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The importance of immigrants to the Boston economy

Without immigrants, construction, hotels and restaurants in Boston might grind to a halt, according to a study by the BPDA posted last week.

Using data from 2014, the agency found that roughly 40% of Boston residents who work in construction - and 41% of all Boston residents who work in hotels and restaurants were born somewhere other than the US. In fact, 30% of all Bostonians with a job are foreign born, the study says, adding that Dominicans and Haitians are the two largest groups of foreign-born workers, at about 10% each, followed by people from China and El Salvador.

The number of jobs held by native-born residents has increased since 1980, just nowhere near the explosive growth seen by foreign-born residents.

The BPDA adds:

Boston's immigrant population has a significant economic impact on the local economy through their spending.
They spend from their after-tax earnings, more than $3.6 billion annually. These annual expenditures generate more
than $1.2 billion in State and Federal tax revenues and contribute almost $3.6 billion to the regional product.

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Comments

The real issue Isn't whether immigrants are important to the economy - of course they are!

The real issue is whether our economy could afford 100% compliance with labor regulation, or whether we enjoy our cheap restaurants, hotels, and other services only because people are being payed less than minimum wage and denied the benefits and protections that labor regulations grant.

You can't simultaneously be in favor of strong labor regulations and undocumented immigration, and this is a dilemma I wish the Democrats would address. Economists generally think that adding an able bodied citizen worker to the US is a net benefit -- massively opened immigration is the logical conclusion.

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Yes, we could afford to pay people in accord with strong labor regulations, but that means the owners might not be able to buy a new yacht or Lexus this year. Tough call, I know, and really the owners are more valuable human beings than the rest of us, but maybe "what we can afford" isn't always being argued in good faith.

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The headline says, 'the importance of immigrants...'
That's not the point and it's not the issue. The point is, the presence of illegal, or perhaps, undocumented, or as the report calls them, unauthorized immigrants.
So, SCOTUS says 'illegal' but if you wish, we can say 'unauthorized'. Fine. If you insist it's about money, and you're right, because it's always about money, then the answer should follow readily.
Present yourself to any authorized US port of call. Start the paperwork. Work towards becoming like the legal immigrants that fill in the bulk of the people in this report.

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I have freelance jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry and see about 75% of back-of-house workers are immigrants. But they are being paid at or above minimum wage and following normal work/safety regulations. I wouldn't be surprised if some have presented forged documents (I really have no idea) but they are being paid legally, provided health benefits, etc. No questions it's "basic" healthcare but it is in compliance with laws.

In Boston you're unlikely to find many native born Americans who want or need to work for minimum wage in remedial jobs. But working for minimum wage is legal. If these immigrants can lead a better life in the US and fill jobs few others want, there's no problem.

Show proof if you want to claim most of these people are skirting laws beyond immigration status.

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Unfortunately, I'm having a brain cramp, but we should remember that there was once a pizza chain in Boston that was notorious for getting "undocumented" immigrants from Brazil to work for them, then paying them below minimum wage and not paying them for overtime. Thankfully, they were put out of business after being sued by employees for not paying them what they should have.

I don't have any knowledge about the food service industry or other industries where one might find those not authorized to work in the US, but I would imagine that labor standards are not that high.

And do note that I am keying in on those who should not, by law, be working in the US. Obviously, those here working legally at least should know their rights.

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It was Upper Crust and they got caught after a while.

No doubt some employers are using immigration status as a way of making money while threatening employees with telling ICE if they complain. But someone needs to show proof before claiming a majority of immigrants in Boston are being exploited and/or immigrants are "stealing" jobs that would otherwise be held by naturally born Americans.

The right thing to do is make it easier for these low wage / low skill employees to work legally, not threaten them. The only thing Trump's immigration plan is doing is making it less likely for immigrants to call out employers who are exploiting them.

If you kick out immigrants Boston is only going to become a more expensive city which will further squeeze the middle class and send a bunch of people back to impoverished countries. Hardly a win-win.

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is that you're demanding evidence of a problem that lives in clandestinity. by its very nature its going to be very very difficult to produce the kind of "evidence" you want. because if it was so obvious and well-documented, it would be prosecuted more.

