Immigration and Real Estate

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with EquityScout.com

We're so accustomed to having our intelligence insulted by politicians that we rarely complain about the dumbed down worldview that we’re spoon-fed by both sides of the political aisle. The partisan mudslinging that we’re subjected to these days makes it hard to imagine a world in which candidates might campaign by voicing nuanced, well articulated views on the complex issues facing our country. That’s too much to ask for, but at least we get to watch the primaries, which offer up the entertaining spectacle of Democrats savaging fellow Democrats and Republicans bashing Republicans as they fight for their respective nominations.

But there are a couple of issues that I think we should all hold our candidates to a higher standard. One of these is immigration reform.

Even the language of immigration reform is fraught with semantic landmines. Do you talk about “illegal aliens” or “undocumented workers”? Do you open the discussion with allusions to Ellis Island or by invoking 9-11. Is this about security or fairness. Economics or the American way?

But it's safe to say that we're all interested in the state of our economy and national security – these are two tides that lift all boats. And as real estate investors – we’re more interested than most in how the housing market weathers the current storm, not to mention how we operate as landlords and as consumers of labor intensive services like roofing, landscaping and construction.

More specifically – as politicians target employment, benefits, and housing as keys to the illegal immigration question, some municipalities have proposed legislation which would hold landlords accountable for policing the residency status of their tenants. These are bad laws.

The reality of the situation is that it is difficult to take a complex issue like immigration reform and turn it into an effective sound bite, so it’s rare that we see a candidate discuss immigration with any subtlety or insight. But when I hear anyone address immigration I’m listening for a couple of key things…

Does the candidate acknowledge the complexity of the issue, and our society’s complicity in creating it? George W. Bush has lately become fond of invoking our society’s dependence on foreign oil. This is a step in the right direction (although the solutions proposed are all wrong – that’s another post) but as a society we’ve yet to confront the fact that we’re also addicted to imported labor – especially when it comes to difficult, physically intensive, cheap, dangerous work. When I walk into a construction site, a rehab project, a house that’s being cleaned for showing, or a landscaping job I without fail see a group of workers made up almost exclusively of immigrants. Always. Granted, this fact is exacerbated by the fact that I’m in Houston, but many readers will find this to be a familiar observation.

I live in a suburb where the residents, generally speaking, are more inclined to lean towards the Tom Tancredo school of immigration reform than the Hillary Clinton view. But if you walk this neighborhood on any weekday you’ll see the streets dotted with landscaping and housekeeping crews made up of employees who are in the country illegally. It's interesting that the "Assault on America" philosophy of immigration reform is so successfully sold to those socially conservative families who every week enjoy a beautifully manicured lawn for $35 a pop - courtesy of the invaders.

 Does the candidate appeal primarily to fear? In recent years folks who live in my neighborhood here in Houston have been subjected to some of the foulest, ugliest campaigning I can remember as Hubert Vo (D) and Talmadge Heflin (R) squared off for a seat in the Texas State House of Representatives. They both took the low road on numerous occasions on various issues; one of them was immigration. This ad to the right (actual scan of a flier which landed in my mailbox) won the prize for the crassest. According to Heflin, his opponent was so uninterested in the general public safety that if he won then Osama himself would eventually stroll into a local Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and get a drivers’ license.

Heflin lost the election in a very tight race, and I like to think that there were at least a few voters, like me, who were pushed into the opponent’s camp because they were angry about having their intelligence insulted.

Does the candidate talk about people? Immigration is a human issue. Immigration is about people. I think most of us would agree on how we should treat an illegal alien who slips into the country to sell drugs. But how do we treat an undocumented worker who has spent the past twenty years toiling in a Tyson chicken processing plant, paying social security, contributing to his community, and raising his kids who were born here and are now in high school?

If we were to wave a magic wand and magically deport all 12 million people residing in our country illegally, every restaurant in Houston, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and San Diego would immediately close. Our crops would rot on the vine. Poultry and meat would disappear from our supermarkets. Hotels would shut down. Residential level construction work will grind to a halt.

Some of these industries would eventally recover – but at a great increase in cost to the consumer.

So ask youself: is the candidate presenting the issue to me in all its complexity?

