A Terrible Threat

We have a horrible, unspeakable problem in Montgomery County. People from other countries are coming here and working hard at productive jobs. Fortunately, there are some very prescient and perceptive people aware of the terrible threat posed by landscaped lawns and restaurants serving pupusas.

Help Save Maryland, a nativist group that has demonized immigrants, is apparently on the front lines to protect us. The group opposed the day labor center recently established in Derwood, spreading fears about “increased crime” and about the safety problems sure to be created by unemployed illegal aliens loitering in our neighborhoods.”

Well, apparently, those fears have come true – in reverse. Someone tried to burn down the center this month. Rather than express regret, though, HSM director Brad Botwin has have engaged in one of the most blatant “blame-the-victim” responses you’ve ever seen, suggesting that one of the laborers – “people who have no legal or moral right to be in the United States” — may have been the culprit. “I would not be surprised, since we don’t have background checks, that it might be one of the workers.”

Seems to me that the threat isn’t coming from the workers, but from the yahoos whose incessant verbal attacks have apparently led to attempted arson. Perhaps HSM and their supporters are the ones who should be getting background checks.

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7 Comments on “A Terrible Threat”

  1. Ron Says:

    Well, sure, anyone who is against a day labor center must be an arsonist as well. Stands to reason, doesn’t it?

    Remember when there was that rash of black church burnings? It turned out that quite a few of these fires were set by blacks, so this Botwin’s remarks aren’t totally off-target.

    As far as people who are against day labor centers being automatically “nativist,” I might take issue with that as well. A lot of taxpayers are frustrated with high taxes, especially when services that are presented as being so necessary are being used for those who are here illegally. Jurisdictions like Montgomery County also seem to take an attitude of protecting those illegals who are lawbreakers. The irony is that immigrant communities are more likely to be crime victims than anyone else. Not the fault of these “nativists!”

  2. Zinzindor Says:

    No, I didn’t say that anyone who is against a day labor center must be an arsonist. That would be jumping to conclusions, or an expression of bias. Sort of the way that HSM shouts that the clients of the day labor center are all in the country illegally (a false, biased conclusion) or that they are gang members, (another false and biased conclusion.) But mostly, you can understand bias from the very title of the group: that Maryland needs to be “saved” from immigrants. That is exactly what nativist means, Ron; it’s a very appropriate term for the attitude of these people.

    But it’s not jumping to conclusions to note that the kind of harsh invective that HSM engages in is surely likely to sway some xenophobic minds, and inspire violence. Don’t you believe that words have consequences? Yigal Amir , was certainly inspired by those who demonized Yitzchak Rabin.

    You won’t find many who object to high taxes more than I do; and I oppose public funding of these day labor centers. But HSM is not complaining about high taxes, per se; they are complaining about high taxes being used for people who speak a different language or who have a darker skin color. (Well, they claim it is about “illegals”, but they assume everyone who works in day labor is illegal). I assume they would have complained about my grandparents and yours being in the US.

    Finally, it makes no sense to argue this on the basis of high taxes. I support a decision to prioritize local police resources on violent crimes and robbery. To the extent the cops are tracking down honest working people, they are neglecting more serious crimes.

    Of course, they could do both — if they had a hefty tax increase.

  3. Tom Says:

    Just curious, have you explored the cost of illegals here in Montgomery County? You react with implying, if not outright saying it, that someone is a xenophobe, a bigot, and a racist if they don’t want “illegal” aliens here. The key word being “illegal”.

    While these folks are “just doing those jobs Americans refuse to do” they are not paying income taxes, nor other taxes that help fund the very county services they are utilizing.

    A recent report stated that as recently as two years ago they were sending $51 Billion outside of the U.S.

    Do you know where of northern Virginia’s illegals are coming…………..that’s right, you guessed it, Maryland. More specifically, Montgomery County. For the very reason that this has become a sanctuary for them.

    Americans aren’t anti-immigrant, they are anti ILLEGAL-immigrant.

    You have a good blog here, but on this topic you’re out to lunch.

    Tom

  4. Zinzindor Says:

    CASA de Maryland, you may have read, received several phone calls last week, threatening to kill people associated with the organization, and to blow up their facilities.

    The threats were Laced with profanity and racial slurs, which belies your assertion of “the key word being ‘illegal.'” The key word is “alien” — or, as the xenophobes, bigots, and racist phone caller(s) put it, “spic.”

