on immigration.

As many of you know, I’m an American-by-choice.  Until right about five years ago, I was the citizen of a large-ish Western European country whose name rhymes with “Bermany”.  As a former immigrant, Resident Alien/Permanent Resident, and aspiring citizen, I have years and years of experience with the government agency formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, now the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.

As someone with some exposure to the current system of admitting and incorporating foreigners into this country, I feel qualified to say that the immigration policies of the United States are not serving the country too terribly well, to put it mildly.

Now, I’ve never had a particularly hard time with the former INS.  I filed my I- and N-whatever forms as required, paid my fees, got prodded by a government-appointed doctor, proved my financial stability and language proficiency, and waited my required months and years for the official mill to grind.  I’ve never been treated in a discourteous fashion, and have—on occasion—been skipped to the front of the line.  (When I showed up at the Memphis regional office for my citizenship interview, for example, I walked into the full waiting room, and was called in almost as soon as I had taken one of the few remaining empty seats—last to walk in, first one to be called up.  Interestingly enough, I was also the only Anglo in the room.)  For the most part, my dealings with the INS were uniformly smooth sailing, comparatively speaking.  Still, the best day in all of my interactions with the friendly folks from the Immigration Service was the day I turned in my Green Card, just before taking the oath of allegiance in Federal court to become a citizen.

In contrast, there’s a friend of ours who is also a foreign national desiring to become a legal and sanctioned resident of this country.  She, too, has filled out her forms on time, paid her fees, and waited in line to get prodded and poked.  Unlike me, however, she has not received a whole lot of courteous treatment from the immigration officials.  When applying for a student visa at our embassy in her own country, she was told point-blank by the female U.S. consular official that “you people just want to come to America to get pregnant, stay, and take our money.”  In her dealings with the INS/CIS, she’s been talked to like a retarded child (despite speaking English natively), communicated with in sign language, or merely pointed in the desired direction without the courtesy of a verbal acknowledgement of her politely phrased question.

Our friend is better educated than I am (she holds a doctorate now), better off financially (without taking a dime in American taxpayer money in her life), and with better English than mine (she speaks the Queen’s English, whereas I sound like a linguistically slightly more gifted version of Arnie the Governator).  Yet, throughout our respective dealings with the INS, I’ve been treated with much more respect, courtesy, and efficiency than our friend.

The difference between us?  I’m a white (former) European who looks like any guy on the street in Minneapolis…and she’s a black woman from Nigeria.

Our friend has been in this country for over half a decade, attending American schools and paying her own way.  She’s working in a profession whose practitioners are in very high demand, thanks to the ever-increasing demand on medical and rehabilitation services by the older generation.  In fact, she’s the only specialist in her field at the facility where she works, and the only doctor in her field in the entire county.

Yet the Immigration service has been dicking her around for years, and her application for a Green Card or just a visa extension have disappeared in the bureaucratic fog without a word of feedback.  Now her work visa is due to expire in a few months, and the status of her application is still “In Process”, and has been since 2005.

This is a person who’s a net gain to our society.  She’s a hard-working, educated individual who speaks the language and follows the laws.  Her skill set is very much in demand here, and she pays her own way without relying on public money in any way.  Yet our immigration service is so unresponsive that she’s looking at relocation, because she doesn’t know if the application she filed almost five years ago has even been looked at by a human being yet, much less advanced to the next stage of the process.  She has to put her career on hold, sell her house, and pull up roots again, and we will lose a skilled worker who’s spending her time fixing up America’s sick and injured folks.

Where’s the sense in that?  I mean, if some white dude with an abbreviated college education and moderate IT skills can take Easy Street to naturalization (comparatively speaking), why is it that an educated medical professional from Africa can’t even get the courtesy of a yes/no answer on her application for a work visa before her time for legally staying in this country expires?  Is that in the best interest of our country, and the best way to handle the immigration issue?

The funny thing is that our friend is perfectly capable of cheating the system.  She has the money to pay some guy off the streets of the poverty-stricken county where she works to marry her and/or knock her up.  Instead, she has adhered to the law every step along the way.

In countries like the UK or Australia, they have a points system for determining someone’s eligibility for immigrating.  The better your education, and the more needed your profession, the higher you score.  Achieve a certain score, and you get your work visa or residency.  Transparent, objective, and effective.  In contrast, our system leaves a lot of room for subjective decisions…such as the personal prejudices of the official working on your visa application, who thinks that “your kind” only wants to come to America to make babies and collect welfare.