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Rainmaker
220,026
John MacArthur
Century 21 New Millennium - Washington, DC
Licensed Maryland/DC Realtor, Metro DC Homes

Jennifer - So much heat and passion in your response, I did a double take when I noticed this. "THAT is what is wrong with our society today. People pick and choose what laws they think are ok to break, and use /or don't use the law to fit their own needs and agenda."

Those are your words. So at some level you seem to be aware that people pick and choose what laws they will obey. On another point, I just don't want you ranting and possibly making a fool of yourself in the future. Doctors and hospitals are required to provide care for those in need. There are Hill-Burton funds to cover the cost of this care. The Hill-Burton act does not identify whom should receive the care beyond the fact that the person must need the financial assistance. There is no WELFARE. There is aid for dependant children. There is a food stamp program. Welfare in the form of checks being doled out has not existed in this country for years. Social security benefits are only given to those that have contributed to the system. Anyone working with a false social security care will have those taxes deducted and never receive any benefit. It a strange way, the undocumented workers that are doing so are actually increasing the social security fund. No one can vote that is not registered to vote.

Should a leader rise up, he or she will not defend the illegality of the group. A leader will work to have the issue resolved in a fair fashion. I do not have a problem with the issue being resolved. I do have a problem with the racist bend the conversation takes.

This is not about sharing or hiding ones views. It is about having the decency our forefathers expected us to develop over 200 years. This is about compassion. This is about putting a face on every undocumented resident and coming up with a plan that will resolve the problem. This resolution will have to include how we will deal with the thousands of immigrants that have gone through the normal process.

As the volumn of this debate increases, it is nearly impossible to hear the quiet whisper of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Jan 02, 2008 05:01 PM #76
Rainer
21,432
Christopher Smith
EquityScout.com - Houston, TX
 Simon:  in principle I don’t disagree with your four points, but I think they’re all tactics (specific actions) which might succeed once we’ve solved the issue of the millions of illegal residents who are already here.  I other words, I think that these eventually will be good steps, but we can’t start with them.  I’ve patrolled a border before as a soldier stationed on the DMZ between North and South Korea, and the idea of a 1,500 wall between the United States and Mexico manned by U.S. soldiers with shoot-on-sight orders strikes me distinctly un-American.  And with our current situation no measure short of this will truly seal our borders.  I hope this is a mission that our military would be wise enough to resist to the extent allowed by our constitution.  

Jim Lee:  Your story is a good example of a quick win – and one that we’ll probably expect to see more of, regardless of what happens with immigration reform.  I saw an unbelievable story recently about an Oklahoma manufacturer who imported and enslaved a whole team of steelworkers from India.  

These guys are thugs and criminals, and on top of that they’re stupid.  But walk into ExxonMobil’s headquarters in Houston at 6:30 pm on any weekday.  Or Continental Airlines’.  You’ll see an army of exclusively Spanish speaking workers filing into the building to clean it.  Or any major hotel chain.  Or major farm. Or meatpackers.  These companies won’t be busted because they’re following the rules of a broken system.  I’ll elaborate if you’re interested.   

Isaac Bensussen:  The problem with that NYTimes quote is that most American’s don’t really expect immigrants to “…their beds and meals, feed their babies and ailing parents, and pick their crops-while living in fear and hopelessness.”  They don’t “expect” anything at all because they haven’t really thought about the issue.  And they haven’t thought about it because it’s never presented with any insight or complexity.  

John MacArthur:  I don’t really think it’s relevant to compare the plight of illegal U.S. residents (who’ve lived and worked here for decades w/ the full complicity of our society and economic system) the drunk drivers and tax cheats.  

No one is inviting Americans to drink and drive or cheat on their taxes.  But for decades we’ve rolled out the red carpets for immigrants from poor countries to come to America to do dirty/dangerous/low paid jobs.  Our government and corporations have encouraged this behavior.  And people have come and raised their families here because of it.  Do we split up these families?  Liberal firebrand Mike Huckabee said it well: “We are a better country than to punish children for what their parents did.”  There’s something disingenuous about cracking down on an underclass of illegal workers who have simply done exactly what we’ve collectively encouraged.  

