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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#121 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 01:01

View Postkenberg, on 2015-August-25, 20:09, said:

There is a large immigrant population from Latin America. Is it true that most all recent ones are either illegals or relatives? Perhaps so, I really have no idea. But it brings up a very interesting possibility. We could change the basis for legal admission, strongly de-emphasizing the importance of having relatives already here. This would give those who currently have no choice but the coyotes a new option. Advocating such a position would not endear a politician to the voting Latino population, however. Those who were hoping to see the last of the in-laws might approve, but by and large it would not be the way to get votes.. There is a lot of politics in this.

We do have to select on some basis. If the ordinary guy is being oushed aside to accommodate relatives, this could be corrected.


Changing preferences just changes who it is that has to rely on coyotes.

If I'm not mistaken, even relatives have a long wait. Young-ish relatives won't die on the list, but it's not worth putting your elderly parents on it.

With the current quotas, legal immigration is not a legitimate option for most people from Latin America. You can change who it is, but no matter how you slice it, there will be plenty of people who want to live in the US with no way of doing so legally.

EDIT: I just looked up hard numbers on this. By law, the US admits up to 226,000 relatives (along with their dependents) as permanent residents per year. (Exception: Parents, spouses, and minor children of CITIZENS are not subject to nor counted against this quota - hence 'anchor babies'.) It also allows employers to sponsor another 140,000 skilled workers (along with their dependents) as permanent residents per year. Another 55,000 receive green cards by lottery.

There are around 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the US. If all of them left the country and waited their turn as relatives of current non-citizen residents, and no one else applied, they'd be sitting on the border for 10-15 years. I think we can all agree that the argument that they could have come here legally is pure rubbish.
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#122 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 02:27

View Postmike777, on 2015-August-24, 21:53, said:

In the USA having a huge central govt computer system having all sorts of citizen info...again central data base is a huge huge issue in the USA. We do not trust the govt....add on a hacker, think evil, true evil.

And yet the fact that several companies hold such databases, often holding much more personal information than the government would keep, is perfectly ok?


View PostTrinidad, on 2015-August-25, 11:21, said:

What citizenship do you think would be appropriate for my kids? And remember that citizenship has consequences... which country is allowed to draft my kids to serve in their army when they are at war... with one of the other candidate countries?

I think a reasonable baseline is that a baby gets the nationality of its parents and a change of nationality to their country of residence can be applied for after a suitable period, something of the order of 5 years. Does that seem like a sensible way of bringing in the various factors to you? It would mean that, had you stayed in Sweden, your children could decide if they felt more Swedish than Dutch and choose accordingly.
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#123 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 04:21

View PostZelandakh, on 2015-August-26, 02:27, said:

And yet the fact that several companies hold such databases, often holding much more personal information than the government would keep, is perfectly ok?


No one ever accused the American public of being consistent, or for that matter, well informed.

(Note that all of our efforts at non proliferation are focused on countries, however, we're quite happy to allow companies and even individuals to build ICBMs...)
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#124 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 06:33

View Postakwoo, on 2015-August-26, 01:01, said:

Changing preferences just changes who it is that has to rely on coyotes.

If I'm not mistaken, even relatives have a long wait. Young-ish relatives won't die on the list, but it's not worth putting your elderly parents on it.

With the current quotas, legal immigration is not a legitimate option for most people from Latin America. You can change who it is, but no matter how you slice it, there will be plenty of people who want to live in the US with no way of doing so legally.

EDIT: I just looked up hard numbers on this. By law, the US admits up to 226,000 relatives (along with their dependents) as permanent residents per year. (Exception: Parents, spouses, and minor children of CITIZENS are not subject to nor counted against this quota - hence 'anchor babies'.) It also allows employers to sponsor another 140,000 skilled workers (along with their dependents) as permanent residents per year. Another 55,000 receive green cards by lottery.

There are around 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the US. If all of them left the country and waited their turn as relatives of current non-citizen residents, and no one else applied, they'd be sitting on the border for 10-15 years. I think we can all agree that the argument that they could have come here legally is pure rubbish.


I am in complete agreement with the isea that if more people wish to come than we are willing to legally permit to come then some, if they do come, will be doing so illegally. I think I have said that, probably more than once. So the problem is what we should do about it.

We do not usually accept the argument "Steve really wanted such and such, but there was no way for him to get such and such legally, so it's ok that he got it illegally". We don't usually accept this, and we don't usually retroactively make his actions legal. Realism suggests that I don't push this argument too hard, no doubt examples of such shenanigans can be found in high level business deals, but in principle we don't go along with this.