I've worked with immigrant communities in Boston, Somerville, East Boston and Western Mass. I guarantee you wage theft and threats of ICE are widespread, and not just in the restaurant industry.

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The BPDA article treats all immigrants equally. Nobody will ever accuse me of being an apologist for Trump - but he has a few good points about immigration. We need to reduce the number of people here illegally/without proper documentation - whatever. And we need to be much more analytical and strategic about who gets to come in. Many countries use age, education, wealth and more to qualify for immigration status - and we should do the same. Just about anybody with a pulse can wash dishes in a restaurant We'll need people to do that - but we can always find those people. What we need are people that can program computers, build robots, grown replacement organs in a lab, design products with better aesthetics and functionality while improving the environment and more.

And at the end of the day - if you are being threatened with having ICE called - you probably shouldn't be here (or you wouldn't care if they called ICE) Not saying that justifies exploitation - but if you are going to play in the traffic - you have a higher risk of getting run over by a truck than the rest of us.

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As a child?

The world ain't so tidy as you want it to be.

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And it's not fair either. The US can't save the world. We can do our part - but that's for Congress to decide, not foreigners looking to break our laws.

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It is about "paying for the huge messes that WE MADE of the rest of the world" by taking in refugees from those huge messes - be they Regan and Nixon travesties in Latin America or climate refugees made homeless by our spewing of crap into the air in outsize proportions.

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but if you are going to play in the traffic - you have a higher risk of getting run over by a truck than the rest of us.

uh, slow down chief. you really want to compare people desperate enough to leave their homes to the recklessness of "playing in traffic" with that kind of levity?

Not saying that justifies exploitation.

also, you literally just justified it. so...

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We need to reduce the number of people here illegally/without proper documentation - whatever. And we need to be much more analytical and strategic about who gets to come in.

Why is this a problem? So long as taxes are being paid and other labor laws are being followed, let them in.

The "problem" are employers who exploit people, not the workers themselves.

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Take a course in global demographics and economics. You'll figure it out pretty fast.

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Just answer the question - and, yes, we will screen that answer for lack of logic, lack of facts, and racist biases. Go ahead - failure to do so will result in our assumption that it is all three.

Meanwhile, we are one of the major climate fuckers on the earth - we should have to take climate refugees (as many as there are!) because we caused the problems.

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But I know, everyone that doesn't kiss the rong of progressive positions, no matter how stupid, is,automatically a racist.

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You were asked "why" and answered with something cryptic referencing knowledge that you assumed that people don't have.

Except some of us deal with issues of geodemographics and population statistics in the course of a typical work day, and I for one ain't buying your "answer".

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Try asking one of the 2 billion immigrants that start knocking on your door looking for a place to live. Maybe they can enlighten you as to the realities of "geodemographics" that you so assiduously study.

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I know how to deal with the 2 billion immigrants. I'll just have the circus ponies run them outta town.

What's that you say? Where did I get the circus ponies? The same place you got 2 billion immigrants.

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And you could get his 2 billion in due time.

Unless you think we should be limiting how many immigrants we let in to the country. That's kind of racist.

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Immigration is DOWN, Waquoit. It's down because we keep demonstrating what a shit country we are. People are going elsewhere. Wake the hell up.

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But it would appear that illegal immigration has faded a bit.

Any guesses as to how many people were admitted to work in the US the last year recorded?

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Because you are a racist.

I took those classes. Don't see any why in that other than "I've got mine and fuck you" why.

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You obviously failed the class.

Racist? How does,that work? This applies to Everyone regardless of race.

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Really? Racist? Does the report mention Irish, Europeans? Russians? Read the damn thing, you idiot.

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I did take the course. Very interesting. As I recall immigrants were let in fairly openly. These people made America what it is today. (One might say they made American Great.)

Of course, there used to be hatred and fear of Germans, Irish, Japanese, etc. That fear proved to be unfounded.

The only people to have been really hurt by immigration on this continent were the natives and Africans taken against their will.