Jennifer Kirby
:  As for a public discussion, please do note that this is a topic that is directly relevant to real estate – particularly for real estate investors, who are my primary audience.  I did post it in a public forum (my own blog.  Interesting to note that for days I couldn't find the counter-argument that Simon was referring to.  The reason: Ii wasn't logged on and it's hidden.  Simon’s immigration post is visible only to ActiveRain members – which would imply that either he feels that the topic isn’t relevant to real estate or he doesn’t want the general public to see his thoughts.  


Simon:  Ok, sorry for referring to you in the third person – I should have directed that comment directly to you.    
Jan 02, 2008 07:54 PM #77
Rainmaker
404,365
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
Christopher - my blog is viewable by the public. It was an original mistake that it was members only.
Jan 02, 2008 08:49 PM #78
Rainmaker
133,730
Jennifer Kirby
Kirby Fine Homes - Minneapolis, MN
The Luxury Agent

Christopher - there was a statement made that those of us disagreeing with legalizing illegals would be afraid to speak about this subject on our websites. I made the point that on MY websites and marketing, such a discussion is not warranted. I do have a problem with legalizing the millions of illegals are here. From my research:

  • illegals contribute $16 Billion a year in taxes, but cost the federal government almost $30 Billion a year in costs like Medicare, treatment for uninsured, food programs, prisons and court systems, federal aid to schools, etc
  • if we were to legalize all of them, they would still be a drain on the system. In fact the Center for Immigration Studies says that with nearly two-third of illegals lacking a high school diploma, the primary reason they create a fiscal deficit is their low education levels and resulting low incomes and tax payments - not their legal status or their unwillingness to work.

I am also curious what would happen to the cost of goods were everyone granted legal citizenship. If this were to happen, employers could no longer pay ridiculous low wages and would in fact have to offer at least minimum wage, possibly more should unions get involved. Companies would then be paying more in wages and would most likely have to raise the cost of their goods and services to turn a profit. Granted, they should have thought about this before taking advantage of illegals through low wages, but Americans will not be too happy when the cost of goods increases. My main point is that the law has been broken, and legalizing them all with a swipe of a pen will do more harm then good.

John- I don't know if you are implying that those of us disagreeing with you are racist, but putting that comment in makes it seem you are. We are in fact citizens that care about this country and want what is fair to happen. People like Simon have done it the right way. Legalizing millions will only cheapen what he has done for the love of country. Many of those looking to be made legal aliens could care less about becoming an American.

As for your comment, "No one can vote that is not registered to vote". Do you have any idea how many illegals are registered to vote? Enough to throw elections. So here you have people with false identification that allows them to vote, when they have no right to do so. I have a problem with that.

As for the Hill Burton act, please get your facts straight. Only hospitals that agree to the rules of the act receive funds. Not every hospital or facility participates. In fact, funds are only given for facility costs, not doctor costs. So those coming into such a hospital will still have to pay for the doctor bill, and care is not automatically free. Those seeking to have the cost covered must apply and meet requirements. They can even be denied for the following reasons:

  • Your income is more than the income specified in the Allocation Plan.
  • The facility has given out its required amount of free care as specified in its Allocation Plan.
  • The services you requested or received are not covered in the facility's Allocation Plan.
  • The services you requested or received are to be paid by a governmental program such as Medicare/Medicaid or insurance.
  • The facility asked you to apply for Medicare/Medicaid or other governmental program, and you did not.
  • You did not give the facility proof of your income, such as a pay stub.
  •  

    Jan 02, 2008 09:19 PM #79
    Rainer
    21,432
    Christopher Smith
    EquityScout.com - Houston, TX

    Simon:  Public....great!  I figured that must have been an oversight. 

    Jennifer:  $16 Billion in taxes vs. $30 Billion in services?  What's your source for that statistic (just curious).  And a more interesting question...assuming it's true what do you think about it?  Here's something to consider: any low income worker - street cleaner, dish washer, migrant worker - is not going to contribute that much in terms of taxes (they don't make much).  And that low income worker is going to use more in terms of public services (wealthy people don't need subsidized lunches and medicaid). 

    Our tax system, which is not punitive by global standards (ask Simon how much one pays in the London for a gallon of gasoline, most of it tax) is a system for the redistribution of wealth.  Millionaires pay more.  Janitors pay less.  Millionaires (generally speaking) get less from the government than they put in.  Janitors generally get more from the government than they contribute.  