For most of this country’s history, our immigration policy has been “Can you hop off the boat under your own power?”  It’s only when the folks in charge decided that the wrongly-hued or wrongly-believing people were getting too many, that the gangway was pulled up, and the cries of “The boat is full!” started sounding.  It seems to be a tradition that every group of immigrants, once settled, spent a lot of time and effort keeping the next group of immigrants from contaminating the American Stew.  The Irish faced their share of discrimination, for example (“No Dogs Or Irish!”), and when folks were mostly satisfied that the Micks weren’t going to turn our WASPy paradise into an outpost of rampant potato-munching and whiskey-swilling Popery, the Irish joined forces with the rest to keep the swarthy wops out.  When the Italians were in, everyone turned against the Chinese and Japanese, and so on.  In the end, the entire “regional quota” system by which we issue visas only shows that we’re more concerned about keeping the color palette balanced, than considering what’s actually beneficial to the country as a whole.  And that’s how a medical professional with a doctorate can rate the same in importance as an unskilled laborer, just because they both have a passport from a sub-Saharan African country, and dark skin.

The professional in question, educated partly in American colleges, will be forced to take her skills and her knowledge, and leave the country.  Some other country will benefit from her intellect and her labor.  Sure, the U.S. college that gave her the doctorate got a lot of tuition money, but the lost income tax alone will more than negate that temporary cash infusion…never mind the loss of a highly-trained professional who is so much in demand by our health system that she could pick her job anywhere in the country if the U.S.CIS would let her.

And that, friends and neighbors, is a sad state of affairs, and a bad way to make immigration policy.  We shouldn’t be surprised when other countries start kicking our asses in the world economy if we’re not willing to give a chance to the world’s best and brightest, just because they happen to hail from the wrong area, or have the wrong melanin content in their skin.


57 thoughts on “on immigration.

  1. there’s really only one answer, isn’t there?

    black, white, pink, or green…
    scum, scholar, or in-between:

    slam the door shut. totally. permanently.


    • Marko says:

      And then what?

      If they had followed that suggestion just ten years ago, I wouldn’t be here. If they had followed it in 1791, you probably wouldn’t be here. You’re just one more in a long line of people shouting, “I’m in! Now shut the door!”

      Is it really in the country’s best interest to cut off all legal immigration, jtc? Would you really prefer a welfare moocher from Memphis over a doctor from Nigeria, just because one had the luck to be born in the US, and the other didn’t? Even if the American will spend a lifetime living off your tax money, and the Nigerian won’t?

      Is the place of your birth so much more important than your skills, your willingness to work, and your ability?

  2. I’ve always said our illegal immigration problem is caused by our legal immigration policies.

  3. MarkHB says:

    Hell, I’m a single, white, ambitious male with about three doctorate’s worth of knowledge, and the PATRIOT act stopped me from working in the US.

    And I’m a US Citizen, born of US Citizen in the US.

    Fucking marvellous, isn’t it?

  4. guy says:


    The .gov should wait until she’s a U.S. citizen to treat her like crap.

  5. the problem is criteria, mw…

    melanin, education, beauty, strength, wealth, carpentry skills, sports or sexual prowess?

    who decides, and in any case aren’t they all relative and subjective?

    nativity may be luck, good or bad, but it is the one qualification not subject to gerrymander. so yes, the lowtone from memphis, the corrupt commies in chitown, and even the triple-threat doctoral candidate get to stay.

    the upside is that nigerians get to stay too…in nigeria. after all, they need doctors there, too.


    • Marko says:

      Yeah, nativity isn’t subject to gerrymander. That’s why we have nobody coming here and dropping anchor babies, right?

      Also, I fail to see how you can call a points system “subjective and relative”. It’s the only immigration system other than Free-For-All that’s objective and fair. Got a skill we need? You’re in.

  6. ChrisB says:

    People that bring the most to the table should go to the front of the line, it’s not complicated but somehow we don’t seem to get it.

    Importing hordes of landscapers doesn’t add much value to the economy, especially when considering that many of them will get some type of govt. assistance, we’d be a better off prosecuting people who hire illegals and letting wages rise from that particular job, that would allow us to transition people off the dole a lot easier.

    • perlhaqr says:

      Why is artificially imposing a price increase on landscaping a benefit?

      You presumably also think the artificial price increase on “assault” weapons due to the ’94 import ban is a good thing, then?

      Or are government interferences with the market only a plus for your pet projects?

