feel our now doomed economy will prevent her from being elected … I hope). I really don’t like this woman.

And let me tell you, when The Crazy that is Sheriff Joe decided not to run for Governor, all sane people in Arizona let go a huge sigh of relief (while every resident in Sun City let out a grunt of disappointment). The thought of Sheriff Crazy Pants Joe as Governor is perhaps, somehow, worse than the thought of J.D. Horse Fucker Hayworth as Governor, and that is saying something.

I’m just glad the city of Phoenix still has our Mayor, Phil Gordon, who is relatively progressive, very vocal about his disdain for the new anti-immigration bill, and quite supportive of and active in the fight for LGBTQ rights. But it seems he is our only hope, and this is his last term. What happens next?

Skepchicks, my loves. I am so confused and conflicted. I love Arizona, and I love my life here in Central Phoenix. I’m lucky and live in a pretty progressive area; my apartment is in the middle of the gay neighborhood. I’m surrounded by wonderful people and friends, all of whom work hard at trying to make this state better. But we are losing. I am feeling the un-ignorable urge to flee. And yet, I feel obligated to stay; I can’t give up now. I can’t give up and let the state I love so much go further into the shitter. Arizona can’t be beyond hope, can it?

Marilee Cornelius is an Arizona native, LGBQT volunteer and activist, writer, and geek-extraordinaire.  She has just signed up for classes at the local Community College, with the goal of earning a degree in ASL Interpretation, after much prodding and encouragement from one of her closets friends, whom shes suspects just wants a free interpreter during their table-top Dungeon & Dragons games.  You can follow her on twitter:

The Skepchick Reader Rants, posted every Wednesday at 3PM Eastern, is a feature where you, the Skepchick readers, get to tell the Skepchick community what you think about whatever you want!  To be considered, please submit an original rant, preferably unpublished anywhere else, to skepchick(at)skepchick(dot)org with the subject: My Rant.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. Yay! I am famous! Woop-woop!

    Psst, some of the paragraphs need an extra space after them so they are more like paragraphs. :)

  2. And you know after you can no longer play the pregnant-lady card, you can totally play the I-have-a-newborn-and-am-not-sleeping card for several months, right?

  3. I don’t know how people like you do it. I get pissed off enough living in Maine, which is a pretty liberal state. I don’t think I could stand to live in the south.

  4. @mikerattlesnake: This is the Southwest, not the South. Difference! ;) We’re the cowboy state, duh.

    But we’ve also got weird influences from California. It’s all very strange. I mean, celebrities come here in droves. Tucson, for instance, is a pretty liberal city (and I JUST heard they are planning on suing the state because of this bill!). Sedona is woo-capitol of the freakin world.

    And the *city* Phoenix, as a whole, is more liberal than most of the Valley. Like I said in the post, I live in a very, very gay neighborhood — the Fruit Loop, as we lovingly call it. This is where the annual Gay Pride event is held, and where all the artsy and music stuff happens. (There is also a huge poly population here, and I know way too many people involved in Kink.) Downtown Phoenix is not quite like the rest of Maricopa County and most of the other cities and towns, which tend to be a lot more right-wing.

    We’ve got some of THE BEST hospitals and teaching hospitals in the Valley, and our universities do some *amazing* scientific research. So we aren’t all bad. And for a long time, I was able to defend Arizona and I had some hope — there were a lot of minuses, but we had plenty of pluses, too. But this recent shiz is making it almost impossible.

  5. Well done Marilove! I’m with @mikerattlesnake. It’s nasty business through and through. It makes me feel lucky to live in NYC, A.K.A. ‘The Bubble’. I’m not sure that I’d have the stomach to deal with the Southwest. If you ever flee from AZ, come to the Northeast. We play in leaf piles in the Autumn.

    Oh, and here is the promised Trolling:


  6. @Elyse: Perfecto, thank you! But:

    Um, I’m an idiot!

    What freaks me out is that one of the only other Republican choices is John Fucking McCain and Jan Brewer, and right now the Democrat options are lookin’ slim.