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Over 7 BILLION people in this world outside the US, VERY few of whom enjoy our standard of living. How many of the billions that want what we have would land here if we opened borders because "they pay taxes" (ignoring that those taxes are dwarfed by the services we need to provide this population)?

The numbers don't even come close to working, and that's only a tiny fraction of this issue.

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How much will you pay to keep people where they are as the climate goes pear shaped?

After all, we ARE one of the bigger spewers of climate forcing gases. We DID fuck up many places in the course of recent history with coups and other ways of maintaining multinational corporate influence.

If you create refugees you should be given two choices:
1. take them in
2. pay to make their places sustainable

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Who procreated multiple times thus adding to the problem of the man without kids who lives in a building whose front door is about 8 feet above sea level.

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Nice.

If everyone had just two children, the population would drop.

If everyone had no children, and there were no immigration, you'd end your life in a pile of your own feces.

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For two adults.

Absolutely no contribution to overpopulation of anywhere.

Sorry. Nice try.

Funny how a guy who pitched fits over minimum wage and living wage discussions is bitching about immigrants - but, hey, if you really want to pay your cleaning crews a decent wage, keep it up.

Unless this is all about these harsh policies improving your ability to exploit immigrant workers out of their fear of the jackbooted ICE thugs.

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Pitched fits over minimum wage? Really - at most commented.

As for my "cleaning crews" - a LEGAL immigrant comes to our house every other week and we pay her a MULTIPLE of the minimum wage - including travel time. She's gotten two raises since she worked for us - both initiated by us.

Go find somebody else to accuse of "exploiting" people. Don't need to call ICE on somebody who is now a US citizen and votes.

BTW - carbon footprint is cumulative - if one person spews a ton of crap into the air - 2 spew twice as much, plus/minus variance for your bike riding etc.

Having two kids roughly doubles your lifetime carbon footprint. Having one between you cuts it in half and having NONE guarantees that your issue will never again damage the environment (or have 8 kids or some-such compounding the issue)

By not having kids, I've done more for the environment than all the biking and composting you will ever do in your life. I have no problem with people having kids (and actually love kids). But don't pretend to be concerned about the environment - just about the worst thing someone can do to the environment is have kids - especially if you live in a developed country. About the only thing worse than having one is having 2 or 3 or 4 or...

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Bull. Shit. Every letter in every word in every sentence.

Climate change used to be an excuse for Al Gore or Elon Musk to make you feel good for buying electric-powered snakeoil. A casual hobby form was riding a bicycle in traffic, slowing everyone else down, and acting smug about it. A more advanced form was to create a new form of mandatory monopoly money that those in the know could use to get slightly richer.

Now it's an excuse for inviting five billion other people in to help themselves to everyone's shit? The Left is insane. Literally. Literally-literally.

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Lol dude we're not even top 30 for standard of living in this world. In a case of open borders, people are going to flock to places with basic health care and maternity leave before the top producers of gun deaths in the first world. South and Central Americans are the only real demographic where it makes sense for them to shoot for the US and there's certainly not 7 billion of them.

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That would make the US a lot easier to migrate to than the top 30 countries for standard of living.

Africans would suddenly decide that Europe, with their nationalism and strong desire to keep them out, isn't for them. One would imagine that there are hundreds of millions in Asia, particularly South Asia, who would jump at the chance to live in the US, too.

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Fastest way to drop out of the top 30 is to open your borders and have millions of people paying minimal taxes and using huge resources.

The concept that we can economically absorb more than a couple million immigrants max annually is laughable. In the scope of the world that's a tiny number and we can afford to be VERY picky about who gets in.

And as someone that's traveled throughout the world, there probably aren't more than a handful of places most Americans would find comparable to.our standards. Go live there, my bet is you'll be back.

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...about the BPDA report. I read it. From the report:
"p06 This report compares the economic performance of Boston's immigrant workers to native-born workers. We first provide descriptive information on the composition of Boston's foreign-born res­ident workforce, their socio-economic characteristics, and their industry and occupational alloca­tions. We then investigate various labor market performance and standard of living indicators, com­paring immigrants to the native-born workforce. Finally, we investigate the relationship between labor market outcomes and individual characteristics"

So far, so good.
"p07 The Boston foreign-born resident labor force includes Boston residents who participate in the labor force and were born outside of the United States of parents who were not U.S. citizens. It includes naturalized U.S. citizens, authorized non-citizen immigrants, and unauthorized immigrants."