      • mac says:

        It isn’t artificially imposing a price increase. The only reason landscaping services are so cheap is that the labor that provides those services must work for less than the market rate. They’re here illegally. Therefore they’re willing to take a lower wage and live in ridiculously crowded conditions because the alternative is a worse-paying job (at best) in their home country.

  7. “…coming here and dropping anchor babies…”

    heh. that would be funny if it wasn’t quasi-serious debate. obviously, if there’s no “coming” here there will be no anchors. weak, man.

    “I fail to see how you can call a points system “subjective and relative”.”

    if you really don’t see that “points” are of relative value and subject to corruption and partisan judgement (yours?) then i’m afraid you’re just one more in a long line of self-appointed advocates of the downtrodden who are in fact the worst kind of bigot. ironic, yes?


    • Marko says:

      Many of thsoe dropping anchor babies are already coming here illegally. What are you going to do, make it super-secret-triple illegal?

      And please don’t tell me you’re one of those “machine-gun them as they cross the Rio Grande” types.

      • no, but it sounds like you advocate selective sniper fire for those attempting to cross borders without a degree (or a satchel of cash, or a flaming fastball) held high.

        you’re not even trying to support or defend your original diatribe, marko. i think because it’s unsupportable, and you know it.

        mac tries to make logical sense of a qualification system, and three short paragraphs later it devolves into quotas and setasides…mechanisms that have worked out just great domestically, so let’s apply them worldwide, right? and as mac says, in the hands of .gov even well-hatched plans are guaranteed to crashandburn on implementation.

        i realize retroactive implementation of a no legal immigration policy would exclude you, and as you say, carried a bit further would exclude most of us (i wouldn’t know about me; i’m a mutt…english, irish, german, italian all figure into my gene puddle…but there’s a dash of cherokee on both parents’ sides, maybe part of me could stay…a teary eye or something :o)).

        of course, immigration is ultimately self-limiting. eventually the opportunity and resources that attract those who would abandon their homeland will be overrun and exhausted; there are areas right now in this country where that seems imminent. so maybe that’s the best course; fling open the doors to any and all, and in a few years nobody else will even want to come.

        either that, or… “slam the fucking door shut. totally. permanently.”


  8. mac says:

    Let me start off by saying I think our current system sucks. I also think letting everyone in is a bad idea.

    I think your first problem is the idea that a government the size of the US Fed can do anything efficiently, effectively, and logical.

    I like the idea of points, from a theoretical view. But then you have issues with assigning points to a specific educational level. Are Germany’s graduate schools equivalent to ours? How do they compare with India’s?

    How exactly are skillsets evaluated? How many points do ten years of experience in network security garner? What if it’s ten years of programming? These are issues that tech companies really struggle with, and they have profit to motivate them. Now try to assign points to ten years in genetic science.

    If we went to a point system, I fully expect interest groups to lobby for specific point mixes. This would result in an over-saturation of say, midwives with Masters’ degrees, or triple-Doctorate, 23-year-old academics from Anywheristan with zero working experience.

    Going fully geek on the subject, I see similarities to role-playing games. I’ve played a few in my time. I’ve seen games evolve from one edition to the next. In general, the designers try to go for a well-balanced game where each of the classes (roles, tribes, whatever) has relative parity with the others.

    Most of the game mechanics are built on some sort of point structure. And they play-test them, over, and over, and over (something the government cannot do, it’s always live without a net). And yet the games still come out unbalanced. I’ve played games where firearms were unintentionally machines of extreme maimery, versus melee weapons (solid hit of .45ACP does more damage than the same from a claymore).

    I don’t have a good answer for this. Part of me wants to believe that a point system would be better than the mess we currently have. Then I remember that 70% of my clients are government, and I realize who would be administering such a system.

  9. Adam says:

    The Pawnbroker seems to be one of those types that you hear about in liberal circles a lot. You know – the evil, bigoted white male strawman.

    I grew up in rural east Texas, in an area where there wasn’t an official KKK because it was pretty much assumed you were going to be a member if they ever formed.

    Even spending my formulative years around people like that, I still assumed people like Pawnbroker were strawmen.

    Sadly, I was mistaken.

    Why the flying fuck anyone would not openly welcome anyone wanting to work into this country is beyond me. Truly.

  10. aczarnowski says:

    David nailed it. Just because I think illegal immigration is a problem doesn’t mean I exonerate the, currently f’ed up, legal immigration system.

    Yours is the only “mostly worked OK” story I’ve heard Marko. Every other person working toward citizenship I know is somewhere on an inferno style walk though the layers of the INS. That’s tragic.