    Please erase Jan Brewer from that line, because she is not running for Senate, but rather Govenor, which I actually mentioned a few paragraphs down. LOL. I blame this error on my inability to drink copious amounts of coffee.

  7. @marilove: You were pretty famous before this publication, if you ask me.

    You embodied the rant here- it’s a great piece. I especially love your last paragraph- I can read your pain about the uphill battle you’re fighting. I can only say this: without people like you in places where you are, things will only get worse. When small minded people have no opposition, they feel they are the norm (even more than they already do) and it only serves to escalate the hate.

  8. @Amy: I <3 you too. AND YOUR ART, how I covet thee. Seriously, as soon as I have a few extra bucks, I'm getting that psychic print.

    @Sam Ogden: I SAW THAT AND IT IS AWESOME. I don’t really have time to follow sports regularly, but I’ve always liked the suns, and I keep promising myself that one day I’ll make it to a game, which I haven’t done yet. So now I am totally planning on going to a game either later this season or next season, to support them and their awesomeness.

    @Skept-artist: OMG LOLZ that was some awesome trolling, sir.

    @marilove: And ferther, deliete, “And I don’t want to think about Brewer being elected” since it is no longer relevent after deleting the other error.

    Gah. I need to be able to drink coffee again.

  9. @Displaced Northerner:

    I can only say this: without people like you in places where you are, things will only get worse. When small minded people have no opposition, they feel they are the norm (even more than they already do) and it only serves to escalate the hate.

    Agreed. This is why it bothers me when people start saying, “I am leaving!” And so many are saying that, and some WILL end up leaving. I wish more people were willing to stay and fight. Of course, I may not stay in Arizona forever, but while I am here, I will continue to fight.

    @scribe999: I hadn’t heard about Flagstaff! Nice!

    I think Mayor Phil Gordon also mentioned something about suing the state, but I’m not sure how far that went, or if it went anywhere. I’ll have to look that up.

  10. I was in Prescott over the weekend, and everyone we talked to seemed to be very happy with the immigration bill.

    Living in California, I sometimes share your urge to flee, but where to?

  11. @eli54: Prescott is pretty conservative, though it has some hippy run-off from Flagstaff, especially at Yavapai Community College.

    Also: Many liberals support this bill, because racism runs deep and most don’t really have an understanding of it. Just “OMG illegal immigrants BAD BAD must rid of them at ANY cost!!!”

    It surprises me how many otherwise-progressive people support this bill. I’ve actually ended a couple long-time friendships because of it.

  12. @marilove:

    I’ve actually ended a couple long-time friendships because of it.

    Oh wow. That’s a real bummer. Were you surprised at your (former) friends? Or were you expecting it?
    [Edit]: Looks like you said “surprised” in that sentence before that. oops.

  13. @Skept-artist: I was not expecting it. These were otherwise progressive, liberal, GAY individuals, people I expected to have some empathy for other minorities. I ended the friendships after I learned that they hadn’t actually read the bill or done any research. They were just spouting off a lot of racist rhetoric. Even claiming that “illegal aliens don’t have rights!” (which is 100% not true and a huge red flag that the person talking is racist and not really interested in facts). It was the blatant, willful ignorance from self-proclaimed progressives that led me to end the friendships.

  14. Yeah, I guess my city is a bit of an oasis as well. When gay marriage was voted on, we voted 75% against the ban and yet it still passed. We generate a huge portion of the state’s income and are the only thing approaching a ‘city’ in the state, though we seem to have a small liberal enclave in pretty much every region (except “the county”), little artsy college towns all up the coast.

    Outside of those towns is a trailer-filled, woodsy wasteland of ignorance. I grew up surrounded by rednecks and morons, and I am pretty determined never to go back. For some reason, though (maybe that I don’t live there), the idiots down your way seem more oppresively, actively evil, whereas I would describe our local variety as “simple”, or more passively stupid. I guess the repeal of gay marriage throws a wrench in there, though.

