Saturday, June 23

Immigration and Talk Radio -- mixing it up

What does immigration and talk radio have to do with each other, you might ask? Evidently, a lot.

What’s most surprising about the recent assault on talk radio is that the criticism came first from a Republican. Sen. Trent Lott (Miss.), who had grown frustrated with the steady drumbeat of opposition to the immigration bill, lashed out at talk-radio hosts, suggesting they were ignorant and needed to be brought into line.

When anyone starts lashing out as a result of healthy debate on any political issue, you know the conversation has been poisoned. We cannot let the personal emotions impact our ability to have a rational and respectful debate on the issue of illegal immigration, farm labor, legal immigration, and the American culture. It's detrimental to all and to our country.

But for as bad as Lott’s comments were — for him personally and for their negative impact on the immigration bill — they were mild in comparison to the assault coming from the left.

Two liberal groups, the Center for American Progress and Free Press, last week issued a report claiming 91% of talk radio is conservative. Their recommendation: Get the politicians in Washington, D.C., to fix the problem.

Now that's a novel idea...get the government to fix it. There are to obvious problems with this statement, if you didn't catch it. One, talk radio is not broken. Free market forces have shaped the industry to what it is. Like Heritage Foundation's James Gatusso said, "...conservative talk radio is more successful because it is more popular." He has a full post on this talk radio issue over at The Technology Liberation Front titled "Correcting the Consumer: New Report Urges Washington to Fix Talk Radio “Structural Imbalance.”

HT: Rob Bluey

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Six National Latino organizations Against Immigration Bill

Diversity Inc. is reporting "the groups in opposition are the Hispanic Federation, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the William C. Velasquez Institute." They are calling it, "immigrant apartheid."

Interestingly enough,
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Latino civil-rights group, was not part of the coalition of six groups.
Antonio Gonzalez, president of the William C. Velasquez Institute Antonio Gonzalez had this to say:
"If enacted, the current Senate proposal would codify a system of immigrant apartheid as United States policy, which is despicable and not supported by the Latino community."
I don't know enough about the immigration bill to have an educated opinion, but since I am blogging about it, I'll need to do some further research. But, considering who is opposed to it, it makes me wonder if its going in the right direction?
These groups are not alone. Labor groups including the AFL-CIO announced yesterday that they also want the bill scrapped. "This takes a problem we have and, instead of solving it, makes it worse," stated Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO.
I'm concerned that La Raza is not fighting against it... I wonder why?

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The Invisible Hand and the Immigration debate

The whole idea that the American economy would collapse without immigration labor is false. It goes against basic economic principles. If American farmers didn't have cheap immigrant labor, they would adjust and figure out a way to get the harvest in.

Case in point:

Vision Robotics, a San Diego company, is working on a pair of robots that would trundle through orchards plucking oranges, apples or other fruit from the trees. In a few years, troops of these machines could perform the tedious and labor-intensive task of fruit picking that currently employs thousands of migrant workers each season.

The robotic work has been funded entirely by agricultural associations, and pushed forward by the uncertainty surrounding the migrant labor force. Farmers are "very, very nervous about the availability and cost of labor in the near future," says Vision Robotics CEO Derek Morikawa.

Not that I have any problem with migrant labor or immigration for that matter--I don't. But I do have a problem with using false absolutes as arguments for amnesty. Business interests that are pushing for relaxation of our immigration laws, or of the enforcement of our laws, are simply pushing for the status quo. Everyone knows that there is little to no innovation in the status quo.

Not surprisingly, it was a Latino socialist who stood in the way of the development of these robots.

But it wasn't just technological challenges that held back previous attempts at building a mechanical harvester –- politics got involved, too. Cesar Chavez, the legendary leader of the United Farm Workers, began a campaign against mechanization back in 1978.

Chavez was outraged that the federal government was funding research and development on agricultural machines, but not spending any money to aid the farm workers who would be displaced. In the '80s, that simmering anger merged with a growing realization that the technology was nowhere near ready, and government funding dried up.

I don't think the federal government should be spending on either -- let the farmers invest in R&D, and let the local states and counties invest in job training for farm workers in need of new work.

My opinion: We should be investing more in helping Latin American countries fight corruption (carrot AND stick...) and develop their own economies so their entire male populations don't feel the desperate life-threatening need to immigrate to the US. Please understand -- I'm not angry at the immigrant; I'm angry at the corrupt politicians who are bleeding their countries to death for their own gain.

HT: Instapundit

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