Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

SF’s new measure of immigration openness

I just heard about San Francisco’s new policy of issuing legal identification, regardless of immigration status. As Councilman Ammiato states in the video, the measure attests to the city’s policy of openness to all residents.

Critics argue “cities have no business declaring people residents if they are not in the country legally.”

However, isn’t the definition of a “resident” someone who resides in a place? Regardless of legal status, she or he is entitled to open participation in our communities; in fact, residents are already participating in our schools, our tax structures, our labor force. It’s damaging to view non-documented workers as criminals; rather, they are folks who work beside us, often in our restaurants and factories, our construction sites and low-wage jobs.

Is there a workable solution to illegal immigration? The conversation has seemed to die down because of the focus on the economy. It’s nice to learn that San Franciscans believe in equality for all.

On a related note, ABC recently aired an interesting report called “What Would You Do?” on the variety of American attitudes toward others. Some folks are discriminatory while others are appalled.

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Filed under: immigration, racism, social justice, , , , , , ,

One Response

  1. Pete Murphy says:

    Rampant population growth threatens our economy and quality of life. Immigration, both legal and illegal, are fueling this growth.

    I’m not talking just about the obvious problems that we see in the news – growing dependence on foreign oil, carbon emissions, soaring commodity prices, environmental degradation, etc. I’m talking about the effect upon rising unemployment and poverty in America.

    I should introduce myself. I am the author of a book titled “Five Short Blasts: A New Economic Theory Exposes The Fatal Flaw in Globalization and Its Consequences for America.” To make a long story short, my theory is that, as population density rises beyond some optimum level, per capita consumption of products begins to decline out of the need to conserve space. People who live in crowded conditions simply don’t have enough space to use and store many products. This declining per capita consumption, in the face of rising productivity (per capita output, which always rises), inevitably yields rising unemployment and poverty.

    This theory has huge implications for U.S. policy toward population management, especially immigration policy. Our policies of encouraging high rates of immigration are rooted in the belief of economists that population growth is a good thing, fueling economic growth. Through most of human history, the interests of the common good and business (corporations) were both well-served by continuing population growth. For the common good, we needed more workers to man our factories, producing the goods needed for a high standard of living. This population growth translated into sales volume growth for corporations. Both were happy.

    But, once an optimum population density is breached, their interests diverge. It is in the best interest of the common good to stabilize the population, avoiding an erosion of our quality of life through high unemployment and poverty. However, it is still in the interest of corporations to fuel population growth because, even though per capita consumption goes into decline, total consumption still increases. We now find ourselves in the position of having corporations and economists influencing public policy in a direction that is not in the best interest of the common good.

    The U.N. ranks the U.S. with eight third world countries – India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ethiopia and China – as accounting for fully half of the world’s population growth by 2050. It’s absolutely imperative that our population be stabilized, and that’s impossible without dramatically reining in immigration, both legal and illegal.

    If you’re interested in learning more about this important new economic theory, I invite you to visit my web site at OpenWindowPublishingCo.com where you can read the preface, join in my blog discussion and, of course, purchase the book if you like. (It’s also available at Amazon.com.)

    Please forgive the somewhat spammish nature of the previous paragraph. I just don’t know how else to inject this new perspective into the immigration debate without drawing attention to the book that explains the theory.

    Pete Murphy
    Author, “Five Short Blasts”

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Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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