    This particular issue isn't one of illegal workers vs legal workers.  It's one of rich folks vs. poor folks.  It applies to the dishwasher who was born in Memphis the same way that it applies to the dishwasher who was born in Monterrey, as long as they're washing dishes in the U.S. of A.  With one exception: they guy born in Memphis will eventually qualify for social security, whereas the Mexican born worker with the fake SSN pays into the system but won't qualify when he's ready to retire.  

    On another note: you pose an interesting question when you ask "what would happen to the cost of goods were everyone granted legal citizenship."  But...your logic is a little backwards!  You're under the impression that this would raise the cost of goods and services because the workers could not be as easily exploited.  But compare this to the impact of deporting all those workers.  If/when this occurs then an entire segment of our labor force will disappear entirely.  You wouldn't have to pay them more because they wouldn't be here at all - you'd have to find American citizens to do the jobs - work in slaughter houses, clean office buildings, pick lettuce, etc.  The supply of workers would go down, and Economics 101 tells you that when supply goes down, cost skyrockets.  

    And maybe your view is that this is the price that American society must pay.  Fair enough - but if that's your idea then just say it.  Proposing the view that legalizing workers is the more expensive option is one that you can't rationally defend.   

    Jan 02, 2008 11:17 PM #80
    Rainmaker
    390,945
    Eric Kodner
    Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
    CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

    Christoper, the National Immigration Forum website debunks many of the anti-immigrant myths and misleading "statistics" perpetuated by groups like the Heritage Foundation.  You may want to check it out

    http://www.immigrationforum.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=61

     

    Jan 02, 2008 11:44 PM #81
    Rainer
    21,432
    Christopher Smith
    EquityScout.com - Houston, TX
    Eric:  I'm not familiar with that group, but when it comes to statistics I, as a general rule, try not to quote any source left of the New York Times or right of the Wall Street journal.  That helps us focus on the ideas being discussed instead of debating the special interest group agenda of the source.  But thanks for the link. 
    Jan 03, 2008 01:13 AM #82
    Rainmaker
    133,730
    Jennifer Kirby
    Kirby Fine Homes - Minneapolis, MN
    The Luxury Agent

    Christopher- I went back through my comments and not once have I suggested that all 20 Million illegals be deported. You are missing my point. First, the cost to deport them all would be ridiculous, but we shouldn't' be scared to do so for some. Second, all of them should not be granted legal status just to make it easier on all of us. A system needs to be set up for getting them to citizenship, maybe start with a work visa, then go to green card, then finally to citizenship. But rewarding them for breaking the law with the swipe of a pen goes against everything this country stands for. The American Dream has never been given to anyone on a silver platter...people have to earn it. If you don't earn it, then it means nothing to you.

    For workers and their cost to the fed, if you legalized them all at once, all 20 Million, they would put a huge drain on the economy for the very reason that the tax from their wages is less than the services they require for living.You prove my point in your very comment. Maybe once you get past the first generation, the next generation will increase their education and things will be better, but only time will tell. I think one thing people forget is that the solution is a long term one, which cannot be fixed overnight.

    Forgive me but I don't see your point on "its' about rich folks vs. poor folks". Please tell me you are not trying to blame this on the rich.

     

    Jan 03, 2008 08:59 AM #83
    Rainmaker
    404,365
    Simon Conway
    Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

    "Rich" is not a dirty word. I'm not going to get into that, because I don't want to change directions here. We have to start with the borders. Apart from anything else, our security depends on it. And yes Christopher, I do believe we should build a 2,000 + mile long DOUBLE fence and yes I do believe it should be manned by our military and I do believe they should have "shoot to kill" orders for anyone trying to cross it illegally. That's the first step. The second step is to hold employers accountable. Just like in Arizona where the law changed on January 1st.

    The law punishes first-time violators who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, with a 10-day suspension of their business licenses. A second offense means they lose it.

    The measure also requires employers to use an online federal database, dubbed "E-Verify," to check the employment eligibility of new hires in Arizona.

    So far the biggest fall out is Carl's Jr hamburgers who say they will expand into Texas instead of Arizona! That's almost funny.

    Then we have to deal with the anchor baby law - it simply has to go!

    Finally we need to deal with the people who are already here. As I said on my own blog, those with US Citizen children get to stay and pay a hefty fine which they can make payments on. Those without US Citizen babies have to leave and go home and apply properly. You could even introduce a measure whereby they are fast tracked.