  11. ChrisB says:


    Switzerland and Japan have been able to do ok with their immigration policies, they have far less in the way of issues than France and England do, so why does it have to be open doors or no one comes in?

    Criteria could be as simple as if they have a job lined up, how much the job pays, family already here, English proficiency, criminal record, willingness and ability to serve in the Armed Forces, driving ability, etc. The higher up one rates the quicker they are allowed in, that doesn’t leave discretion open to a bureaucrat who wants to be a petty tyrant.

    Also, you’re wrong about the potential immigrants providing benefit to their home countries, if those government don’t allow those people to be productive their talents are wasted. If a brain drain does occur it’s a signal to that government to change their MO.

    • mac says:

      The Japanese system is not fully immigration. It’s worker-visa. They make it damn near impossible to become a Japanese citizen.

  12. Isaiah Kellogg says:

    Dammit, now every time I read one of your posts, it’s going to sound like Ahnold in my head.

    There is only one solution to the whole “immigration problem.” Allow all immigration, unchecked and unregulated. AND, here is the most important part, remove all welfare, food stamps, free healthcare, and other forms of wealth redistribution.

    Someone wants to “drop an anchor baby” and get free healthcare, food stamps, housing vouchers, digital tv vouchers, and other welfare? Suddenly they don’t want to be in the US any more. Don’t let the door hit your ass on your way out. Take some of the native welfare bums with you when you go.

    Someone wants to come and work hard to earn money, maybe even save up and start a business to hire other people who want to work hard? Great, I don’t care what color you are, we need more people like you.

  13. ChrisB says:


    You’re not solving the problem, just exchanging one set for another, and if you were able to accomplish that you’d probably find the cure is worse than the disease. Too many immigrants too soon results in Balkan colonies, not successful integration.

    Practically speaking, you would never be able to pull that off, we’re not going to simply cut off all doles and open the borders, you might as well talk about who would win in a fight between Superman and Thor. What is germane to the discussion is something that actually has a chance at being implemented, a ranking system like other countries already have in place is doable, as is prosecuting people who hire illegals.

  14. Rob K says:

    Getting rid of welfare would go a long way to easing our immigration problems. And we should change the law so that being born here doesn’t make you a citizen. You should have to have a citizen parent.

    My biggest problem with our immigration laws in general is that too many of the people who come here don’t come here because they believe in American ideals. They come here and vote for the same policies that made them leave where they came from. It’s a more generic version of the people fleeing California to Colorado for instance, who then turn Colorado into California-lite. I honestly don’t care what skills or talents you have, as long as you have American values. You seem to be an exemplar of American values, Marko, and I’m glad to have you here. I’m happy to let in anybody like you. On the other hand, there are a lot of native born Californians, New Yorkers, etc that I would love to exile.

  15. georgeh says:

    Sorry Marko, because I like you, but it’s lifeboat rules. This country was full at 100 million people. It’s now bursting at the seams from overpopulation. We need to stop all immigration for the foreseeable future.

    • Marko says:


      “bursting at the seams”?

      You could move the entire population of the planet into Texas, and the resulting population density would be less than that of Paris.

      You really need to travel this country from coast to coast in a car or bus to see just how much empty space we have here.

      • Adam says:

        That reminds me of some foreign exchange students my family hosted when I still lived in Texas. Interestingly, one of them was from Germany.

        His family came to visit and decided they were going to travel Texas and see the whole state (even hike through some parts) in two days.

        They got about three hours into their trip before they realized what they’d gotten themselves into.

        Needless to say, they failed their task.

      • Michael says:

        It’s easy for us Americans (especially a New Jerseyan like myself) to lose sight of just how much _space_ we have relative to most other first-world countries.

        For what it’s worth, I’m with ya. I may think we need to seriously enforce our immigration laws, but those laws are also in desperate need of fixing.

        You wanna come here and be a productive American? I don’t give a damn where you come from, what you look like, or what fairy godmother you pray to. Come on in.

    • rfortier1796 says:

      Point yourself in the right direction, you can drive for 24 hours in a straight line and never leave the Republic of Texas. Back when I went to school up in Missouri, a good number of the locals bragged how big St Louis was, and how we didn’t have anything like it in Texas. At the time, the population in Mizzery was something right around 6.5mil. At the exact same time, the Dallas Fort Worth (woot) Metroplex had a population of 7.7mil. You could fit the entire state of MO into the DFW Metroplex, and have breathing room.

