Illegals costing LA County $444 million in welfare and food stamps

Illegal residents in Los Angeles County collected more than $37 million in welfare and food stamps in November – up $3 million since September – for an estimated annual cost of $444 million dollars, reports the Daily News citing statistics from the LA County Department of Public Social Services.

On a slightly related note, I visited my family in Connecticut over the holidays and made a point to visit Taco Bell because I just can’t resist me some churros and apple empanadas. But guess who was working there? High school kids! White high school kids! And then I met some family friends who made a living doing house cleaning. Also white. And middle class. I was reminded of the jobs I held before moving to Los Angeles – bagging groceries, bussing tables, and working as a barback. Friends made decent money landscaping and working construction and even babysitting.

All jobs that “nobody wants,” per the mantra in LA and other areas that benefit from cheap, illegal labor.

Back to the point: $444 million dollars a year spent on what amounts to fraud from the illegals who apparently didn’t even work at the jobs nobody wants. I don’t fault anyone for wanting to move to the United States for a better life, but these illegals are falsifying or stealing Social Security numbers, and leeching off money that could be spent better on police services, public healthcare, or any number of things… or better yet, possibly lowering California’s record high sales tax.

Jobs nobody wants? We’re also in a recession. The country’s unemployment rate is 5%. Maybe we can use some of that $444 million to help us afford to pay enough to make those jobs more attractive and, ergo, jobs legal residents will want and need.

67 thoughts on “Illegals costing LA County $444 million in welfare and food stamps”

  1. According to city-data, the “Welfare” category costs us 1.8 billion or so per year (roughly – the numbers aren’t the same). That means this fraud is less than 3% of the welfare pie.

    Now, that’s just LA welfare, and doesn’t include food stamps, which are probably the easiest welfare to get — you can get that even if you’re working if you’re poor enough.

    That said, people who are not citizens (this includes green card holders) are not supposed to qualify for food stamps.

    (Getting the 444 mil back would have no effect on the sales tax. There might be other ways to use the money, though… like paying for enforcement of the law, which would probably cost several million dollars simply to lease facilities around LA for the officers to have desks. Not to mention the $20 mil or so to develop yet another person-tracking database to determine eligibility.)

  2. Even though all you are doing is listing the facts, people will still accuse you of being anti-immigration and the like. I am completely for LEGAL immigration from people living in Mexico, or China, or anywhere, but illegal immigration ruins the economy plain and simple. They are only taking jobs no one wants now. At one time all those jobs were what Americans did with pride for a decent wage and benefits. Even my mom worked as a house cleaner and when I grew up but now those positions are supposed to be beneath her.

    I used to be completely supportive of their plight. That was until I moved into the MacArthur Park area and couldnt walk to the subway without hearing “ID” all the freaking time. All it would take is 1 undercover officer and I bet they could remove a majority of the illegal identification market in LA by just staking out that area. What kind of balls it takes to come to a country illegally and then make a living by providing illegal services! Those are people no country needs.

  3. Excellent post, David. We recently relocated from Los Angeles to Northeast Florida, and I’ve noticed the same thing: Americans are doing those jobs that illegal-apologists say won’t get done. From Taco Bell to McDonalds to warehouses, they’re white, black, young, old, with a sprinkling if legal immigrants from a variety of countries. And the landscaping services are 20- and 30-year old entrepreneurs — again, white and black and some legal immigrants.

    LEGAL immigration is part of what makes this a great country. ILLEGAL immigration rips it apart.

  4. When I was little, my big brother used to beat me up all the time. He did it with great vigor and satisfaction.

    Years later, I am much bigger than him. Now, every time I give him any agression, he turns a hissy fit and tells me to act my age.

    Fuck that. You can’t turn around when it’s your convenience and say “oh, we don’t play like that anymore, those were different times”.

    The fact of the matter is you take what you can get for you and yours by any means you can. Now, sure American’s have every right to defend and protect whatever they think should be protected. Alls fair as far as I’m concerned. What you can’t do, however, is complain and whine about how your losing. You haven’t lost yet. It hasn’t hurt yet. You’ll know when it hurts.

  5. You going to refer to people as “illegals” like they aren’t even people? Why don’t you just call them n*gg**s are w******s. Keep it real if you want to dehumanize people.

    There was a way better way to state your opinion.

    Also look into the Bracero Program.

    Do you know that people can film in City Hall for free, rich movie companies can film in City Hall for free on my dime. I would rather pay for a little kid to eat than some jerk industry film person.

    How much a tax break did Ralph get for moving to downtown LA, because you know they got one.

    Corporate welfare is stealing way more of my money than immigrants who don’t have the “proper” paperwork.