  15. I wonder if the new law won’t also make it even less likely for any non-caucasian (and even more so for latino (women)) to report to the police if they feel threatened or abused or whatever when there’s at least the prospect of additional hassles, if not actual problems with the state on the line: “before you report the assault, mam, please show us your papers.”

  16. @Berandor:

    “If you stayed in your country where you belong, this guy would be in another country from you. You would have been safe. Hows about we get you to safety. See ya!”

  17. Sometimes if feels like we’re on a sorry-ass, merry-go-round: ‘California, in its zeal for excluding the Chinese, declared a holiday on March 6th, 1881 in order to hold widespread demonstrations to support the anti-Chinese legislation. Once the Chinese Exclusion Act was finally passed in 1882, California went further in its discrimination against the Chinese by passing various laws that were later proved unconstitutional.[4] After the act was passed most Chinese families were faced with a dilemma: stay in the United States alone or go back to China to reunite with their families.[5] Newspapers around the country and especially in California started to discredit and blame the Chinese for most things, i.e. white unemployment. The police also discriminated against the Chinese by using the slightest opportunity to arrest them. Although there was widespread dislike for the Chinese, some capitalists and entrepreneurs resisted their exclusion based on economic factors. [6]’ — wikipedia entry on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882

  18. @Berandor: @Elyse: I’ve dealt with many domestic violence situations like this over the years. In my state no one, including law enforcement and CPS social workers, asks any victim in a criminal investigation what their legal status is. No woman is denied or refused domestic violence services, protection or support because of their immigration status. That’s not to say some women are not afraid to call law enforcement for fear of being deported, in my state however that is not a realistic fear. The situation is different for a perpetrator whose immigration status will be checked on when they are arrested. What frequently happens then is that the perpetrator is offered a deal where he will plead guilty in exchange for no jail time and summery extradition out of the country. That these men often return and rejoin their wife/partner and children despite protection orders is another issue. It’s hard to imagine what happens in Washington State is not typical of many other states, but perhaps not.

  19. Marilove, brilliantly written. I was born and raised in Phoenix, and still live here. I went through the Evan Mecham fiasco 20 years ago, yet for some reason I am STILL shocked when stuff like this happens. I don’t know when I’ll learn. As long as I live here I’ll help support candidates who will not vote for things like SB1070. Thanks for this post!

  20. @scribe999: That’s a nasty piece of west coast history that happened from Canada to Mexico. My liberal small university city had an organized uprising in 1907 where the whole Asian community was rounded up by a mob and walked out of town and told to never return. The police ignored the whole thing and a thriving Asian community just disappeared with most walking nearly a hundred miles south to Seattle.

    History should not be forgotten

  21. @scribe999: Just lived through a similar experience:
    Last weekend I saw a play which had Nazis in it. I hate Nazis. Comes from ten years of German studies.
    Skip ahead to the intermission. Two elderly women are sitting next to me and begin commenting on the play – how awful Hitler was; how evil he was; how bad he was to the Jews; etc.
    They quickly run out of ways to say “Hitler = bad” and move on to current events.
    Which current event? The Arizona immigration law. How important it is to close the borders and how those illegal immigrants are ruining this country. Then they hit on the “Arabs”. Oh yes, how awful the Arabs are; how they are taking over the country and making it an “Arab state”. “Whatever happened to the laws we used to have which put quotas on how many people from which countries could come here?” they ask.
    I’m staring at these women thinking to myself, how many times did this same conversation take place “auf deutsch” in 1930’s with the word “Jew” substituting for “Arab”? How can you start spewing the same racially ludicrous generalities that, not five minutes ago, you attributed to those awful Nazi’s? Can you really be so oblivious?
    The answer, it appears, is “yes”.

  22. @marilove I’m not much of a fighter. I’m more of a stand just off your left shoulder and shout stuff person. But I completely agree with your post.

    Unfortunately, a vast amount of Maricopa county (Mesa/Chandler/Gilbert) is populated by family-oriented religious institutions who believe they know what the rest of us should/shouldn’t be doing. All of MY local friends feel the way you do.

