More On Immigration

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The map above came from a site which Knuck pointed out yesterday. It shows the concentration of Hispanics throughout the US and it may explain the ambivalence felt by so many with regard to number of illegal entrants who have come up from Mexico. The actual percentage of Hispanics within the four border states and Colorado are:

California: 32.4%
Arizona: 25.3%
New Mexico: 42.1%
Texas: 32%
Colorado: 17.1%

In comparison, the percentage of Hispancis within the total US population is 12.5%. Those numbers may be the explanation as to why many Southwesterners aren't terribly upset with the illegal immigration issue. Having been born and raised with Hispanics and having a next door neighbor named Ruiz (which might as well be Reese, given the fact that I speak more Spanish than he does) plus an aunt named Jolanda (how I miss Aunt Yoli's enchiladas) may well have colored my thoughts on the issue.

I would applaud and offer a hand if the Border Patrol would do a sweep of the Mechistas in LA though.

I wonder what the sausage currently being in made in DC concerning this issue will taste like? I hope they make sure to include some chorizo.


Ed onWestSlope said...

As a Colorado native, I agree with your analysis. I fail to see how they are 'stealing' jobs when the unemployment rate is so low and I see that employers are having a very hard time hiring bottom, middle or upper rung people. I have seen so few job applicants in the last year for Engineers, Engr Techs and general office help that I can need only one hand to count.

If you or someone else here has an interest, locate some numbers dealing the real concerns, law enforcement, hospital/health and school costs. These areas are where many communities feel overwhelmed. Good estimates of these costs are hard to come by as everyone has an agenda.

Rick Ballard said...


Statistics on law enforcement are sort of available through the INS data I cited in a previous article. The real snag with the medical treatment and school costs is that a lot of the kids involved are US citizens, even if their folks are illegals. A second problem is that their is a very strong blackmarket for false birth certificates for kids in order for the kids to get real SSNs.

And a third problem is that there are locales - LA for example - where questioning status is absolutely verboten, which leads to systemic abuse by the local legal Hispanic population which can't quite see why they should pay for something that cousin Juan from Mexicali gets for free.

terrye said...


It is also true that these people tend to do the kind of work that people don't get paid a lot for doing which means that even if they were here legally those costs would still be borne by those communities. People who legally pick lettuce don't make enough to provide health insurance for their families and niether do other seasonal laborers. In other words they are the working poor.

I wonder what the breakdown would have been 50 years ago? When I came to southern Indiana from southcentral Oklahoma 30 years I was struck by all the white faces up here. In Indiana, as of 2004, 85% of the population was white. So says the census.

My guess is that if you could go back to New Mexico decades ago and count the population that was Indian and hispanic together they would very nearly outnumber whites. This is nothing new.

Rick Ballard said...


My Hispanic cousins (and they do claim it, even though they have a German/Yiddish last name) include a city planner, a kindergarten teacher and a carpenter. Their mom was born here but her folks were pickers and pruners. My neighbor is self-employed and spends his day in front of computer and on the phone - in his house.

I just can't get excited about people who are here seeking the dream. But I'd sure like a crack at the jerks in LA and other places who are playing identity politics with the weak willed.

Skookumchuk said...

I just can't get excited about people who are here seeking the dream. But I'd sure like a crack at the jerks in LA and other places who are playing identity politics with the weak willed.

Basicamente, el problema is that they have help. Lots and lots of help from the MSM, academia, the Race Industry, and the Vote Scavengers. The question is - how to difuse this, or better, how to-recreate the Ellis Island style of assimilationism in the teeth of their opposition. The only national institution I can think of that does this without feeling ashamed of itself for doing so is the military.

Question is, how to transform - or circumvent - the others before it is too late.

Knucklehead said...


Are you having any success getting at the sorts of stats Ed mentioned? Anecdotally I don't see much evidence of great strain being put on law enforcement resources. I'm actually surprised by this. Not that I think Mexicans are more criminal than anyone else but the illegals are significantly more transient and transcience usually means some crime somewhere. But I don't hear anyone mentioning crime issues in my backyard.