    I am pretty sure we are in a recession, because when you look in history people get real concerned about which ethnicity gets jobs and services when the economy gets bad.


  6. Oh, Browne, you reverse racist you. How should I refer to people who move to this country in violation of immigration laws?

    Why don’t you just simplify your comment and just say identity theft and fraud is A-okay.

  7. You are calling me a reverse racist because I called you a jerk for referring to people in an inhumane fashion?

    Whatever dude.

    I find your whining about the WGA (how many posts have you done on that like 4000) and your lack of respect or even empathy in regards to other people’s struggle a bit disturbing.

    You are a total dismissive racist and the only reason more people aren’t saying anything about it is because they know its a completely waste of time.

    You call that reverse racism. Yeah just keep up the post about “oh my god it’s raining,” and “oh my god the producers did this to me.”

    The people who come here are invited by OUR government, so why don’t you come up for a nice slur for them and stop misdirecting your anger.

    Go join the Minute Men if you are so concerned, oh yeah, but you’re not a racist, not like them…


  8. I came to this country and had to go through so much crap and paperwork to get myself proper visas and work permits, when all they do is take a stroll down Alverado St. Becoming a LEGAL immigrant is still a possibility, no matter what is your race and ethnicity!

  9. If you don’t agree with how some people come about living in the US that’s fine, BUT to refer to someone as a slur which “illegal”
    to me clearly is, is not right.

    Now if this was a personal blog I wouldn’t say anything, but this is a big blog. And I don’t want people from other places reading it and thinking that my city is filled with closed minded ignorant people, so I’m going to continue to comment in regards to certain things.

    Calling someone illegal does not lend itself to any kind of constructive discussion. You can have a conversation about your opinions without resorting to racial slurs and I’m sorry calling someone “illegal” seems like a slur, because if you asked someone about referring to people as the n word in 1930 do you know what they would say.

    “I don’t have a problem with them, but they are n******”


  10. comparing illegals to the n word is truly dumb. one can’t help the color of their skin. but these people chose to be illegal. should we also change what we call murderers, rapists, and drunk drivers?

    if they came here illegally, they are ILLEGAL. not sure why that’s hard to understand.

  11. I think it’s very disingenuous for both sides to argue that we don’t have EXACTLY the system we want. Cheap goods, cheap housing, compliant and underpaid labor.

    It’s not just pay. We Americans think that certain kinds of labor are beneath us. It’ll take more than increasing pay to make most Americans to work on a feed lot.

    Legal immigration is nice in concept, but have you ever spoken to anyone going through the process lately? We don’t really offer much of an alternative. We are nowhere close to providing the levels of legal immigration our economy demands.

    America loves illegal immigration, but hates the illegal immigrants. We are such assholes.

  12. So someone can control if they are born in the US or not?

    The USA was built on slavery and seems to be addicted to it, so now that they can’t get free labor from black people they get almost free labor from immigrants, so it seems pretty similar to me.

    So you are comparing someone who comes to the US for a better life to a murderer now? So you think that illegal immigration is on par with murder and rape…okie dokie.

    Those damn illegals.

    Those damn n******s.

    That’s something that you hear. Never really hear people say, “those damn rapists,” but maybe you live in a different kind of place.

    The US corporation in all its wisdom created working conditions in Mexico so heinous that people have to move here so it is slavery in a new PC and slick way.

    So is everyone trying to say the sentiment people conjure up when saying illegal isn’t the same as the n word…

    So are you guys talking about illegal Irish or Russian or British immigrants, when you say illegal who are you good old boys talking about?


  13. “We Americans think that certain kinds of labor are beneath us. It’ll take more than increasing pay to make most Americans to work on a feed lot.”

    RDM, the point of what I wrote is that Americans in general don’t have problem with these jobs, but just in areas like Los Angeles. Across the midwest, plenty of regular Americans work the farms.
    But you’re right about the process. Its a tangled mess. It should be a lot easier for people to come here legally.
    Personally, I think the problem stems from corporations and individuals exploiting the cheap labor.

    Browne, I don’t know if you actually read, but the term illegal was used by both the Daily News and the County of Los Angeles. I have Mexican friends who use the term illegal. And friends of mine who are here “undocumented” understand and aren’t offended by the term “illegal.” Maybe they’re all self hating racists.

  14. David, I gotta chime in here.

    I have lived in many countries in my life, and I know many sides of the whole illegal immigration debate. I also know a damn good deal about language, its power and vernacular in general.

    To be sure, the relatively new term “illegal” is replacing “nigger,” “wetback,” “chink,” “mick” and all manner of offensive terms. Now that some states are attempting to make illegal these terms, there is the burgeoning mindset that racialism will be erased. It will not, and the words that were once used to describe subhumans will only be replaced.