      The US was full at 100 million? Try again, please.

  16. Adam says:

    “This country was full at 100 million people. It’s now bursting at the seams from overpopulation. ”

    Ever driven through Wyoming?
    I did. 4 hours at 80mph.

    Saw one house and lots and lots of field.

    The world is overpopulated when I can’t find empty fields in England or Japan. Sure, irrigation is a bit of a problem in the midwest, but how do you conclude we’re anywhere near overpopulation?

  17. Brandon says:

    Immigration procedures in this country are a sad state of affairs, indeed. It’s shameful.

    I’d suggest, ridiculous as it may seem, that your friend contact the members of Congress for her district. While I believe as you do, that she should be admitted based on her merit, a politician will see her gender and race as political capital and would likely be inclined to help grease the bureaucratic machinery with a few phone calls to the right people.

  18. Wharf Rat says:

    Wyoming, North and South Dakota, most of Montana…I took a couple of roundtrip Greyhound rides from Washington State to Michigan, and it’s mostly empty. The problem isn’t overpopulation (at least in this country), it’s the herd mentality(?) that makes everyone want to live twenty feet away from their neighbor. We are social creatures, which tends to mean we build up instead of out.

    As far as immigration, it sounds simple to me – cut the welfare. If you’re not here legally (green card, permit, whatever), you’re just SOL. Same with driver’s licenses, and housing, and work. If we take away the idea that you can come here and live for free, that will eliminate the incentive for lazy people to do so. I agree that poeple like your friend would be an asset to this country, and the way that they’re treating her is ridiculous. Unfortunately, as near as I can tell most immigrants are coming here to get on welfare and send money home.

  19. mac says:

    Slamming the door shut is not possible, nor is it preferable. If we were to somehow disallow all immigration, people would continue to come here illegally. And if there were a legal (for spouses or such) means to naturalize, it would only create a skewed market for whatever labyrinthine process existed.

    It always amazes me when people who can explain why some current condition is screwed due to incompetence, corruption, and market forces ignore those influences when discussing their simple solution.

    The United States is a nation, in general, of risk-takers. It’s in our genetic pool. Most of us have ancestors who left everything and everyone they knew to come here willingly. They came in hopes of being able to make their own way in the world. We are a nation of entrepreneurs, and have one of the highest rates of ADHD on the planet.

    We need the steady stream of immigrants willing to try and make it on their own. We need their energy, excitement, ideas, and experience. We need them to combat the ever-present draw of complacency and security at the expense of liberty. What we don’t need is to drink the firehose of people wanting to come here, take advantage of our services, refusing to assimilate, and having no respect for our laws and cultural mores.

    I actually think the point system might be better than what we have. I don’t believe it will be the silver bullet. In the end, it isn’t objective. Someone has to subjectively set those points. That someone will either be in politics, which draws the corruptible, or government, which draws the risk-adverse.

  20. Matt says:

    I’ll toss my two cents in here…

    First, I am in the same boat as Marko. Just a few years behind him and filling for US naturalization (citizenship) in September. I have been a permanent resident (green card) for the past 4 1/2 years and I have lived in the US on TN-1 and H1B work visas for 7 years prior to gaining permanent residence.

    Most assuredly, I have a very in-depth view of the INS/USCIS processes and not all of it has been pleasant.

    The system does have a great deal of subjective bias and I do agree with Marko. It is wrong that a person who followed the process, obeyed the rules and paid a great deal of money to do so should get jerked around like this. I do wonder why she would have to leave since an application in processing usually allows you to stay pending its resolution? I wonder if the Nigerian woman has spoken to a good immigration attorney? If not, I would recommend it.

    That said, I am not a “machine gun them at the border” type but merely a “follow the damn rules” type. As a PR, I am NOT ELIGIBLE for ANY form of public funds/assistance for the first five years of permanent residency status. It’s laid out in black and white. The only reason illegals coming here get any benefits at all is not because of them but because of their “anchor babies”. Since the babies are US citizens, their illegal parents file on their behalf. The law says the illegals can’t get aid. US citizens are free and clear.

    I have absolutely zero issue with ICE deporting the illegal parents along with their American children. The law doesn’t contain requirements that state a child born on US soil must remain here. They can go back to their parent’s country of origin and re-enter any time in their parent’s custody (provided the parent isn’t turned back) or when they turn 18 and be welcomed with open arms.

    The “anchor baby” issue is an unintended consequence of the welfare system, not the immigration system. We are simply not enforcing the immigration laws we have.