OK, so it looks like it might have some real statistics that matter to the 'legal-illegal' problem. So, I do a quick skim, lots of info about different backgrounds compared to each other (Caribbean v South America, f'rinstance), but I'm not picking up on that word, 'unauthorized'.

Moving right along to page 54..." An undercurrent throughout immigrant’s integration in the U.S. labor market, but not measured in this analysis, is the impact of legal status. Undocumented status restricts immigrants’ labor market entrance and mobility since it effectively closes off opportunities to find jobs, particularly in the regulated portion of the urban labor market - large firms and government agencies." (emphasis mine)

So, there you have it. The entire report is a red herring and a waste of taxpayer dollars. The fact that it does not separate out legal immigrants from illegal ones makes it useless to quantify, however inaccurately, the impact of the illegal immigrant population. Legal immigration is not the issue that's relevant to arguments about the immigration problem. It's wonderful that immigrants have jobs here. Too bad the impact of the illegal population is deliberately obscured.
The report is useless in any citation concerning the impact of illegal immigration on the local economy.

Nice report, though.

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Who can program a computer, build a robot, etc. There is not, and has been, any shortage in the STEM fields. This was a scam concocted by NASSCOM and other mob-type lobbyists to get cheap labor.

I personally know of 5 mid to senior level software engineers that can't find work. In one case, his company merged with another. That happens a lot. He has been looking for comparable work, but it has been very tough.

I changed jobs recently, and was shocked at how the salaries and hourly rates have gone down, thanks to our H1b friends. I make less now than I did seven years ago.

Anyone who is in IT or software engineering will tell you that cheaper is usually not better. In my current workplace, I am shocked at how sloppy the work is of the programmers, who are mostly foreign. What should have taken two weeks has taken over two months, due to sloppiness. Back in the pre-H1B days, we got things done. If we didn't, we were out the door. Period.

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I forget how it goes exactly and I don't recall reading anything along similar lines, so I'll wing it.

Have an H1B visa auction. Say a citizen is making $90k as a programmer. If the visas are auctioned off, the value of one becomes the difference between that $90k and what the visa holder is willing to pay to work here. Say he'll take $60k. He bids $30k on the visa. Adds that to the salary.
Employer has a choice between citizen and visa, but it's a level playing field.

It's probably easy to knock holes in my take of it, but maybe the idea has merit.

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The poster noted the value of immigrants to our economy (which everyone should concede, at least in terms of lawful immigrants), but keyed in on the negative wage effect of those who, by the very nature of their presence in the country, work in a shadow economy. Think of the stereotype of illegal immigrants standing around offering to work at Home Depots (and no, I'm not sure this is a thing anymore, but it was.) That is the classic example of wage pressure without the constraints of a minimum wage. How does one demand the enforcement of one set of employment standards (minimum wage) while ignoring another set of employment standards (ensuring that those working have the right to work in the country?)

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Maybe this situation has changed in the past 4 years, but go check out the parking lot on Brighton Ave in Allston, the one with the Dunks and the CVS a block from TiTS. The guys are right there on google street view! I highly doubt anyone getting picked up for work there has ever signed any paperwork, but perhaps I'm wrong.

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Underground economy work has always existed. Any contractor of any size pays his employees by direct deposit. The bank account is (USAPATRIOT Act) set up using a good ID, like a driver's license. All is on the level in the eyes of the employer. He's off the hook. He did his due diligence.
This makes the visit by Jeff Sessions to Boston last week that much more important. He was here to tout the arrest of about twenty five illegal aliens that had genuine illegally issued MA driver's licenses from the RMV. So, tax fraud as well as voter fraud. But, a topic for another time.
If you're just a guy with a pickup truck, you hire someone under the table, for a short duration, pay cash, that's it. No paperwork. It's illegal, tax and FICA wise, but there are people out there that use cash for many reasons. Not all of the workers are illegal. Some just are hardscrabble guys too far in the hole on alimony or something.