    A curse of an outline of history will reveal that when the economy goes down, nationalist tempers go up. Scapegoats are sought, and there will be griping, then lynching.

    Dross such as the Daily News – a laughing stock among professional journalists, I can assure you – are the same firms that pushed for NAFTA, which is why the problem with mexicans emigrating to the U.S. in larger numbers than ever before, is occurring.

    As for friends, well, I had black friends in the south – Montgomery, AL, no less – in the mid to late 1970s. (I had just moved back from Okinawa, where daily stonings from the rooftops of homes along the route I took to get to my folks house (I were in primary school) prompted strange sprinting contests. They were the children of grandparents perished in WWII, you see.) Nevertheless, I did not use the word “nigger” when talking to them, even as they did frequently.

    And since you make it a personal attack – not to mention that you are a moderator who, according to a phone call that prompted me to read your poorly constructed rejoinders on this thread, has kept some of Browne’s comments from appearing in responce – to imply Browne is illiterate, let me state that anyone who seriously quotes the Daily News is a moron. The Daily News should be delivered with Crayons.

  15. “So are you guys talking about illegal Irish or Russian or British immigrants, when you say illegal who are you good old boys talking about?” Browne

    “I have Mexican friends who use the term illegal.” David

    Oh, so you’re talking about Mexicans. Not just some crime that can be committed by anyone.

    I just wanted some honesty and you gave it to me.

    I’m done on this thread.


  16. Browne and Bustard:
    By your logic, the term “terrorist” is also racist nowadays, since, by matter of numbers, people are probably referring to Muslims.

    Not all Hispanics or Latinos are “illegaly” here in the U.S. The term illegal doesn’t apply to them.

    The term “illegals” doesn’t apply to anyone of Latino or Hispanic origin or ancestry. Just the people here illegally.

    And to be true, there are assholes who think anyone with brown skin is an illegal, but because a segment of society use the term “illegal” as a slur, doesn’t make the word in general a slur.

    However, by generalizing anyone who uses the term “illegal” is indeed arrogant at best, and arguably a case of reverse racism.

    But again I ask, what should I use for shorthand to refer to people who are in this country illegally? I’m sure any abbreviated term is something you would take as being considered racist.

  17. browne,

    your argument is that illegals are human. are murderers, rapists and drunk drivers not human? and how about a little respect for the pedophiles? stop being racist!

    those damn pedophiles
    those damn n******s

  18. Converting a adjective “illegal” into a descriptive noun “Illegal’s” reduces these same people to the verb in question. It reduces the problem to a law. The problems are so much more complex than. If it were as simple as legal or illegal, it wouldn’t be such an issue.

    By your logic, there’s no insult in calling people who fuck fuckers.

  19. I think if I was writing an entry about people having sex, if I need to abbreviate them, calling them fuckers would be fine.

    Would calling them “undocumented residents” make a difference, or just take up more space and appear to be pandering?

    I’m getting the impression that spinning the language isn’t whats at issue – its an effort to smear anyone who is critical of illegal immigration as a racist. Really lame, because not only is it a sophmoric approach, it only backfires and makes the issue two sided… things are much more complex than that.

  20. Gee, nice to see a blog about LA become a soapbox for illegal immigrant bashing.

    I thought this country celebrated the notion of moving up from menial jobs to the middle class, now all of a sudden these children of privelege want to start picking crops and cleaning houses? Until the PC 1960s, LA was promoted as a place whites could benefit off of a menial underclass of Latinos (and still do), david mopes about illegals working at McD’s or whatnot being a problem, but that glut of labor at the lower end has enabled thousands of legal citizens an opportunity to rise up into management or other supervisorial roles.

    Once you climb up the work chain you’ll find the working class black and white folks, enjoyong the benefit of of having an open mind and learning a few spanish phrases. Most people would consider that a blessing, and I would beg of you to find a significant portion of whites or blacks clamoring for Mcd’s jobs or housecleaning work that cannot find them. Illegals should be thanked for preserving the few jobs left in this country, as every possible job is outsourced to bangladesh or vietnam.

    Plus, thru those fraudelent SS#s , illegals pump over $15 billion into Soical Security. Numerous objective reports by states such as California and Texas and other credible sources have concluded that illegals present a much higher net benefit to this country than they consume.

    Now David, remeber who slaughtered and picked your food, landscaped your dwelling, possibly cleans your place, cooked your last restaraunt dinner, etc., etc.

    To semi-quote Bill Maher:
    “you have to usually be married and older to hate your life so much that you blame mexicans for your problems”.

    I can also present several other facts as to why this anti illegal mindset is illogical, pompous and flat out hateful and wrong.