    Jan 03, 2008 09:29 AM #84
    Rainer
    21,432
    Christopher Smith
    EquityScout.com - Houston, TX

    Jennifer:   I think your pathway to citizenship: starting with a work visa, on to a green card, then finally to citizenship, makes a lot of sense. 

     

    on Economics:  I understand your point perfectly, I just disagree with it.  Your statement was that legalizing illegal workers would mean that companies “...would most likely have to raise the cost of their goods and services to turn a profit.  This is an untrue statement.  Compared to any other alternative legalizing illegal workers would be the option that is least likely to result in an increase in the prices that American consumers pay.  I think that we all agree that the status quo is not sustainable (and not desirable).  Of all of the things that we could do, legalizing workers would keep prices the lowest. 

     

    Interestingly enough, it seems that providing a path to legalize these workers is exactly what you've proposed in your last comment - a point on which we agree.  This would help stabalize our economy.    

    on Wealthy people and poor people:  I'm not proposing that we eat the rich - I'm just pointing out a simple fact of economics.  I’ll elaborate.  You stated that you had a problem with legalizing illegal workers, in part because they contribute $16 billion in taxes but cost almost $30 billion (statistics for which you provided no source.)  But let’s assume the statistic is true.  The reason for the disparity (workers costing more than they pay in taxes) is because they’re poor, not because they’re illegal.  A poor person pays little in tax, but will be far more likely to require subsidized school lunches, use Medicaid, be uninsured and therefore require expensive emergency room visits to public hospitals, and so on.  A rich person, by contrast, pays a lot in tax (generally) but is unlikely to use public services like Medicaid and the emergency room at the local public hospital.  They don’t need subsidized school lunches. 

     

    In our economy we're always going to have a class of people who cost more than they contrute in taxes.  They're called poor people.  Fixing our illegal immigration situation won't change this fact, so it's a red herring to this discussion; not relevant.  But we have to acknowledge that these workers make an enormous contribution to our society.  We need people to do this work.  

    There’s nothing in that line of argument that could be considered “blaming the rich”. 

    You say that “For workers and their cost to the fed, if you legalized them all at once, all 20 Million, they would put a huge drain on the economy for the very reason that the tax from their wages is less than the services they require for living.”  This doesn’t make any sense.  These 20 million people are already here.  If you legalize them then we have a mechanism to collect income taxes.  Legalizing them will increase the amount that they contribute to the government.  This would improve our fiscal balance. 

    Finally, you comment “Maybe once you get past the first generation, the next generation will increase their education and things will be better, but only time will tell.”  I’m not sure what you mean by this (things getting better) but the bottom line is that our country needs people to pick lettuce, pick citrus, clean buildings, kill hogs, dig ditches and carry drywall.  You're not going to find a lettuce picker - legal, illegal, blue, green or purple - who generates a net positive tax impact.

     

    The one notable thing about illegals, however, is that they pay into Social Security without ever getting anything back out.  Wanna see a negative tax drain?  Wait till the baby boomers retire...then you'll see some fiscal fireworks.    

    on Earning our citizenship:  You state that “The American Dream has never been given to anyone on a silver platter...people have to earn it. If you don't earn it, then it means nothing to you.”  I couldn’t agree more!  Now here’s my question to you:  Who’s earned their stripes as an American more: a well educated, well funded immigrant who files his paperwork, pays his fees, and stands in line (perhaps while working as a Realtor in Orlando, Florida) or a Mexican who has spent twenty five years cleaning a building for ExxonMobil in Houston or butchering hogs in Mississippi, providing goods and services for Americans at minimum wage while she raises American kids.  We’re going to accept decades of that woman’s labor with a wink and a nod, then suggest that we’ve handed her something on a silver platter?

    Ok...this is the last coment I'm gonna make for a while.  It's been interesting discussing this; primarily w/ you, Simon, John and Andrea.  Good luck!