Schools and hospitals are another matter. The strains on hospitals have been ongoing for a long time. People without med insurance use emergency rooms for medical services and the hospitals don't get reimbursed. I wouldn't want to live with that level of care but it is more than they are paying for. The schools issue has started cranking up over the past decade or so but seems to be getting hotter over the past 2 or 3 years. This was very localized to the bigger towns but it has begun spreading out.

I haven't seen anything that even remotely looks like data yet - all purely anecdotal and idle observation.

Knucklehead said...


That's an interesting observation re: the military. Put the tensions on the table to look at but never tolerate letting them get out of hand. You will assimilate and you will tolerate.

I think a national ID card is necessary to even begin to get a handle on the situation inside the borders. Americans will scream bloody murder about it though. Securing the border is another essential element.

Skookumchuk said...


Securing the border is another essential element.

Imagine what would happen once the D-9 Cats were moving mud despite the environmentalists and the Mechistas laying down in their way. It would be very interesting. A rapid movement of people in both directions, I imagine.

What else would need to happen at the same time to keep the wall-building political party from losing support among Hispanics is a very good question and one that doesn't lend itself to easy answers.

I have been trying to locate poll results that I remember from some time back, indicating that Hispanics who are naturalized citizens have many of the same concerns about illegals as does the country at large.

Ed onWestSlope said...

The law enforcement costs are probably low, I believe mostly tied to drugs and doing work the INS is expected to do.

The big problem is these illegals have many privileges, compared with others who work very hard to enter this country legally and spend many years to obtain citizenship. This is not right. I am not saying that the old system of Indentured Servants was right, but surely we can do better than what is going on now.

The INS appears to be a hypocritical mess. Not worthy of this country or our heritage. But consonant with D.C. and many of our statehouses.

I also fail to see how the argument of only getting the poor or politically distressed is such a problem. I think my family has done ok. My family history, pre-Revolution, includes Welsh beating Cromwell to the ships, other Welsh migrating to participate in the Rum Trade, other English leaving bad conditions, Huguenots running from France (revocation of Edict of Nantes) and Germans looking for a better deal (No record of any Hessians changing sides). All I ask is any who stay become patriotic citizens.

Skookumchuk said...

The INS appears to be a hypocritical mess.

An INS guy (pre-DHS) said to me once that the reason the agency was in a mess is that it had no constituency or advocate outside of INS itself. The agency was just a cost. In contrast to say, the EPA, which has a very influential constituency always pushing for it to expand its mission in the field of environmental regulation. I guess you could say that its constituency had been building since the days of Rachel Carson and Silent Spring.

USCIS within DHS still doesn't have the same kind of focused constituency. And a lot would have to happen in a short amount of time to make it so.

CF said...

It's a hard question. In D.C. all my contractos are South Americans (Peru especially) and legal. I think if the burden were spread out more it would create less antagonism..and of Mecha and La Raza would vanish..

In any event, Reid's notion that illegals with felony records should be legalized is unacceptable.

Polipundit has a good piece on how we are penalizing law abiding highly skilled workers and greasing the skids for poorly educated and skilled law breakers. That, too, creates a lot of anger.

terrye said...

But I think we forget that Mexico is right next door, countries like Peru are not. I sold a house to a young man from Lima, Peru. Obviously he was legal, he also had money.

There has always been some traffic back and forth, largely ignored and tolerated because for years so many of the people went back home after working here for some time. I wonder too how much of this is media driven, as knucklehead said, anecdotal.

I can well understand the resentment, but when hundreds of illegals die in the desert every year [that we know of] it does not seem to me they are having all that easy a time of it getting. I know I would not want to cross hundreds of miles of desert for a job cleaning houses.

terrye said...

getting here. I have got to start using preview. My little fingers move faster than my brain.

Skookumchuk said...


In any event, Reid's notion that illegals with felony records should be legalized is unacceptable.

The calculus of that one just baffles me. OK, so you pick up a few thousand or hundred thousand "voters". But look at the ones you lose. It makes no sense.