  21. I’m curious, if things are so great in the Midwest that middle class people can work at Taco Bell (of all places) then why are so many people moving here?
    My advice, don’t live in Los Angeles. There are plenty of cities like Portland, OR for instance, where you won’t see people selling micas on the corners and the homogeneous population is probably very comforting.
    Also, I would agree with Browne, the term “illegals” is very offensive. I mean, c’mon we are all “illegals” don’t tell me you all haven’t at one point or another broken the speed limit, stole shit from work and used illegal drugs. An action may be illegal but not a person.

  22. Wow, Art, I can’t believe you’re supporting identity theft and then expect me to take any more of your comment seriously.

    And I would hardly take one post to be considered illegal bashing.

    If anything, I find the idea of business exploiting cheap illegal labor to be more racist than anything. People, include pro-illegals, complain that everyone takes advantage and benefits from what they call “slave labor”, but in the same breath support the slave labor. I don’t quite get it.

    There’s a lot of bitching on these comments, but not a single suggested solution. Not to what I should refer to illegal immigrants as that isn’t so offensive to the PC crowd. There is just a lot of blame. Really weak.

    $444 million dollars was lost to fraud, and the commenters here think its okay and not worth discussing, and the one person who does think its worth discussing believes that identifty theft and fraud is good for the economy.

    I think I’m gonna join El Chavo in the line for food stamps.

  23. David, the whole problem with your post is your Taco Bell story. (And quoting Daily News, but that’s a separate issue.) If you had not included that tiny little anectdote, we wouldn’t have any ammunition. But you insinuated, through that story, that you were talking about Hispanic people. (Mexicans, probably.) Seriously, do you think we don’t know that Taco Bell has a history of employing many Hispanic employees here in Southern California?

    And then you include your observation about “house cleaning,” a job that, indeed, a great deal of Hispanic people are known to do.

    So when you say that whites are doing the jobs that “illegals” are usually willing to do, it’s not hard for us to draw a line between your use of “illegals” and “Mexicans.”

    Even if you didn’t intend it, it’s pretty racist.

    That being said, this issue seems like a city issue. How is it that people are so easily able to scam a government agency?

    Personally, I could not care less if people are scamming Welfare to get some food. More power to them. Whether or not these people abide by the law, I still have to pay the same amount of taxes. If it’s indirectly heading towards someone else getting a meal they otherwise wouldn’t have, I’m fine with that.

  24. Mark, I brought up the Taco Bell and other anecdote in the face of the racist, falacious claim that “illegal immigrants do the work that Americans don’t want to do,” which is always brought up and rarely challenged. How I’m racist for pointing out a sort of segregation in this country is ludicrous.

    The fact is that in Los Angeles there’s a stigma attached to these jobs along with unnecessarily cheap wages that take advantage of illegal labor. To deny racism isn’t part of the equation is arrogance.

    Scamming welfare may sound trite, but it often involves identity theft. Unsure if you’ve ever had your ID taken, but it sucks. And if you don’t think this sort of fraud doesn’t mean effect your taxes, you’re living in a different dimension.

  25. DM,
    I suggest you do join me at the food stamp line to see how that system works. The people that think it’s easy to scam public services always tend to be those that have never needed to apply, and I can tell you that even as a citizen, it’s not easy getting the County to help you out. I’d bet that the real fraud is going inside the dept and someone just finds it easier to blame it on the line of applicants.

    One last thing, you made the mistake of equating race with the issue of immigration (“White high school kids!”) when you didn’t need to. Are all them wetback Canadians and Irish suddenly off the hook? Maybe you didn’t mean to, but that just feeds the animosity against Mexicans that is sweeping the nation. The situations you menitoned have more to do with class issues (a theme Coastal Whities seem to forget about) and not necessarily race.

  26. But who said that Americans won’t work at Taco Bell? Or clean houses? Or any of those things? I’m pretty sure you’re attributing those to the pro-immigration argument yourself and tearing the straw men down from there.

    The point Chimatli makes is also one you missed. You’ve deemed a person as a term for one simple action. “Illegals” doesn’t refer to a general population of people who have done something illegal. It refers only to a specific group of people who happen to have broken a single law. Pretty sad, right?

    The problem, and the inherent racism in your post, is that there’s no way you can ever prove that these “unwanted” jobs are filled up by illegal immigrants, though you insinuate that pretty strongly. If you’d avoid using absolutes and general, sweeping terms (like “illegals”), you’d see people wouldn’t react so strongly.

    Another point: In the future, if you’re going to address illegal immigration, I suggest you post something a bit more two-sided. It’s clear your intent was to say that illegal immigration is damaging our economy (with 3% of the Welfare budget?????), yet you don’t include a single fact or source that shows how much illegal immigrants actually benefit local, state, and national economies. Even on a basic level, there are people with capital who are spending it, usually in a local community, providing a boost to an economy that otherwise may have suffered.