    Jan 03, 2008 10:01 AM #85
    Rainer
    21,432
    Christopher Smith
    EquityScout.com - Houston, TX
    And I can't resist one last note to Simon on your shoot-to-kill double border fence:  No American soldier or marine will ever shoot an unarmed Mexican who is running across a field in the hopes of finding a job in the United States frying hamburgers or picking oranges .  I was an Army officer, I know soldiers, and I know that soldiers will be incapable of carrying out this order.  The American soldier has a moral compass that few Americans truly appreciate, and many soldiers have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan because of their unwillingness to endanger unarmed non-combatants.  An American fighting man will never train his M-60 on a group of illegal workers swimming the Rio Grande.  Never. 
    Jan 03, 2008 10:15 AM #86
    Rainmaker
    133,730
    Jennifer Kirby
    Kirby Fine Homes - Minneapolis, MN
    The Luxury Agent

    Christopher - the information I reference is from the Center of Immigration Studies which is a non-partisan, non-political group. Legalizing 20 million people will put a drain on the economy no matter how you try to spin it. The amount of taxes they will pay will not come near what they cost in state and federal programs. The poor use more programs and pay little in taxes. Millions of illegals do not work so they would not contribute anything to the tax base, but would utilize government services to live and thus cost the economy more.

    I don't think putting in your time toiling in a field, as you put it, as an illegal and breaking the law qualifies you for immediate citizenship. Let's be honest, not all illegal immigrants have been here for 20 years. Millions just got here in the last five years. If you want to become a citizen, then put an effort into it by going through the process like Simon did. Simon has been doing it right and it has taken 7 years for him to become a citizen in 2008. So yes, if you grant all illegals immediate citizenship, they will be getting it handed to them the easy way, which is not the American way. If you give them a path to follow, then slowly absorbing into the population will be the best bet for the economy, and they will appreciate becoming an American more.

    As for social security, I truly think the whole thing should be abolished. When baby boomers retire, it most likely will get sucked dry. So right now, I pay into a system that probably won't exist for me in 40 years.

    Jan 03, 2008 10:58 AM #87
    Rainmaker
    390,945
    Eric Kodner
    Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
    CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
    The "non-partisan" Center for Immigration Studies promotes itself in its Mission Statement as advocating a "low immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants".  This statistical source doesn't sound all that non-partisan to me.
    Jan 03, 2008 11:09 AM #88
    Rainmaker
    133,730
    Jennifer Kirby
    Kirby Fine Homes - Minneapolis, MN
    The Luxury Agent

    Eric, why don't you quote their entire mission statement instead of picking words out of it to try and make an argument.

    Our Mission
    It is the Center's mission to expand the base of public knowledge and understanding of the need for an immigration policy that gives first concern to the broad national interest. The Center is animated by a pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted.

    They are pro-immigrant, which you happened to leave out, but seek to limit immigration, so that our country doesn't have a "come one, come all" immigration policy. Please don't try and mislead people.

    Jan 03, 2008 02:14 PM #89
    Rainmaker
    390,945
    Eric Kodner
    Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
    CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

    Jennifer, I leave it to anyone who wishes to examine that site to determine if they truly believe it is "non partisan".

    A mission statement which is predicated upon the words "low immigration" and "fewer immigrants" is not pro immigrant.

    Calling that site non-partisan is something like putting perfume on a pig.

    Jan 04, 2008 10:46 PM #90
    Rainmaker
    390,945
    Eric Kodner
    Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
    CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

    Christopher, I agree that our government is unlikely to ever approve the idea of shooting those who attempt to cross the border.  Here's why.

    The act of shooting unarmed civilians, including those of foreign nationality, would fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands.  Among the offenses classified as punishable under international law, are

    • Directing attacks against civilians
    • Murder
    • Summary execution without trial

    A government-ordered policy authorizing that border crossers be shot (in effect, summarily executed without trial), would likely fall under the jurisdiction of the Hague Court.  There is a well-established body of International Humanitarian Law which also covers such offenses.

    Christopher, it would be an excellent idea to place your post in the Hispanic Real Estate Professionals group

    Jan 04, 2008 11:02 PM #91
    Rainmaker
    997,080
    Karen Anne Stone
    New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
    Fort Worth Real Estate

    Hi Simon:  In your comment above, you are for giving "shoot to kill" orders to the US military who would guard your double-fence border.  Then you would give employers who get caught employing illegal aliens a ten-day suspension for the first offense, and for the second offense you would close their businesses.  Question:  If fair is fair, if we should shoot those trying to come across the border illegally, why don't we shoot the employers, too ?  And the lenders who give mortgages to illegal aliens, let's shoot them, too.  How bout the Realtors who sell to illegal aliens ?  Let's shoot them !  And apartment managers who rent to illegal aliens.  Shoot them also.  Why... I guess... because... Simon Says !