We welcome immigration, most of us do. Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, we are prepared to have 500,000 immigrants a year from Latin America and welcome them onto ap path toward citizenship. Now what? Do we say "Let's set immigration rules to allow 200,00o legal entrees and trust that illegal immigration will supply the other 300,000"? Or do we say "We will allow 500,000 legal immigrants here on the path to citizenship, and no doubt there will be illegals coming across the border, but we will not be allowing them to become citizens"? Or do we say "We will allow 500,000 to come here legally and be on the path to citizenship and then whoever wants to come illegally, that's fine by us we will eventually make them citizens too"?

I have no doubt whatsoever that there will always be people in the world, not just Latin America, who would like to come here. There will be, I strongly believe. more of these than we are willing to accommodate. What are we to do about this? I am not so keen on an open arms policy for those who come here illegally.


Blackshoe suggests open borders. I don't favor this but since I think there is no chance in hell we would ever do it, and he probably agrees, I won't say more.
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#125 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 07:17

View PostZelandakh, on 2015-August-26, 02:27, said:

I think a reasonable baseline is that a baby gets the nationality of its parents and a change of nationality to their country of residence can be applied for after a suitable period, something of the order of 5 years.

That is reasonable and that is the approach that many countries take.

What is left is that someone will have to pick a country of citizenship. In my opinion, citizenship is a fairly useless concept. When was the last time you had to prove your citizenship for anything?

Rik
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#126 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 08:15

View PostTrinidad, on 2015-August-26, 07:17, said:

When was the last time you had to prove your citizenship for anything?

Every time I cross a border. But ok it doesn't matter which eu citizenship I have.
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#127 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 08:25

View Postkenberg, on 2015-August-26, 06:33, said:

We do not usually accept the argument "Steve really wanted such and such, but there was no way for him to get such and such legally, so it's ok that he got it illegally". We don't usually accept this, and we don't usually retroactively make his actions legal. Realism suggests that I don't push this argument too hard, no doubt examples of such shenanigans can be found in high level business deals, but in principle we don't go along with this.

The philosophical problem often used to discuss this is something like "Joe is totally broke, with no medical insurance, and he has a child who desperately needs medicine to live. Is it ethical for him to steal it from the pharmacy?" I.e. isn't it better to steal than to knowingly allow someone to die, because the latter is tantamount to murder?

The analogy in immigration generally involves refugees -- if they stayed in their native country, their lives would be in danger. We generally don't consider immigration just to improve your lot in life (e.g. "chase the American dream") to be comparable.

#128 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 12:19

View Postbarmar, on 2015-August-26, 08:25, said:

The philosophical problem often used to discuss this is something like "Joe is totally broke, with no medical insurance, and he has a child who desperately needs medicine to live. Is it ethical for him to steal it from the pharmacy?" I.e. isn't it better to steal than to knowingly allow someone to die, because the latter is tantamount to murder?

The analogy in immigration generally involves refugees -- if they stayed in their native country, their lives would be in danger. We generally don't consider immigration just to improve your lot in life (e.g. "chase the American dream") to be comparable.


Yes, I thought of this analogy. And yes, it has particular force with the refugee crisis. But it does not, pardon the expression, trump everything. When people are desperate, they do desperate things. Long ago I read a story, I am pretty sure by Erskine Caldwell, involving a father who almost certainly killed his daughter. They were dirt poor, or poorer, his child was suffering and starving, there seemed to be little doubt that he had killed her. The jury found him not guilty. So I remember it anyway.

Still, refugees or poor immigrants, we have lots and lots of people in the world that are in dire need. We can and should help, but I doubt many are prepared to say that anyone who can somehow get here is entitled to stay, let alone entitled to become a citizen. It's not quite a Sophie's Choice, they are not our children, but morally, psychologically, however you cut it, it's a tough business. Some will be accommodated, others will not. We decide how? It is easy enough to understand how a desperate person might see the law as something in the way and to be gotten around. I can easily imagine myself doing the same thing. But the numbers are huge, so we must make choices.There is no way around this.
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#129 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 18:04

View Postkenberg, on 2015-August-26, 06:33, said:

Blackshoe suggests open borders. I don't favor this but since I think there is no chance in hell we would ever do it, and he probably agrees, I won't say more.

Yes, I do agree with that.
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#130 User is offline   Flem72 

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Posted 2015-August-26, 20:03

I'm not willing to assume that any illegal immigrant crosses over b/c his/her life is in danger. I am willing to assume that immigration laws are not enforced for political reasons. And "anti-illegal-immigation" policies are criticized for being "poor politically." Geez, we've made so many poor economic, military, national security and other administrative decisions for political reasons, I wonder why not make some poor political decisions for sound economic, military, national security and other administrative reasons.