    Take an economy class, Markland. Illegal immigration is hardly detrimental to our economy.

    Oh yeah, I’ve had my ID taken. And my wallet. And my rent money almost 2 years ago. All at the same time! So yes, I know how much it sucks.

  27. Yay…white kids in CT are employed!

    What you describe has nothing to do with illegal immigrants. Get outside LA proper…Only on the Westside (Silver Lake to the ocean) do I get adults, regardless of color, serving me no matter the business. I grew up in West Covina, where I was guaranteed a teen, again regardless of color, will handle my transaction. Did you know that in order to work in a clothing store on Melrose, they prefer you to have a college education preferably with a background in Fashion Merchandising? When I go into a Starbucks in West Hollywood, I’m tended to by a 27 year old actor. When I go into a Starbucks in Riverside I’m tended to by a 16 – 19 year old student. Kids growing up in LA would love to be able to get jobs, but out of work actors, writers, and other “artists” are keeping them from being able to. Exactly what does illegal immigration have to do with any of this?

    If you want to be served your faux Mexican food by only young white people, maybe you should go back to CT.

    I am very interested in finding out how you know that the people who work at Taco Bell’s in LA are illegal immigrants. Hell, I’m sure the INS would love to have you on board too. Or is this just based on skin color and accent? Because that just falls into another racist trap.

    I had a neighbor who lived in the US for years and was an illegal immigrant. She’s from Australia. I can list 13 Canadians (white, black and Asian) living in Silver Lake who are illegal immigrants and they’ve lived here for at least 13 years. I know Black illegal immigrants from Belize, Brazil and various Caribbean islands. What about all the illegal Armenians in Glendale, Persians in the Valley, Chinese in the San Gabriel Valley, Russians in West Hollywood or Pakistanis in OC? I just met a lady last month who is an illegal immigrant, she’s from Germany. I only know this because I asked or they volunteered the info. But you are obviously blessed with a super power that Tancredo, Hunter and the Minutemen would love to have.

  28. “Illegals” doesn’t refer to a general population of people who have done something illegal. It refers only to a specific group of people who happen to have broken a single law. Pretty sad, right?

    Great point, although “illegals” in the case of the post is appropriate. The report from the County refers to illegal immigrants. But point taken.

    And I’ve never claimed that 100% of those jobs are taken by illegal immigrants. I’m merely challenging the argument that is used by “pro-undocumented workers” that is frequently brought up. That said, a signifigant portion of poorly paid maintainence, cleaning, and other jobs are taken by illegal workers, whereas in many more rural parts of the country these jobs are taken by high school kids and the working class, no stigma attached.

    El Chavo! makes an even better point that this may be more a class issue than a race or illegal immigration issue, which may have some truth to it. Fabooj’s comment alludes to this as well (but then devolves into an unprovoked, uncharacteristic personal attack).

    Panasonic Youth claims that illegal immigration helps an economy, and to some degree he may be right. But I think anyone with or without a grasp on economics fundamentals knows that too much illegal immigration and illegal labor is never a good thing, for workers, legal residents, or the government. Whether thats where we’re at or not is arguable.

  29. Fabooj, you should be writing for Metroblogging!
    Thanks for your comments, I too have known French (lots, many live in Venice BTW), Scottish and British people who are here illegally but they are not usually the people getting blamed for crap when the anti-immigrant crowd starts pointing fingers.

    Oh, and sorry for insinuating Connecticut is the Midwest. My LAUSD education really wasn’t that bad.

  30. Any person legal or illegal that works and receives a paycheck is paying income tax and the employer is paying payroll tax. In addition any purchase made by said persons are subject to sales tax. Somehow I’m betting that the system is getting a decent return on the services provided.

    I’m with El Chavo, lets look closer at fraud in the system.

  31. I knew when I read this blog this morning the words were gunna hit the fan. This is an issue with many points of view. But I don’t understand why most people don’t talk about the real issue, why poor immigrants come here. In my view it is because big corporations want CHEAP LABOR which results in more profit. Who cares about paying a living wage.. That is why so many Walmartesque employees of any race and resident status are also on some kind of government aid. I find it funny that all these politicians don’t want to really talk about making a sensible immigration policy because their big corporate donors don’t want it changed. Democrats don’t want it changed because they are afraid they might lose a core demographic. And the Republicans while spewing the bad economy, poor schools, crime and declining American values are the immigrants fault, when the Republicans themselves stop immigration laws from being enforced so their corporate fat cat friends have cheap labor. And what happens when we have a couple of generations of people that don’t make a living wage. I’m not positive but I’m pretty sure it’s not good.