    Here’s my hope: Arpio will have to resign as Sheriff to continue his run for Governor – which he’ll lose. The current immigration (and LGBTQ – I don’t know much about that) discussions will cause many people to rethink their go-along with the party habits. The next elections may make a difference. Or the ones after that. Everyone I know is unhappy with their party in one way or another. I think we’re ramping up to a major change. Plenty of new blood here in AZ and the old folks will die out.

    So you have to decide if you can wait it out.

  23. @Berandor: This is one of the HUGE arguments against it. It’s already difficult for Latinos to report crimes, even if they are legal (some of their friends and family aren’t legal, or they are afraid they are going to be hassled (a very real fear) by Sheriff Joe’s cronies even if they are legal). It’s already a big problem, and this will only make it worse.

  24. @James Fox:

    In my state no one, including law enforcement and CPS social workers, asks any victim in a criminal investigation what their legal status is. No woman is denied or refused domestic violence services, protection or support because of their immigration status.

    You don’t have Sheriff Joe.

    @James Fox:

    That’s not to say some women are not afraid to call law enforcement for fear of being deported, in my state however that is not a realistic fear.

    Again, simplist answer: You don’t have Sheriff Joe.

    It’s a very real fear and many people don’t report crimes as it is because of it — whether they are involved in the crime or just a witness.

    Also, deportation is a very real fear, especially for the younger generation — if they are deported, they are essentially going to be deported back to a foreign land, even though they are technically not legal citizens. Or they risk being deported back to abusive situations. And so, crimes are not reported, because of fear.

  25. @SkepLit: I was standing in line for the business desk at a supermarket once to get some change. There were a bunch of Hispanic men in line in front of me for the same desk, which also served as the Credit Union.

    An elderly black lady behind me leans up and says, “You know those damn beaners are just sending money back to their families.”

    I’m white. It was *so* tempting to respond, “Shut up, darkie.” But I didn’t want to start anything, even if it was to illustrate a point (that it’s insane for one minority to be racist towards another minority, not that I’m racist!).

  26. @marilove: I’m still amazed no one has killed Sheriff Joe yet. It’s just inconceivable to me that no one has practiced vigilante justice on him yet.

  27. Thank you for speaking out and writing this, marilove. Thank you for the work you and your group are doing to make this state less backwards. As a Phoenix-area resident, it still amazes me that this city has liberal pockets at all, and I’m pleased at the ruckus that we’ve been making the past few weeks. This needs to get as much attention as possible.

    I could talk Arizona politics for hours, I’m pretty obsessed with it right now, but you said it perfectly so I will just applaud and confirm everything herein.

    Also, yeah, If Joe Arpaio were ever elected governor, I would menstruate on a photo of him, mail it to his house, then jump right over the border fence and become a Mexican citizen.

  28. @k-rex: I’m glad you are in the good fight, as well!

    Are all you AZ folks on my Facebook and/or twitter? Sometime soon, maybe near the end of summer, I need to organize a meetup….

    Also, lol, when I posted this to my Facebook, it grabbed the intro, and I had to leave a comment to preemptively reassure people that, no, I am not pregnant. Thanks, Elyse. :P


    This is just my luck. I will be near (considering where I live) to the Skepchicon location two weeks before the event, lol. :( Dammit. I am seriously considering rescheduling my visit to my home town because, yo, Jay Novella.

  30. Jay Novella and Rock Bottom beer?! Now if we could just add a Los Lakers v Los Suns Western Conference Finals match it might be the all-time best weekend to visit Phoenix.

  31. Every time I hear people bitching that ‘the Mexicans are taking our jobs’, I want to belt someone. If that were true, why are California farmers watching crops rot on the trees because they can’t find anyone to pick them?

    When I lived in Irvine, about 20 years ago, the Irvine Company, in response to continued INS raids, tried hiring legal “American” workers. The only two who lasted the day were migrant workers from the South.

    Unless the cops start stopping blond, blue-eyed people with spray-on tans as often as they stop brown haired, brown eyed people with real ones, there’s no way to make a case that this isn’t racial profiling.