    As far as “crimes” go, stepping across an imaginary line from land under the jurisdiction of Mexico to land under the jurisdiction of the US is simply not a big deal. There are hundreds of illegal acts that are far more injurious to person and property in this country. There is a reason why this innocuous action brings out such vitriol, hatred, and violence.

    As far as the “cost” of immigrants; yes, I have explored that. The consensus of all the literature is that immigrants are a net economic gain to American society. The president’s Council of Economic Advisers looked at the issue, and concluded that “On average, US natives benefit from immigration. Immigrants tend to complement (not substitute for) natives, raising natives’ productivity and income.”

    The problem, in fact, is that we have a shortage of labor in this country, and we need as many more immigrants as we can get. So, you should join me in welcoming those immigrants, fleeing persecution in northern Virginia, to come live here in Montgomery.

  5. Tom Says:

    Sorry, Zinzindor, you don’t make a convincing argument.

    From what I know of Casa de Maryland, I find their credibility to be lacking. I wouldn’t be surprised that whatever police investigation is done will not yield nothing.

    Since we are splitting hairs here with words, the word “alien” is in the U.S. Code. I’m just calling them what the U.S. government calls them. Feel free to call them what you want you want. It doesn’t change the fact that there are millions here illegally. You like to use catchy and inflammatory words yourself: persecution, xenophobes, bigots, and racist.

    Can you cite the literature you’ve explored? I’d like to see it.

    There is no labor shortage in this country. What this country has is an overabundance of lazy people who don’t want to work. Comes from growing up soft. You can’t argue that central Americans are hard workers, but that doesn’t change the fact that millions are here illegally. What needs to be done is to work to change conditions in their countries, this country can’t support and provide for everyone.

    The focus is once again “ILLEGAL” not immigrant. America has welcomed immigrants for nearly four centuries, as long as they follow the rules.

    Again, you have a good site here, but you’re still off the mark on this topic. Keep the good work on the other topics.

  6. Zinzindor Says:

    Tom, you said that in the phrase “illegal alien” the key word was “illegal.” I was simply pointing out that the complaints about too many cars in the driveway, about day laborers, about strange cooking, and about foreign languages being spoken are not about legal entry to the US — they are complaints about national origins. And the phone calls into CASA are not complaints about passports or visas, they are simply hate-spewing, foaming-at-the-mouth bigots.

    As far as a labor shortage, I’ll have to defer to the economists on this one. We are in a “full-employment” economy, which means that the demand for labor is higher than the labor available. Check out what happened in Arizona, where they started cracking down on hiring of illegal immigrants — until they found that jobs were remaining open, and employers were begging for employees. Now the state is looking at establishing a new guest worker program, to legalize hiring of undocumented workers.

    The problem with “following the rules” is that the rules are fixed by political pressure from the unions, so we don’t allow for enough legal immigrants. We don’t need unions using the power of government to drive up their wages, and we shouldn’t be sanctioning that practice.

    As far as the reference I cited in the impacts of immigration, it’s available from the President’s Council of Economic advisors at http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/cea_immigration_062007.html

  7. Tom Says:

    Three points.

    1. The part about jobs going unfilled dovetails into my contention that we have a generation of lazy Americans. People that grew up soft, don’t want to work, nor understand the meaning of an honest days labor. If it’s not in a video game or on cable they’re not interested. I don’t need an economist to tell me what I see every day at work alone. As for quotas, I think they’re good where they are. If you allow too many unskilled laborers in you’ll end up turning this into a third world country.

    2. I have to agree whole heartedly with you about labor unions having too much political pull. I have no use for them. Even though I am a member of one, I had no choice in joining. I had to join for the first year of employment for my “own good”. They would have taken my dues out of my check whether I was a member or not.

    The problem is that unions are a great deal like political parties in that they work and exist for their own continued preservation and not the common good of their membership.

    A great many unions have lots of secrecy surrounding them, like the one I belong to. Unless you’re in the inner circle, you have no clue as to what’s going on. I don’t believe that is what they were originally set up or designed for.

    3. As I said before about CASA, I don’t believe a thing they say. They could say the grass is green and the sky is blue. The first thing I would do is step outside to see for myself. It’s all about credibility. As far as I’m concerned, they don’t have any. Something about crying wolf.


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