Rick Ballard said...


Who but a potential felon would vote Dem these days? They know their target market.

Skookumchuk said...

Did you appreciate the way I set that one up?

Rick Ballard said...


I think the biggest problem is all the damn cousins. Like me. How can you throw your cousin's cousins out without a flinch?

My family sold the land to the guys who started College of William and Mary College - in 1693 (damn fools, I could use another rent check) but I'm not about to close the door to those seeking the dream. Without the dreamers we're a bigger France.


PS - Thanks for stopping by. I've noted your comments for a couple of years at Wretchard's and other places. Well, I think other places.

Rick Ballard said...

T-ball is fun!

Skookumchuk said...

I know I would not want to cross hundreds of miles of desert for a job cleaning houses.

It takes enormous courage. And we shouldn't begrudge them a deep, emotional connection with the land they have left, no matter how much they may despise its politics and economic system. Our ancestors all - or often - did the same. And we shouldn't be suprised if organized crime preys on their introverted neighborhoods, as it did in Eastern cities since the 19th century.

The problem is the lack of an assimilationist ethos and as others have pointed out, the chronic unfairness toward those of other ethnic groups often with more skills who are waiting in line, legally.

terrye said...

I don't get that thing about Reid and the felons either. It makes no sense. I wonder if there is more to it than we know.

And besides, isn't there already a law, a rule, something that pertains to felons becoming citizens? We are a nation of immigrants after all...surely this is a subject that has been dealt with before.

terrye said...


I agree. My grandmother told me that her Irish ancestors came here from Ireland in the Great Hunger. Nobody wanted them and as soon as they got here they got sick with typhus.

Knucklehead said...


It seems pretty clear that for the most part local law enforcement is not willing to get into the game of playing surrogate INS. Nobody is funding that. They are not interested in consuming local resources for misdemeanors committed crossing a border they have no authority or responsibility for. That's just the way it is and unless somebody is willing to fund the increased staffing and facilities for them to do it they ain't gonna do it.

The drug traffic is, IMO, a different problem. Much of it crosses the same border, and securing that border would potentially have some effect on that, but there's big money in drugs and well financed smugglers will continue to function regardless. I've long been turning to the point of view that we might be a whole lot better off by ending the prohibition on some of the now illegal drugs. Legalize, regulate, tax - cut the big bucks out from under the drug lords.

The big problem is these illegals have many privileges, compared with others who work very hard to enter this country legally and spend many years to obtain citizenship.

I'm not sure what you mean by "work very hard" to enter the country legally. I'm reasonably familiar with the process, or at least what it was 25 or so years ago, but it isn't "hard work". It is inconvenient and time consuming and such, and some people have to wait for a good while for permanent residence status, and like all government bureaucracies some intensely stupid things go on, but it ain't work. Aggravation isn't the same thing as hard work. And there are generally temporary solutions to the waiting periods for people coming in legally.

As far as obtaining citizenship goes that's a seperate matter. Permanent resident alien status carries no requirement for eventual citizenship. And notfuhnuttin' but one needn't be a brain surgeon to pass the citizenship test. I'd place it at about double the difficulty and trouble to study up for a written driving test.

And, notfuhnuttin', but a lot of people who come in legally become illegal after their student or tourist status expires.

This is not right.

There's a lot of things that aren't "right". It doesn't strike me as particularly "right" that one person is fined $200 for a simple speeding ticket and another person - same court, same judge, same day - pays a $90 fine and has a meager 30 days tacked on to a 2 yr. sentence they are already serving for for six NEW counts of writing checks from somebody else's checkbook and using somebody else's credit card.

We do all sorts of things in our justice system for the sake of expediency and clearing the docket. Plea bargains aren't just the stuff of TV shows, they're for real.

I am not saying that the old system of Indentured Servants was right, but surely we can do better than what is going on now.

Of course we can do better. But we're not going to do better until we get beyond the demands for the impossible and recognize that we've got painful reality to deal with.