    The points system used in other countries (including my original country) works well enough but those policies favor skilled labor. Our current policies favor families. The USA can change its immigration policy to whatever it wants. If we want low and unskilled labor here reunited with families, fine. Want to change it and favor educated individuals, fine.

    I want to see the public funds issue tightened that require benefits to only be paid to those who are here legally. If it is for a child, the parent must be here legally. I would point out that any individual in this country, citizen or otherwise, can be asked by a variety of government agencies to prove their legal residency. The fact that many city and state government agencies choose to deliberately not do so is a travesty. That’s changing but for the past decade, “don’t ask and don’t tell” with regard to immigration status was the norm.

    I’m not going to apologize to pawnbroker and others like him for my views. I’ve run the gauntlet. I’m going to be running the gauntlet again soon and I sincerely look forward to the end of that process. It is not fun. I am not sympathetic to those here illegally regardless of their circumstances. Those of us who follow the rules often get screwed over, punished and harassed. Anyone demanding less of those who have broken the law to come and stay here are aiding and abetting criminals.

    It is a crime to enter this country without presenting oneself for inspection to a customs official. It is only the first of many an illegal will commit from that point forward. They don’t deserve to be rewarded for it by the simple fact of being here.

    Unfortunately, changing immigration policy for the betterment of the country will require changes that will make certain people howl with outrage.

  21. Caleb says:

    It’s nice to know that pwndbroker is still, well, pwndbroker. “Slam the door shut and keep all them daggum ferriners out!” is exactly the sort of attitude that caused this problem in the first place. Our immigration system needs a complete overhaul, because you know what? I want immigrants from other countries to move here. I want Mexicans, Cubans, Nigerians, Italians, Chinese, Icelanders, etc to move here because I don’t want our population to become dominated by people like pwndbroker. Cultural diversity is a key component to a successful society, because the society that goes culturally morbid is the society that dies.

    Immigration is fundamentally broken in this country, and building a wall to keep the Visigoths out of Rome isn’t the problem.

    • mac says:

      Cultural diversity is important, in moderation. Assimilation is also important. Some of the key factors that have helped make this nation successful are the rule of law, love of freedom, and universalist ethics. Importing a large contingent of people from another culture can change our national character for the worse.

      In some countries, the law is a tool of the powerful. It is applied arbitrarily, and everyone accepts that. In some countries, government intrusion begged for, to save people from themselves. Certain cultures place an emphasis on familial-tribal loyalties. Expecting to be treated with what we consider respect for another person is a road to disappointment.

      These differences are important, because citizens get to vote. And when a significant number of citizens vote for bigger government, more intrusion, and higher taxes, you get California. I have seen the negative impact of cultural differences illegal immigration has brought to Arizona. It would be much worse if everyone were allowed to vote.

      Rationalizing our immigration process is a good start. We also need to prosecute employers of illegal immigrants and put up a wall. None of these is a panacea. Even all together, the process will be seriously flawed. But it will most likely be better than what we have.

    • ChrisB says:

      “I want Mexicans, Cubans, Nigerians, Italians, Chinese, Icelanders, etc to move here because I don’t want our population to become dominated by people like pwndbroker”

      Ok, so if we don’t have people from the 4 corners of the world we will automatically become illogical like him? I must have missed that memo because I’m a native born American and I disagree with him.

      “Cultural diversity is a key component to a successful society, because the society that goes culturally morbid is the society that dies”

      The Japanese didn’t get your memo either, they’re one of the most homogeneous societies on the planet and they’re doing just fine.

  22. Caleb says:

    Hey, I’ve got no problem with cracking down on illegal immigration, as long as we fix our current broke legal system.

    I have principles though, and one of those is to be opposed to bigots like pwndbroker who shout “shut the door”.

    • mac says:

      Agreed. Shutting the door is a simplistic, unrealistic, and detrimental option. It’s a distraction from real discourse on a solution.

      I just have issues with simple statements on the inherent value of diversity. Truly diverse groups do not work. In order for a group to function as a unit, some common ground must be reached. The less diverse, the faster that ground is reached. The more homogeneous the members, the less creative the group. Moderation is key. Furthermore, the optimal ranges of diversity versus homogeneity for a given group vary significantly depending upon the group’s purpose.

  23. megscole64 says:

    My coworker is a citizen – she’s from Colombia. She studied like crazy for her test and passed with flying colors. She thought she’d have all sorts of issues but they barely said boo to her. It didn’t take her long at all to become a full fledged citizen.