    Yes illegal immigrants generally pay taxes, work hard and abide by all the laws except the ones pertaining to their resident status. Not that I am excusing violating the law because this is a problem. I have a relative who works for the IRS who says tax time is hellish now cause of all the mixed up TAX ID and SS numbers as a result of stolen ids from illegal immigration. Also I know people who’s credit have been adversely affected from stolen ids. And there is a burden on government funds. But more of a burden than all the freebies corporations get.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT anti-capitalism. I just remember when a time when I was taught capitalism was busineses and people competing in a free market to provide the best product. Now it is businesses selling in a legally rigged economy with cheap products and little costumer service that provide them the most profit.

    But lets face it the immigrants are NOT bringing down the United States. Immigrants today who are legal and illegal are being accused of the same things my Irish and Greek ancestors were accused of over 100 years ago. Seems like the country is still here. My ancestors didn’t bring down America after all.

    Plus lets be realistic we can’t find the top 10 people on the FBI’s most wanted list in any reasonable amount of time, so I have a feeling we are not rounding up approx. 12 million immigrants with jobs and families and deporting them. How do we deport them anyway. JetBlue gets snowed in for a day and they have to shut down for a week.

    To sum up the problem is corporations wanting cheap labor to maximize their profits while putting a toll on the tax payers to make up for a living wage. Thanks corporate fat cats and your political and lobbyist cronies for subversively fanning the flames of hate while you make profits from it.

  32. Whatever the case, this discussion could go on endlessly with no resolution or harmony.

    Excuse, but jobs like fast food, minimum wage service job, are NOT the jobs in question when talking about illegal aliens and the jobs they hold.

    I’m talking picking cherries in the San Joaqin Valley when it’s 119 or 28 degrees, beginning at dusk.

    So you gonna tell me Biffy or Craig from middle class suburbia will take those jobs for minimum wage??? LOL sure thing, I’ll buy that.

    Minimum wage fast food is middle class entry level for kids, it is not what illegals grab. Sorry folks.

  33. Thanks for the rebuttals Mark, the problem is that david is not dense, it’s that he does not want to address my comments and would prefer a copout excuse that makes little sense. Noting a positive fact that comes from a negative action is not advocating it, especially when it comes from a person who has been the victim of ID theft myself, but David would prefer to act ignorant rather than recognize the fact that he is wrong.

    David is taking the cliched anti-illegal debate route, making malicious oversimplified statements at first, acting overly dense about common facts next, and then taking the “I’m against the exploitation of these people, and since you are arguing against my vitriole you must support the exploitation” hyperbole to make his case seem less ignorant and xenophobic.

    I’m also against the exploitation of these people, so I pay the lady from oaxaca a fair wage for helping my elderly grandmotherat her house. I would prefer that the countries where illegal immigration is coming from be granted a much larger quota and a much cheaper and more streamlined process, so that even if they are relegated to a class of menial labor (as the bulk of them still would, legal or illegal), they at least have some kind of legal standing and all the negative aspects associated with the illegality issue be mitigated as much as possible.

    I also wish we would teach the ignorant entitled americans whining about illegals the truth about our country’s continued involvement in the economic demise of much of Latin America, and the fact that these people are economic refugees, as well as how this whole situation benefits/ted us tremendously.

    The whole annoying thing about david’s initial post, and undignified “why are you calling me racist now?” backtrack is that it’s tired, stale and he expects us to be that dumb to buy it. David, what made you think up this thread and take the time and energy to create it? Have you met a large chunk of unemployed legal citizens (white or black or latino) who are dying to work in menial jobs but are shut out if them in LA? Do you really think that we would buy your logic to connect white kids working menial jobs in Ct. and the daily nooz’ one sided article about illegal costs, yet inability to connect the numerous illegals that help facilitate your priveleged lifestyle as valid, acceptable or even digestable? Do you really think anyone here is dumb enough to accept your rants as anything but illegal bashing? You must not know this city well enough, or at least not as well as the brown guys who wipe your butt on a daily basis.

    Those initial lies and blatant hostility can be knocked down on so many levels, again i have numerous valid facts to disprove all of this nonsense as well as almost all of the anti-illegal argument.

  34. Quick pit stop…

    The “pro illegal” side is so funny. Race card throw down every time these topics are brought up.

    Facts and figures in the forefront, the broken fence along the border is killing this country culturally and economically.

    Now Browne and others can go back to their racism rants.


  35. Jimmy, you should take a longer stop next time and read what we had to say. We’re not that easy to discount.

    I’d really love to hear all of the reasons you think immigration is killing this country culturally and economically.