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that's illegal, too. I mean, I get that we only use "illegal" as a noun to dehumanize brown people, but that doesn't make me feel suddenly sorry for Mr. Hardscrabble

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driving drunk. Or speeding. Both things that are against the law, and both way more dangerous to your average law-abiding citizen of the commonwealth. Yet we only call the immigration violators “illegals.” I wonder what the difference might be.

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True. Mea culpa. I should have stated 'illegal aliens' instead of 'illegal'.

Well, another lefty progressive that didn't read the study. Here's where I stand on the 'brown people' you seem to think I hate so much...first, Venezuela, the socialist paradise cited by your millionette friend, (Feel The) Bern:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/Eg6ivMA.jpg)

He's so on point...So, how are things going in the Worker's Paradise? Well, a recent shot of their money situation:
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/QbZE8H5.jpg)

Meanwhile, your new heroine, Occasional Cortex, is coming up with gems like this...
https://twitter.com/Ocasio2018/status/101165935995...
No bans.
No walls.
No fences.
No chains.
No justice – no peace.
We will fight, we will vote, and we will run until hate is dismantled.
Vote today and help us mobilize. AFTER VOTING, NYC #MuslimBan protests start at 6pm.
2 NYC Congressional candidates today support #AbolishICE pic.twitter.com/ePTMSJvoOm
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 26, 2018

Free shit for everyone. SOCIALISM!! Let it do for the US what it did for Venezuela.
For those of you that can handle the truth, watch the Trevor Noah interview with her here. It's a link right at the top, hard to miss, even harder to watch...
https://twitter.com/dailycaller/status/10228521426...
I can see why they call her 'Occasional Cortex'. $500 billion more than they requested? Does she have no idea of the concept of numbers? To put it into perspective, Russia's entire military budget is in the range of $50 billion.
Please, if there's a God in heaven, let her win the election. Please. If I was dead, I'd move to New York just to have someone vote for her. She's priceless.
Nicaragua is another socialist experiment gone off the friggin rails. Ortega has killed about three hundred people so far. But, don't take my word for it. From the Beeb:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-44287034

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Blah blah blah

Strawman - check. Misattributed quote - check. Whataboutism - check. Less than credible reference for fake news - check.

If it were all in Russian, you might get a flawless score.

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I'll post this one, again, just for you. Maybe you can use your kewl 1998 observational mad skillz to tell us where and when. Sorry, you cannot see it larger.
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/nUme5Tz.jpg)

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Voting closed 8

I've seen that one used before.

The money pic, however, is quite accurate. The money shot, if you will.

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Don'[t forget that when these people need medical attention, they usually go to the ER. Whether they are on public assistance, or not, we, the taxpayers wind up footing the bill.

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When "these people" need medical attention, they usually do without.

Stop lying.

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You are either totally misinformed, stupid or just trolling. I happen to know, if you need medical help and you either go to a hospital or call 911, you will get treated. If you're going to troll, troll like a master. Like these guys. A hundred degrees out, Russian greatcoats, Trump's star in LA. Troll level, no matter which side of the aisle...grandmaster.
IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/N5bDT37.jpg)

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You have no idea what "these people" do. You just love ranting about "these people". Go get some meds and lie down, pops.

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Must be truthy!

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If you are attending a $100 a plate buffet at the Kennedy School of government you can just pay $125.

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So what you are saying is that if there weren't any immigrants these businesses would be forced to pay more to attract native born Americans.

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http://archive.boston.com/business/articles/2011/03/15/upper_crust_faces...

I guarantee you there are plenty of places doing the same.

People are brought to the United States, shipped directly to New York, Boston, and other major cities (even Northampton, or where do you think all those restaurants get their workers?), put up in cramped apartments and not paid overtime nor benefits.