    She’s not *gasp* “white” … she’s not male. Her job skills are great but not exactly of the life saving scale.

    I think personal stories are great, but not always helpful in the debate. Your friend (the African lady) should absolutley be allowed to stay and become a citizen…she’s clearly an asset to the country.

    My problem is all the illegal criminals (redundant really) who keep coming back even after being sent home. And especially with those who commit violent crimes while here and then soak up tax dollars in the criminal justice system.

    The system is broken…what to do about it? I have no idea.

  24. T.Stahl says:

    If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will own guns.
    If immigration is outlawed, all you’ll get are illegal immigrants.

    I’m not the type who’d immigrate illegally. You all know which kind of people would immigrate illegally.

    Slamming the door shut will only keep the good ones out. Unless a country wants to get worse, it needs to dilute the stream of illegal immigrants with legal ones.

  25. Kristopher says:

    My opinion ….

    Make it easy to immigrate to the US. Anyone with a clean record who speaks English and is at least literate. Anyone.

    Make it easy for assholes to get deported. Annoy anyone before naturalization, and you are gone. If they have an anchor baby, the baby can return to the US at age 18 … alone.

    Enforce border controls strictly … including those machineguns.

    • Marko says:

      Oh, hush with the machine guns already. Are you out of your mind?

      It would take two days after you give the “shoot to kill” order until the tenth family crossing over from Mexico is gunned down live on CNN, and then public opinion would violently swing against any sort of immigration control.

      (Do you volunteer to pull the trigger on women and children? Or are you merely willing to delegate the task to America’s high school grads?)

      • Kristopher says:

        OK … no more MGs.

        What about scorpion pits?

        ( Seriously … if the law was enforced, well at some point with any law the threat of the use of deadly force is present. Even for littering. If cops cannot use force to stop lawbreakers, then I guess we either end up with Lord of the Flies, or Libertopia. Or both at once. )

      • Kristopher says:

        Seriously, we do need to have some way to permanently deport thieves, violent felons, and professional dole blodgers.

        Do you have a good alternative to scorpion pits, or Kalihari Lions between twin fences ( MGs are out for now ).

      • Tam says:

        I could get behind the lions.

        Besides, anybody who can get past lions is someone I want on my team anyway.

  26. so quite a few have had their say…some thoughtful and realistic, some too dense to consider the ironies, others who apparently couldn’t be troubled to actually read the thread before piping up and tossing inflammatory labels. oh, and there’s little ahab, but i doubt any intelligent adult who’s ever read his addled juvenile prattling pays any attention; he’s so cute!

    but back to square one, marko: what exactly is it that you advocate? and don’t give me some vague “point system”…what the parameters are and how they are applied aside, you said yourself that illegals will come regardless of law because they’re, well, illegal. you also imply that the current system is either corrupt, racist, or irrelevant. so how exactly will a list of qualifications or another bureaucracy affect that? won’t it just exclude some who tried the proper route? or will many good potentially productive citizens simply not try because they don’t hold a doctorate? and won’t that skew the numbers opposite from your intent?

    all or none. impractical and impossible, yes. but nothing could be further from bigotry than that.


  27. Caleb says:

    good ol’ pwndbroker, I knew I could count on you. You cannot troll me, jtc. If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you could ever imagine. As a side note, it’s really neat when old people play internet.

    My favorite part is that his counter-argument to marko is “oh yeah, well I want you to give me a bullet-pointed plan for a complete overhaul of our immigration system, complete with a budget or all your arguments are invalid and I win nyah-nyah-nyah.”

    I do appreciate that he’s retreated slightly from his “shut the door on them-thar ferriners” point of view, if only because of the pasting he took for it.

    • don’t you worry, squirt…in another coupla years you’ll be able to sprout a little neckbeard just like all the other mostest coolest guys down at the ‘puter store…no more flipping burgers and boogers for you then!

      but do leave serious debate up to your elders and betters before you embarrass yourself further.

  28. marko: …”clamping car batteries to the nuts…”

    no, no…that’s the kung-fu guy you’re thinking of there…

    but, are you saying that the use of discrimination in determining immigration policy is somehow analogous to the effort to prevent terrorist attack?


  29. Caleb says:

    Aww, don’t be sad, pwndbroker. I know it’s hard for you in this world, surrounded by technology you don’t understand. It’s got to suck that your best comeback is to resort to a neckbeard joke and try to establish that I’m some kind of ‘net expert computer geek.