  36. Jimmy,
    Your statement that “the broken fence along the border is killing this country culturally” is yet another to throw on the pile of xenophobic nonsense that makes up the bulk of anti-immigrant arguments. If you all want to make a realistic case against immigrants, you might want to divorce it from your petty hatred of the other.

  37. What an incredibly uninformed screed!

    First of all, white collar crime (committed predominantly by white people) places a much greater burden on society than the low incidence of welfare fraud. Further, the presentation of one statistic regarding the cost of undocumented immigration does nothing to demonstrate that undocumented residents of LA contribute disproportionately to welfare fraud. It would actually appear that undocumented immigrants account for less than their share (by population) of welfare fraud. Not to mention that this naked statistic fails to account for the economic benefits that undocumented workers bring to the economy, and thus fails to demonstrate that the net effect of undocumented immigration is actually negative at all. This is analogous to pointing out that water is capable of killing without noting any of the potential benefits of water that also accompany the risk of drowning. In rational discourse, we try to assess the balance between negative and positive factors rather than leap wildly to conclusions based on a single observation.

    As for the terminology “illegals”: that is a piece of racist rhetoric that has been (perhaps innocently) adopted by proponents of stronger immigration controls. Being an undocumented immigrant has not been criminalized in this country, and it is therefore a misnomer to refer to immigrants without papers (hence undocumented) as “illegal”. This little word game serves to promote racism by suggesting the current wave of Latino immigrants (the only population that has been consistently labeled “illegals” by the media, despite there being other undocumented populations in this country) is not merely undocumented, but also poses a larger threat. You may think that “illegals” is a fair and technical term, but it is actually inaccurate and reflects a bias against a particular perceived race of people.

    And yes — look at me — I am pulling the race card! Racism still exists! If this was merely a matter of immigration and documentation, then the bullshit anecdote about seeing white people working in fast food would be utterly moot. It is racist to assume that most of the non-white probable Latinos you encounter are undocumented immigrants, just as it is racist to assume that a non-white person doing a job that a white person is capable of means that they are “taking” white people’s work!! This is exactly the sort of thing that was said when slaves were freed – “Oh no! The negroes are going to steal OUR jobs!” Same thing when women began to enter the modern workplace — complaints that “women are taking jobs that MEN could be doing!” The logic only works if there is an assumed superiority — in this case, the superiority of white people over those-who-appear-to-be-Latino-and-therefore-might-be-here-without-papers.

    If you would like to believe that people of your genetic haplotype deserve certain types of jobs more than people of other genetic haplotypes (which you ignorantly equivalate with a particular immigration status), you can go right ahead. Just don’t be surprised when people call you out for racism.

  38. “By your logic, the term “terrorist” is also racist nowadays, since, by matter of numbers, people are probably referring to Muslims.”

    The problem is that you are not looking at an undocumented immigrant an assuming that they are Mexican, it is that you are looking at Mexicans and assuming that they are undocumented. I’m sure you would agree that assuming that all or most Muslims are terrorists is a racist charge. Why not the same for Latin American immigrants?

    In any case, we can agree that terrorists are (by definition) doing harm, but there is not agreement about the negative impact of undocumented immigration. Let’s not forget that these are not terrorists we are talking about!

    There is, however, a valid point to be made that Latin Americans are being targeted and stereotyped because they are the most visible undocumented population. There are other undocumented populations in this country which do not undergo the sort of scrutiny that Latin American people undergo simply because they do not “look” like an undocumented immigrant. Whether or not a Latin American person is more likely than average to be an undocumented immigrant, no individual should be stereotyped based on their race (or religion, etc.). I don’t assume that the white men I meet are probably serial killers just because white men are more likely than average to be serial killers — nor do I assume that the gay men I meet have HIV, that the women I meet drive minivans, or that the Latin Americans I meet are undocumented.

    Statistical discrimination is still discrimination, folks.

  39. Gosh, Tash. Great rebuttal. But if my post indicated any sort of fear that another race might take jobs away from white people, I think I either didn’t explain myself thoroughly enough, or everyone is just sensitive. Again, I was making a point that there are no jobs Americans don’t want. If employers pay enough, that is.

    But I agree racism is a factor to all of this. But assuming, as many here do, that anyone who is critical of illegal racism is also racist, which some above commenters frequently do, is a prejudice and ridiculous unto itself.

    Jimmy, as much as I wish I could welcome you as someone who agrees with me, I simply can’t. The problem isn’t a broken fence, its employers who take advantage of illegal labor. Its a Federal system that looks the other way because their richest tax payers are reaping the benefits. And, in part, its due to bad trade policies, both on the US side and elsewhere, along with poor government everywhere, that drives people here for a better chance to take care of themselves and their families.