    I ask you... WWJS ?   Who Would Jesus Shoot ?

    Jan 05, 2008 12:32 AM #92
    Ambassador
    244,303
    Jesse & Kathy Clifton
    Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
    Fairbanks Alaska Real Estate Specialists, 907-328-9328

    Hi, Christopher: I'll admit, there is an awful lot of pandering to the electorate where immigration is concerned.  That we need reform is not in question. The current immigration laws need to be enforced until real honest to goodness reform can be accomplished. 

    We need to make the immigration system much easier and less expensive to navigate.  We also need to take those businesses that exploit illegal immigrant labor by the scruff of the neck and strip them of every cent of profit they made by using that same illegal immigrant labor. 

    We are a welcoming society... there are just a few that have run out of tolerance for folks climbing over the proverbial fence in the middle of the night.  Quite frankly, I don't care if an illegal immigrant spent 20 years diligently working in a Tyson Chicken plant or spent 20 years selling drugs on a street corner.  The base problem is that he/she is here illegally.  Crimes committed post-immigration are a separate matter; please don't try to tie them together.

    I also can't agree with your last paragraph. If we deported all 23+MM illegal immigrants, it would have an impact on some businesses.  However, all crops would not rot... all poultry and meat would not disappear from grocery stores... all hotels would not shut down and certainly not all residential construction would come to a screeching halt. 

    What would happen is that those businesses employing slave labor, which is in essence what they are doing, would be forced to pay market labor rates.  This would undoubtedly cut into their bottom lines, which I could really care less about.  Those who chose to remain open would be forced to sacrifice some profitability for legality. 

     

    Jan 05, 2008 02:08 AM #93
    Ambassador
    244,303
    Jesse & Kathy Clifton
    Jesse Clifton & Associates, REALTORS® - Fairbanks, AK
    Fairbanks Alaska Real Estate Specialists, 907-328-9328

    Hi, Christopher: I'll admit, there is an awful lot of pandering to the electorate where immigration is concerned.  That we need reform is not in question. The current immigration laws need to be enforced until real honest to goodness reform can be accomplished. 

    We need to make the immigration system much easier and less expensive to navigate.  We also need to take those businesses that exploit illegal immigrant labor by the scruff of the neck and strip them of every cent of profit they made by using that same illegal immigrant labor. 

    We are a welcoming society... there are just a few that have run out of tolerance for folks climbing over the proverbial fence in the middle of the night.  Quite frankly, I don't care if an illegal immigrant spent 20 years diligently working in a Tyson Chicken plant or spent 20 years selling drugs on a street corner.  The base problem is that he/she is here illegally.  Crimes committed post-immigration are a separate matter; please don't try to tie them together.

    I also can't agree with your last paragraph. If we deported all 23+MM illegal immigrants, it would have an impact on some businesses.  However, all crops would not rot... all poultry and meat would not disappear from grocery stores... all hotels would not shut down and certainly not all residential construction would come to a screeching halt. 

    What would happen is that those businesses employing slave labor, which is in essence what they are doing, would be forced to pay market labor rates.  This would undoubtedly cut into their bottom lines, which I could really care less about.  Those who chose to remain open would be forced to sacrifice some profitability for legality. 

     

    Jan 05, 2008 02:09 AM #94
    Rainmaker
    404,365
    Simon Conway
    Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

    Karen Anne - it would really help if you actually read the comments. When it comes to the ten day suspension of a business licence and then the removal of it for a second offense, that is not my idea, that is now the law in Arizona as of 1/1/2008. I understand that Texas is considering a similar law.

    The lenders who lend to illegal immigrants should tell us if they are informing them of the 10% rule? The Realtors should too. Because if that is not going on then it is certainly fraud and a breach of ethics.

    By the way, before you get so judgemental, you should perhaps read my post on this subject on my blog.

    You seem to want to allow everyone in and so now I will sit back and wait to read the Karen Anne proposal.

    Jan 05, 2008 08:49 AM #95
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    Christopher Smith

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