Here's the bare bones of an idea: Allow an American citizen to sponsor an immigrant family. Conditions: Family certifies that no one is on welfare and that family members who earn file tax returns; family members of age immediately enter citizenship qualification stream; sponsor indemnifies USA against all deportation costs should family member(s) violate the sponsorship agreement. And the agreements are actively monitored for enforcement purposes.

And no more anchor babies, or immigrabies, or whatever we can call them that is not politically incorrect....
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#131 User is online   kenberg 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 06:09

View PostFlem72, on 2015-August-26, 20:03, said:

I'm not willing to assume that any illegal immigrant crosses over b/c his/her life is in danger. I am willing to assume that immigration laws are not enforced for political reasons. And "anti-illegal-immigation" policies are criticized for being "poor politically." Geez, we've made so many poor economic, military, national security and other administrative decisions for political reasons, I wonder why not make some poor political decisions for sound economic, military, national security and other administrative reasons.

Here's the bare bones of an idea: Allow an American citizen to sponsor an immigrant family. Conditions: Family certifies that no one is on welfare and that family members who earn file tax returns; family members of age immediately enter citizenship qualification stream; sponsor indemnifies USA against all deportation costs should family member(s) violate the sponsorship agreement. And the agreements are actively monitored for enforcement purposes.

And no more anchor babies, or immigrabies, or whatever we can call them that is not politically incorrect....


This bare bones idea has appeal, it is definitely not crazy, but as so often is the case the devil could be in the details. Life rarely goes as planned and, when it doesn't, deciding exactly what responsibilities and what rights lie with whom could be tough. I did some volunteer work for a while. I'll skip the details, but there were complexities. Becky, my wife, had a similar experience. It seems almost inevitable. Becky and I each handled the complexities, but there were things to be handled.

But some sort of sponsorship to enhance the case for legal immigration of a person with no extended family already living here? I like it if it can be made to work.
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#132 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 06:15

View PostFlem72, on 2015-August-26, 20:03, said:

... sponsor indemnifies USA against all deportation costs should family member(s) violate the sponsorship agreement ...

Good luck with that.
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#133 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 06:37

View PostZelandakh, on 2015-August-26, 02:27, said:

And yet the fact that several companies hold such databases, often holding much more personal information than the government would keep, is perfectly ok?


There is a big difference. Facebook cannot put me on a no-fly list, or arrest me for breaking questionable laws, or just detain me for hours just in order to interrogate me.
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#134 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 07:20

But is it really that weird for a government to have a database with all the names and basic info about her citizens? Wouldn't it be weird if I started a chess club but had no membership list?
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#135 User is offline   Flem72 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 08:42

View Postbillw55, on 2015-August-27, 06:15, said:

Good luck with that.


Many people seem quite passionate about the fine character of many illegals -- I do not doubt their faith is justified -- and I think they should have a chance to put their money where their ideology is.
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#136 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 09:36

View Postcherdano, on 2015-August-27, 06:37, said:

There is a big difference. Facebook cannot put me on a no-fly list, or arrest me for breaking questionable laws, or just detain me for hours just in order to interrogate me.


Nor does Facebook provide you with a highway system, a national defense, a Social Security payment, Medicare, and a host of other services that are provided by the federal government.

Comparing corporations to government is a wasteful pursuit.
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#137 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 09:57

The government has lots of databases: Social Security, tax records, Medicare/Medicaid, criminal databases, etc.

What we don't have here is a big, consolidated database that all the agencies can access, and that has information about everyone. We even have restrictions on how different agencies can access each others' databases.

#138 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 10:32

View Postgwnn, on 2015-August-27, 07:20, said:

But is it really that weird for a government to have a database with all the names and basic info about her citizens? Wouldn't it be weird if I started a chess club but had no membership list?

That is reasonable. What would not be reasonable is to have a secret database listing all metadata of their recent phone calls/internet access etc. (But of course one would have to be paranoid to believe governments would even collect such data.)
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#139 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 11:11

Good, so we both agree.
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#140 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 11:26

View Postbarmar, on 2015-August-27, 09:57, said:

What we don't have here is a big, consolidated database that all the agencies can access, and that has information about everyone. We even have restrictions on how different agencies can access each others' databases.

We have those restrictions in Denmark and Netherlands and I suppose most civilised countries as well.

Every Danish government agency who has any information about me will know that my ID is 260866-3528. From this they can deduce my gender and date of birth. The central population registry knows a bit more about me like for example name and citizenship. There will be one registry that has my criminal record, one that has my medical record, one has has my tax record etc. but they cannot access each other's data.

If I lived in Denmark there would be a local registry in the town where I lived that also knew my address and my marital status. And they would know who is my gp. This is a bit more centralized that in the UK where the tax registry and the voting registry are two different registries, and neither would know who is my gp. However, there are not many clerks who have access to my population registry record (neither the local nor the national one), and it is only certain health care providers that can access my health records.
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