    Culturally, I don’t see damage. I see America continuing to evolve. I love the Mexican influence in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

    Call me racist, but I think its signifigant that you rarely ever see Latino or Hispanic homeless. The $444 million aside, people don’t move here to sit around – they move to the US to work. The guys in front of Home Depot aren’t there looking for a handout – they’re looking to earn a day to day paycheck until something more steady comes along.

    Unfortunately, immigration is a polarizing issue with many complexities, but people are quick to jump either on the “deport them all” or “amnesty for all” guns that its hard to have an open and civil conversation about it.

  40. I completely agree with EL CHAVO’s point.

    Oh and by the way, what’s up with the icon on YOUR SITE? It could be a lentil with a fisherman’s hat, but REEEEEEAAALLLY it looks like a sleeping bean with a sombrero!


  41. Ritzy, I’m not really sure what that is. I asked a blog friend to design a character for me, and that what he came up with. Feel free to read into it what you want. Thanks for stalking! ;)

  42. @Markland

    Oh man…I’m sorry, but I’ve been homeless. I was homeless in LA for a little over 3 years. Yes there are Latino homeless people. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean that it’s a rarity. Just down my street is a Latino family living out of two minivans. I’ve also volunteered at homeless shelters in LA, the San Gabriel Valley and San Bernardino County and there were definitely homeless Latinos there.

    And I completely agree with El Chavo’s remark about getting welfare. Unless you really desparately need it, it’s just not worth the hassle. You get treated like crap, talked down to like you’re a complete moron (in my case by people who had less education than I did) and you have to jump through some serious hoops to get aid. And as a homeless black woman in LA, you don’t even want to know with all the assumptions made by caseworkers. The people who just assumed that because I am a black female that I had been in jail, expressed shock that at the age of 22 I had no kids, or didn’t do drugs or drink.

    But enough about me…you quote a story from one newspaper. All the studies done in LA and around the country have proven that illegal immigrants do not burden hospitals, schools or any other social service. The fact that you’re complaining about such a small drop in the bucket when our city “leaders” just hand out millions of dollars of welfare to developers and industry types shows a severe shortsightedness.

    @Devour U.
    Your comment was right on. When I see the unemployment rate of black men at 6 – 13% higher than the rest of the nation and hear some media fed numbnuts talk about “Illegal immigrants do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.” I just about hit the roof. I know black men in Los Angeles who have tried to get jobs picking produce in the Central Valley, but the landowners don’t want black men. They have several reasons why; most false, all racists. There was is a building on Wilshire Blvd. downtown that, back in 1993, used to have 12 black security guards. Now they have 4 Latino guards. When I interviewed the security company, they said that despite the fact that all their guards are born in America, the clients figured they could pay the Latinos less than the black guys AND have them work longer hours. Shocker, but they were right.

    So, on all sides of this equation, people no matter their race or citizenship status are getting screwed.

  43. I barely skimmed through the comments, since they’re very long and rather flame-ish. But in case no one else mentioned it, I would like to point out the obvious, that 444 million is not less than 3% of 1.8 billion. It’s 24.7%. You’re off by a decimal place, jk2001. And even if you were right, it’s still $444 million, and that’s still a lot of money.

  44. To everyone concerned about the racial terms in this thread:

    I’d recommend we tone down the rhetoric. Specifically, let’s avoid using overtly racist language, and let’s avoid accusing other people of racism.

    In both cases, the language becomes so inflammatory that your point gets lost.

    Wouldn’t you rather persuade and enlighten than condmen and infuriate?

  45. Markland, you’re using absolutes again. You said, “There are no jobs Americans don’t want.” I hate to be a semantical asshole, but what does this even mean? Any attempt to dissect it breaks it down. Of course, there probably isn’t a job in this country that an American wouldn’t want to do. The point is that there are numerous positions that the vast majority of Americans simply don’t want to do. A big difference. Couple that with the desire for corporations to cut costs, and you’ve got an environment ripe for the desire to hire people at lower wages, people who are so desperate to make a living, they’ll take these jobs. (Undocumented workers, “illegal” immigrants, legal immigrants, documented workers, ALL PART of the LOWER CLASS.

    You said this: “But assuming, as many here do, that anyone who is critical of illegal racism is also racist, which some above commenters frequently do, is a prejudice and ridiculous unto itself.”

    I assume you mean illegal immigration, not illegal racism. If so, then you missed the point again. We don’t think people critical of immigration are racist. We think you, your ideas, your use of the word “illegal,” and the terribly xenophobic attacks against immigration are racist.

  46. the fact remains that there are two kinds of immigration. legal and illegal. a distinction should be made between the two.

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