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The argument is basically that employers get away with paying minimum wage precisely because there is an ample supply of (mostly immigrant) workers who are willing to accept that level of compensation. If employers like fast food restaurants or hotels had to pay $15/hour and offer health benefits in order to actually fill the jobs, they would! Google and Facebook don't pay six-figure salaries to software engineers and hire employees on H-1B visas to be nice -- they wouldn't get enough competent folks to fill the positions otherwise.

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I've seen claims that those visas are used to slash wages. Why hire locals (Americans and Green Card holders) at market rates for the US when one can truly do a global search and find people willing to work for less?

There may not be enough employees to make up for demand, but that doesn't mean that H-1Bs are making things better.

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No, they make things worse, in many cases. Try working with a team of them for a month. You'll see.

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Not just in Boston...all over the country you won't find many "native born Americans" willing to do the back breaking work of immigrants.

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I work functions on a regular basis in the Boston area and have for 25 years. Illegal immigrants dominate back-of-the-house. Illegals are brought here by human trafficking firms such as Sunrise Employment in Freeport N.Y. Illegal immigrants have supplanted blacks and Puerto Ricans in the hospitality industry.

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Blacks have been hurt the most by illegal immigration, since the wages on many jobs have been lowered and there is more competition for work.

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Really, Holly? "Blacks"?

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Democrats have been stone-walled by Republicans on immigration reforms for years at this point.

Even Republicans can't get something passed because of intraparty disagreement. Take a look at what Brookings Institute has to say about why the GOP won't pass immigration reform. It's pretty grim (or, nativist, in the terms they use): https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2014/08/04/the-real-reason-why-the...

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And I have to give them all a big hand because they obtained their U. S. Citizenship and they work hard. I do not see people the MS-13 being categorized in this group. I think we should let immigrants in if they want to work toward becoming a U. S. Citizen and work at a legal job for a living. Trump needs to understand this.

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Trump is trying to stop the flow of illegal entries from Mexico. It is not just Mexicans coming through the border - there have been Bangladeshis, Dominicans, Central Americans, etc. Oh, yeah, and MS13 and ISIS members.

How did the 350 Bangladeshis that were trying to cross this year get to Mexico? Did they take a wrong turn, or something? This is all part of the Soros-backed plan to dilute American culture. Socialism 101. Is that what you want?

You should hang out at the border sometime; it is an eye-opening experience. I was hiking in the Arizona mountains a few years ago, when about 100 Mexicans appeared from out of nowhere. They were on the run from Immigration. My boyfriend says that they live 10 or more to a house, and hot-bed - there are two people to a bed - one sleeps in it while the other one works.

Mexico is a very wealthy country. The white, Spanish upper class is dumping the metizos and undesirables on us. Their government encourages these people to emigrate.

The border is a like a spigot that needs to be turned off. We need to have control and know who is coming into our country.

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It must be hard being so scared all the time.

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And as it would happen, work with migrants.

You are wrong.

And not a little bit paranoid.

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MYTH: Most immigrants are here illegally

Most of the foreign-born people living in the United States followed the rules and have permission to be here. Of the more than 43 million foreign-born people who were living in the United States in 2014, around 44 percent were naturalized U.S. citizens. Those who were not naturalized were either lawful permanent residents, also known as green-card holders (27 percent of all foreign-born people), or immigrants who were unauthorized (some 11 million people, representing 25.5 percent of all foreign-born people).

Although it is not known exactly what percentage of that 11 million originally entered legally with valid visas and let their visas expire (experts estimate it to be approximately 40 percent), it is known that—by far—the nation with the most visitors who do not leave at the end of their authorized stays is Canada.

MYTH: Immigrants take good jobs from U.S. citizens.

According to the American Immigration Council, a nonpartisan group, research indicates there is little connection between immigrant labor and unemployment rates of native-born workers. Two trends—better education and an aging population—have resulted in a decrease in the number of workers born in the United States who are willing or available to take low-paying jobs. Across all industries and occupations, though, immigrants who are naturalized citizens and non-citizens are outnumbered by workers born in the United States. 