  32. I live in Tucson. It’s off topic, but I’ve been flirting with the idea of heading up to Sedona for 12/21/2012 with a video camera and interviewing people. Want to plan something?

  33. From reading her posts since I discovered Skepchick a year or so ago, I have concluded that Marilove rocks.

    Seems like those of us in the UK can’t see the Colbert Show clip, unfortunately. Any other sources or ways round?

  34. @marilove: I am not on your FB, shall I add you? I would so be interested in a meet-up at the end of the summer.

    @banyan: Oh my god that is so rad. You should orchestrate some huge scary event in Sedona on that day, and terrify all the new agers. Like, burn up a dirigible, dress as Jesus and make an appearance at the Chapel of the Cross, place giant magnets around the UFO store, that kind of thing. Bring video camera. Profit!

  35. @Castellan: Aw shucks, thanks. And I really hate that. Try YouTube?

    @banyan: This would be fantastical, omg. The possibilities are endless. Also, it will be kinda cold, but very pretty! I always like visiting Sedona, woo aside.

    @k-rex: Yes, please do; my profile links to it.

  36. Every state goes through a stint of crazy. When I lived in Wisconsin, we elected the same drunk governor four times in a row. I moved to California, just in time to see the terminator elected. So you have to say to yourself, ‘at least I don’t live in North Dakota.’ It has it’s share of crazy, but also the weather sucks.


  37. That is a fantastic rant, marilove. I grew up in north Phoenix, and even though I’ve lived outside of Arizona longer than I lived there, I still keep in touch with friends and family there and.

  38. @Holytape: Sheriff Joe has been in office since 1992.

    Also, lol. I am visiting North Dakota in June! My mom is from there; we’re visiting my rather awesome grandmother and some other family.

  39. As an Arizona resident, I’m right there with you. I’m just amazed at the level of ignorance most people have about not only the details of the bill but the complexity of the immigration issue itself. There are times where I feel like one of the only sane people around, particularly in my job where the white good ole boy attitude is the prevailing one.

  40. I would pay thousands of dollars for a video tape of a cop detaining one of the brilliant legislators who voted for this bill for not carrying sufficient proof of citizenship.

  41. I think the retort to the comment about the horses would be: If this bill passes we will include a provision that requires all horses to wear burkas so those Republicans won’t be so tempted.

  42. I don’t really follow American politics, so forgive me if this has been asked before, but WHAAAAA???

    By the way, are these the same Republicans that refer to universal health care as an Orwellian nightmare? Or is that a different subset of the Republican party?

  43. According to pole 55% of Americans on whole support the bill and over 60% of Arizonians.

    Is it too late to start printing out “Plato was right” T-shirts?

  44. Did you see the interview of Horsefucker Hayworth on the Maddow show? That dude is SO incredibly creepy! If I saw him walking down the street, I’d cross over to the other side.

  45. I just read the bio-section for the first time (which I wrote, btw) and I am loling forever:

    closets friends I’m sure Jon would love to know he is … in the closet.

    And: whom shes suspects

    There is more than one of me! What’s up with the errant “s”, Marilee? Hmmm?

    Maybe if I promise to be Jon’s interpreter during D&D, he’ll agree to be my personal editor, because seriously, lol.

  46. I’ve never needed a visa when visiting the states before, but I guess if I ever go to Arizona I should get one. Or risk being sent to jail.

    To be fair to Hayworth, I’ve long suspected various people and groups of being in the pockets of big-centaur. I mean, do you really want a bunch of half-man half-horses running around having unfair advantages in our rodeos??

    The only solution is to give police officers the ability to detain anyone who can’t produce proof that they are not related to a horse.

  47. Well done, marilove! Thanks for doing what you do.

    And the Colbert clip was priceless. :)

  48. And I thought Texas, under brain-dead governor Rick Perry was crazy enough!

    Hey, I have a blog titled Dale Husband’s Intellectual Rants since 2007. How come I’ve never heard of these Skepchick Reader Rants before?