    Meanwhile, the legit criticisms made against your “keep them Mexi-cans out” argument remain unaddressed. Which is too bad really, because when you can’t beat me (and I’m not even trying here) how ever will you fare against the Intellectual Heavies like Marko?

    I mean, we saw how well you did against Tam and Breda, which is to say “not well”, so I guess when you try and troll me you’re moving down a rung on the ladder, and you’re still swinging at air.

    But hey, since in you’re mind you’ve reduced me to a cartoony stereotype of the Generation Web, by all means continue to hurl ineffective invective at me while you trumpet your “intellectual superiority”, all while getting your ass handed to you by Marko.

  30. ChrisB says:


    A country can make whatever criteria they want for their immigration policies, they don’t have to allow immigration at all, so it’s up to them if they only want to allow gay Austrian fashion gurus in provided they had their own television show previously.

    People do not have a a right to immigrate somewhere, it’s a privilege allowed by the country they’re going to, so while it’s bullshit and also self-destructive for wannabe dictators within our INS bureaucracy to be rude to potentially valuable people they’re not infringing on their rights.

    I’ve already listed criteria that a point-type system can be based on, such a system would make a lot of sense for our country, and if potential immigrants like it they can apply, but I’m not going to lose sleep if they disagree with it.

  31. Jesse says:

    “I sound like a linguistically slightly more gifted version of Arnie the Governator”

    I have to say that after reading part-way through your post I started hearing the accent in my head.

    I agree something needs to be fixed, unfortunately I am out of ideas on which part needs it, or how to go about doing so.

    • Marko says:

      My accent is actually not even close to Ahnold’s. Most folks who know me in person would probably tell you that it’s pretty faint.

  32. ss says:


    Great post!

    My family immigrated when I was four. My father was an engineer and saw where all the good technology challenges were going to be in the 1960’s and he contributed to Apollo, the space shuttle, and a whole bunch of Defense programs. I remember going with my family down to Federal Court house and in my case getting my citizenship papers. I volunteered to serve in the military because the United States is the best country. I do get peeved when I have to show proof of United States citizenship. As soon as I list place of birth as being outside the country, the stupidity starts. The bureaucrats want to see my “naturalization papers”, sorry I wasn’t naturalized I was a minor and was granted citizenship. They then want a copy of my citizenship papers, sorry printed on the the front it states that it is a Federal crime to duplicate. I volunteer to show the bureaucrats my United States passport and they read in the place of birth field that I was born overseas, and then I need to educate the bureaucrats that United States citizens have United States passports! Since 2001, I’ve needed to produce my passport more often in the United States than everywhere else combined.

    In 1999 at the contract company I was a manager with, we started to notice our contract hours with our biggest customer were starting to shrink. Over a friendly lunch with a friend from the customer, I found out why. Our customer was tapping into the temporary visa pool, bringing Russian engineers over on temporary visas to do the work and then sending them back home as an outsourcing center. We could not compete. I left the contract company before Globalization really hit the business model. I have nothing against efficient market theory, but I really resent large technology companies crying that they need even more H-1 visa workers because they cannot find qualified American’s to fill the positions. The reality is that the H-1 visa holder costs the company half as much as an American and is much easier to get rid off. A rational immigration policy should be promoting workers with critical skills to come here to work and become citizens. This is such a great country that legal immigration control should have any easy time picking the best and the brightest. It does not have to be a long painful exhaustive process, since it does not have to be a precise as rocket science.

    I live near one of the 20 largest hospitals in the United States. It costs about $ 4000 to have a
    baby delivered (high cost of living and I’m being conservative). Right now of the 21 women in recovery after delivering, 7 are clinic patents, so no healthcare coverage. Probably all of them are not citizens of the United States and Spanish
    is their first language. This is typical. I think the hospital delivers over 10,000 babies a year.

    So this means per year, about 3,000 US citizens from illegal immigrants, $ 12 Million in free health care, and the kicker. One of these clinic patents that is entitled to WIC and medicaid somehow or the other managed to have a Gastric bypass operation performed at some point (date, hospital, etc unknown). Gastric bypass is something NOT subsidized by healthcare. How did she manage to pay for what is effectively a vanity procedure?

    Interesting enough, the number of non-english speaking without health care patients seems to have declined with the economy. The proposed National Health Care plan rejected along party lines, Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) amendment to exclude illegal immigrants. Border control does not work, especially when all Border Patrol officers must learn Spanish (including those assigned to the Canadian border)!

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