The U.S. civilian workforce included 8 million unauthorized immigrants in 2014, which accounts for only 5 percent of the entire workforce. Compared with their small share of the civilian workforce overall, immigrants without authorization are only overrepresented in service, farming and construction occupations. This may be due to the fact that, to fill the void of low-skilled U.S. workers, employers often hire undocumented immigrant workers. One of the consequences of this practice is that it is easier for unscrupulous employers to exploit this labor source, paying immigrants less, refusing to provide benefits and ignoring worker-safety laws. On an economic level, U.S. citizens benefit from relatively low prices on food and other goods produced by undocumented immigrant labor.
 

MYTH: “The worst” people from other countries are coming to the United States and bringing crime and violence.

Immigrants come to this country for a few primary reasons: to work, to be reunited with family members or to escape a dangerous situation. Most are couples, families with children, and workers who are integral to the U.S. economy. Statistics show that immigrants are less likely to commit serious crimes or be behind bars than native-born people are, and high rates of immigration are associated with lower rates of violent crime and property crime. For instance, “sanctuary counties” average 35.5 fewer crimes per 10,000 people compared to non-sanctuary counties.

According to the American Immigration Council: “Between 1990 and 2013 the foreign-born share of the U.S. population grew from 7.9 percent to 13.1 percent and the number of unauthorized immigrants more than tripled. ... During the same period, FBI data indicate that the violent crime rate and property crime rate declined 48 percent and 41 percent [respectively] The truth is, foreign-born people in the United States—whether they are naturalized citizens, permanent residents or immigrants who are undocumented—are incarcerated at a much lower rate than native-born Americans.

MYTH: Undocumented immigrants don’t pay taxes and burden the national economy

Immigrants who are undocumented pay taxes every time they buy taxable goods such as gas, clothes or new appliances (depending on where they reside). They also contribute to property taxes—a main source of school funding—when they buy or rent a house or apartment.

A 2017 report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy highlights that undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.74 billion in state and local taxes a year. The U.S. Social Security Administration estimated that in 2010 undocumented immigrants—and their employers—paid $13 billion in payroll taxes alone for benefits they will never get.

They can receive schooling and emergency medical care but not welfare or food stamps. Under the 1996 welfare law, most government programs require proof of documentation, and even immigrants with documents cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.
 
The fact of the matter is that the recently and growing antipathy towards immigrants is really a false flag to plausibly deny the underlying bigot and racism of right wing zealots fueled and lead by a fraudulently elected POTUS. He is playing to people who exist in a world of fear, bigotry and racism. Nothing more complicated than that.

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what gets me is that the good ol' "immigrants are different from you and bad and are taking your job and are to blame for whatever your problems are" is such an old, repeated, and well-documented tactic for stoking nativist rage and dividing the working classes that it shouldn't still be able to convince anyone.

and yet, a hundred years after the Red Scare and a hundred and forty after the Chinese Exclusion Act, here we are. same mierda, diferente century.

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I don't see others in the thread blaming immigrants for random problems. But why should illegal immigration be tolerated? Is following the process too much to ask?

At the same time, comparing today to 100 years ago doesn't make sense. Immigrants aren't headed towards the expanding American frontier like in the past. Famine is not a global phenomenon like it was 100 years ago, either.

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Is following the process too much to ask?

Yes.

US "process" is a byzantine patchwork of arbitrarily complicated bullshit, frankly. My brother migrated to Canada and got his citizenship within 5 years. He was allowed to work as soon as he set foot in the country. Very straightforward process, actually.

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The process is meant to be "hard." It's supposed to keep out people who don't have their shit together enough to fill out a fucking form.

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What form did you fill out?

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What line did you stand in, Roman?

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Possibility one:

My distinct memories of taking the overnight train to Moscow with my parents as a kid to get interviewed at the US embassy are true.

Possibility two (and this one leaves much more room for creativity):

I'm lying. You can get creating about this one:

Could be I'm lying about it being me. Sure it happened to someone around that time, but me, at that time I was a full grown adult busy washing his bedsheets for the klan meeting I was supposed to be presiding over in middle of nowhere Montana.

