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WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?
Magpie is a former journalist, attempted historian [No, you can't ask how her thesis is going], and full-time corvid of the lesbian persuasion. She keeps herself in birdseed by writing those bad computer manuals that you toss out without bothering to read them. She also blogs too much when she's not on deadline, both here and at Pacific Views.

Magpie roosts in Portland, Oregon, where she annoys her housemates (as well as her cats Medea, Whiskers, and Jane Doe) by attempting to play Irish music on the fiddle and concertina.

If you like, you can send Magpie an email!



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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Calming the immigration waters.

One of the ugly facts of the current immigration debate in the US is the huge amount of racism and xenophobia that immigrants — whether illegal or not — brings up with some people. Much of that response is due to the lack of hard information in the US media, plus a deliberate campaign of misinformation on the part of immigration opponents.

Over at AlterNet, Joshua Holland has put together a very informative and [thankfully] balanced article on immigration issues:

We need a clearer understanding of who immigrants are and what they do. According to the Census Bureau (PDF), less than half of all immigrants come from Central and South America. The same percentage of the foreign-born population has college degrees as Americans (although fewer have high school degrees).

The common notion that there are "good" immigrants who enter the United States legally, pay their taxes and work hard to raise their families, and "bad," shiftless immigrants who enter illegally, take services and give nothing in return while depressing native wages is at best overly simplistic. Up to 40 percent of the illegal population entered the country legally and overstayed their visas. Illegals pay payroll, sales and property taxes (mostly passed through rental property owners), which are the three taxes that take the biggest bite from all working-class families. According to a Pew study, a quarter of all immigrants live in "mixed" households where some members are U.S. citizens, some are legal residents and some are undocumented.

Today's "bad" immigrant, if given the chance, becomes tomorrow's "good" one. Currently, the two are likely to be cousins.

You can read the whole article here.

| | Posted by Magpie at 2:44 PM | Get permalink




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