Friday, June 22, 2012

Guest Post: If You Want To Argue AGAINST The Dream Act, Use FACTS - Not CONJECTURE

Today's guest post comes from Lincoln Anthony Blades.  Lincoln is the founder and lead writer of His work has been featured in news papers from St. Vincent [The Guardian] to New York [New York Daily News]. He writes about relationships, politics, current events and anything that is going on in society. His blog, live appearances and podcast “R&B: Relationships & Bullsh*t” have all been critically acclaimed for being sharp, witty and incredibly honest. He is currently writing a book and one day hopes to be a published author. So please engage Mr. Blades in the comments below, as we explore the immigration debate.

There are two types of people in the world: 

Thinkers and Pundits. 

Thinkers are the creators of ideologies and people who theorize solutions and improvements on specific issues. Essentially, they are the people concerned with finding ANSWERS. Then you have pundits, who essentially are the creators of close analysis and reflective thought. In today's world, pundits are mostly concerned with creating a dissenting point of view to the thoughts that thinkers originate. Why are these definitions important in a discussion about the Dream Act and illegal immigration? Because America is already deeply rooted in this issue and finding a proper solution.

The reason this issue hits home for me is because I come from a large immigrant family that spans all over North America in New York, Ohio, Florida, Toronto and Montreal and although we are all legal, our collective struggles from being poor to achieving upward mobility, have been in lockstep with many illegal immigrants we have met along the way. It should not be a huge surprise that financially strapped legal immigrants live in close proximity with many illegal immigrants since we both comprise the functional-underclass who are desperately in need of work and willing to accept lower wages. And as we advance through the many different stages of socioeconomic development with them, we are able to accept one truism about this debate: Regardless of how you feel about undocumented Americans, they undoubtedly ARE an important part of America's society - so whatever measures will be taken, need to be done now, which means we need a lot more factual THINKERS and a lot less ignorant, speculative PUNDITS.

I'm really not surprised that Obama's announcement brought the pundits out in full force, because his entire presidency has been shrouded in a thick veil of cynicism and an utter lack of cooperation from both sides of the aisle. Whether it's job creation, climate change, government spending or the economy, his attempted 'Thinker-presidency' has been thwarted by a litany of pundits who do nothing but criticize without offering ANY substantive solutions of their own. Well, when it comes to immigration reform, we need to tell the pundits to sit down, shut their mouths for once and let the thinkers rely on FACTS to create an effective plan of action.

If you are hell bent on getting illegal immigrants out of the country because (a) they don't pay taxes and contribute nothing to the union and (b) they are stealing American job, I'm going to have to kindly ask you to sit down with your ASSUMPTIONS, so the adults can talk about REAL statistics. Like the fact that the IRS estimates around 6 million unauthorized immigrants file individual income tax returns each year. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office indicates that between 50-75 percent of unauthorized immigrants pay federal, local and state taxes, and pay almost 7 billion per year into social security [none of which they can ever receive]. They spend millions per year as consumers (including paying sales, state and federal tax) which helps create new jobs. 

But since we are talking about jobs, let's address the common fallacy that illegal immigrants are stealing them from Americans. The reality is that they are filling job gaps in fields Americans refuse to work in because of low pay. Mexicans don't need to elbow and box out Americans like Kevin Garnett in the paint, to find room to stand in front of Lowe's or Home Depot. For example: in 2010, Georgia farmers lost more than 50% of their labor and crops when the state enacted stiffer regulations on employment reporting. The FACT is the entire economy of the United States would be massively and negatively affected by any decision to unilaterally remove all undocumented immigrants in the country. 

This issue does not have to be argued from a strictly compassionate or intellectual standpoint, but it does need to be framed in reality. Unathourized immigrants are already deeply woven into the fabric of American society and they contribute a lot. If you are against my points, that's perfectly fine, but all I ask is that you counter them with stats and facts of your own. It's great to critically analyze the theories of others, but what is your plan? Round them up in a huge bin pulled by a monster truck? Build a huge, tall, electric fence around the border? 

If you ask me, the real problem in America is the fact that the masses immediately react with anti-intellectual furor when convinced that a particular incident will instantly and irreparably damage their lives the second it occurs. Before you subscribe to that ideology, let's frame this topic realistically.

This Is Your Conscience

1. Do you believe that deporting all undocumented immigrants will have a positive or negative impact on the economy? 
2. Thinkers or Pundits - Who dominates our current immigration debate?
3. Can opponents of the Dream Act defend their position without being projected as ignorant or anti-intellectual?
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