Could be I'm lying about it ever happening to anyone. For you see, there is no such thing as legal immigration. Never was such a thing, as a matter of fact. From the founding of the Republic until this very day, all immigration has been a game of Frogger at the border.

There's a chance that I'm not lying but hallucinating. Instead of being a thirty-something male immigrant Jew from the former Soviet Union, I could be lots of other things:

Behind door number one is a black transgendered woman escaped mental patient.

Behind door number two is the klansman fellow a few paragraphs back. The two might be one and the same...can never tell exactly who's under that sheet. Could be two or three kids in a human pyramid under that sheet...so that's up to three more people who could be spinning this here yarn.

And of course, behind door number three is Comrade Ivanov, toiling away at some troll farm in Siberia and pining away for the good old days of Soviet Union. That'd be extra-special on two counts, you see, for in Siberia there are no doors left. All wooden objects having been burned for fuel in the 1990s. Even the doors made of pine. Maybe it's an imaginary door? You'd have to rotate yourself 90 degrees to see it.

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One: I never said anyone "in the thread", and it's quite clear I was referring to the grand American tradition of throwing immigrants under the metaphorical bus particularly in times of economic hardship so that elites may gain political support by way of pitting the working classes against each other for no discernible reason.

This is indeed the point of making the historical comparison - that the same language is being used now that was being used a hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago. By now the cynical tactic should be so transparent as to be laughable, but still people continue to fall for it.

Two: Who said anything anywhere about famine? People migrate for lots of reasons. Famine still exists, btw, alongside alot of other factors that cause outward migration. Factors that, in large part, the United States and its foreign policy have been responsible for.

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But they definitely have a bias.

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The numbers were put out there. They did not derive from the organization.

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When I find the source of their numbers.

Biased organizations create biased reports based on real numbers.

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that insidious "immigrants are people" bias.

the bastards.

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You are biased. They advocate in courts on behalf of “unauthorized” immigrants. They have a bias in the immigration debate, just like that other group with a silimarly innocent sounding name but rails against illegal immigration has a bias.

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Present them, then.

Otherwise, BUUUUTTTT THEEYYYYYYYRRREEE BIIIIIIAAAAAASSSSSEDDDDD sounds plain old dumb.

That isn't an argument, that's whining.

If you want a discussion, present alternative information, please!

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You don't believe my claim that the American Immigration Council doesn't have a bias? And you can't be bothered to research them yourself? Well, you might trust any old study that comes out without thinking about the source, but sometimes, when I see the phrase "non-partisan," I wonder why they are claiming that. Since you just accept things without wondering the source, there's not much I can to to change your mind. But if you're curious, check out their website. And if you're too lazy to do that, here's a snip-it from the page.

What we do:

We use the courts to demand a fair judicial process for immigrants and to stand up for their rights. The Council works to achieve justice and fairness for immigrants under the law. The Council is highly respected for its willingness and ability to bring cutting-edge lawsuits that hold the government accountable for unlawful conduct and restrictive interpretations and implementation of the law.

Meanwhile, the Federation for American Immigration Reform also casts themselves as a non-partisan public interest organization, but I am certain that all will agree that they are very biased in their work.

All I want is honesty. I won't doubt anything said, except to cast aspersions on the group making the statements. Were it from Pew, who truly try to produce research without bias, I would say nothing, but these guys have a bias.

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Of course immigrants are important, illegals are not. I will narrow it to one issue, vetting. Although imperfect, the US System of NCIC (National Crime Information Center) and the MA BOP (Board of Probation) system keep a decent record of people here legally, often supported by photographs and fingerprints. Do you think Guatemala or El Salvador is using the same system or sharing? Please.

A perfect example is the Mariel boatlift when Castro released all of his maximum security Cuban prisoners and mental hospitals and floated them to Florida. All kinds of fake names and unimaginable crime in Florida and throughout the East Coast.

The only immigration "reform" needed is to speed up the process and reverse Ted Kennedy's disastrous immigration act of 1965 that dropped the requirement for a US sponsor (moral and financial) and monthly check in with the local police. As for those who cut the line, get them out of here.

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Don't respond to the Fish Troll. It's what he wants.

For all of us.

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