    And when is marilove going to be made an official Skepchick writer too?

  49. @Dale Husband:

    How come I’ve never heard of these Skepchick Reader Rants before?

    I don’t know? Maybe you haven’t been reading Skepchick for the past month?

  50. I think the US as a sovereign country has every right to curb illegal immigration if there is evidence that it has a negative impact on our nation’s quality of life. I don’t think espousing that position automatically makes one “racist”. I find it troubling when that is the only argument that can be leveled against opponents of illegal immigration as I think it is intellectually lazy. I realize that there are likely opponents of illegal immigration that probably are motivated by racism (perhaps a majority), but I think it is very hard to know with any certainty what percentage of these folks fall really fall into that category.

    Colbert mentioned some hard numbers about the contribution of immigrants in Arizona to the state’s economy. I found this report from the UofAz Udall Center which seems to back up the notion that on balance immigrants (including illegals) are by far a net benefit to Arizona’s economy, contrary to what supporters of the new Arizona law are claiming:

    Personally I think the Arizona immigration bruhaha is part of a diliberate strategy by the GOP to gain an edge in the upcoming mid-term elections by exploiting middle-class angst over the economy. If there was a real desire to curb illegal immigration, all you would have to do would be to enact harsh penalties on people who hire undocumented workers. That would quickly dry up demand. That is a political third rail, however, since the business community would vote with their wallets if the GOP sponsored that kind of legislation.


  51. @Billy Clyde Tuggle: Reform certainly needs to happen. There is no denying that. However, the roots of this bill are clearly racist, and the intentions of this bill are clearly racist.

    The Latino community is our bread and butter and we just fucked them over.

  52. @ Marilove

    I agree that this is a bad bill. I don’t see how it can be implemented in a way that doesn’t result in the harassment of Latinos who are legal immigrants or citizens.

    OTOH, I know people who support this sort of thing who will vehemently deny that they are racists and resent be called racist for doing so. Here is a website from an anti-illegal immigration website I found that argues (not suprisingly) that illegal immigration imposes a net drain on taxpayers:

    It even quotes the National Academy of Sciences as a source of some of their data.

    The one line of argument that jumped out at me was the part that argued that low-skilled illegal immigrant labor was displacing low-skilled indigenous labor and that taxpayers were paying the social-welfare costs for the displaced low-skilled indigenous workers. Of course, the one problem with this argument is that low-skilled workers from Mexico may be low-skilled for different reasons. The Mexican illegals are probably more likely to be low-skilled because of lack of opportunity in Mexico whereas their low-skilled Gringo counterparts may be low-skilled for other reasons (I don’t think you can argue that low-skilled native born workers in the US suffer from the same lack of educational opportunity as low-skilled immigrants from south of the border). This may explain the claimed differences in motivation (i.e. why illegals will gladly do jobs that Americans won’t do).

    In any case, thinking about this issue gives me a headache because I can see how it easily lends itself to confirmation bias. The way that demographic trends interact with the economy (e.g. immigrants depress wages which is hard on low-skill workers, but at the same time benefits consumers with lower prices which offset the social-welfare costs of immigration, etc, etc). I think doing really good analysis of the implications of social policy without falling prey to confirmation bias must be exceedingly difficult.


  53. @ Marilove: Thanks for sending me that link. That sort of lends creadence to the idea that migrants have the quality of motivation (they work damn hard), but don’t have access educational opportunities, whereas motivated Gringos have access to educational opportunities which allow them to secure employment that requires higher skill levels. Unmotivated Gringos aren’t going to do either (upgrade skills or pick cucumbers) because either of those two choices requires hard work.


  54. @Billy Clyde Tuggle: Indeed.

    Of course, don’t get me wrong — there ARE Gringos willing to do such work. I actually dated a guy who didn’t care what the work was, he was willing to do it (and of course, he knew Spanish!). So they do exist; but they are few and far between.

    And those unwilling to do the work probably includes me, but I’ve never even had to work fast food. And yes, I count myself damn lucky.

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