Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another Drunk Driving Victim

I hate this.

First people know better than to drink and drive and yet it still happens, often.

Second, why does it matter that the killer was an illegal immigrant? His lack of a visa did not kill that young man, his inability or unwillingness to use alcohol responsibly did.



Anonymous said...

I am sure the fact that he has no respect for upholding the law had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

The point is the victim is just as dead whether or not the driver had his imigration paper work in order. It was the drunk driving that killed him, not the lack of a piece of paper. It was irresponsible journalism for the Columbia Flier to focus their headline on the immigration issue and ignore the more salient fact that the driver was drunk.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but someone who doesn't respect US immigration law is more likely to treat other US laws with the same lack of respect.

Never mind that illegal immigrants receive no information about how to live in US society. In Latin America, drunk driving is not viewed with the same seriousness as in the US.

Steve Fine said...

Anon 12:01: How have you acquired your deep knowledge of how Latin Americans think? Are you from Latin America? How familiar are you with the attitudes towards DUI in Latin America? Is is the same in all of the 20+ nations of Latin America? Do "they" all think alike?

Another question. If you had a hard time finding food, shelter and employment wouldn't you think of going somewhere were those things were available? Regardless of whether those who were fortunate enough to get there first felt?

We are a nation of immigrants. Why do those lucky enough to get here early so selfishly want to close the door on the American Dream to those who came behind them?

Why do you think you deserve to live here and they don't? Were you born with an entitlement to a privileged position?

Anonymous said...

“Yes, but someone who doesn't respect US immigration law is more likely to treat other US laws with the same lack of respect.”

Generally speaking, I think the exact opposite is true. Those who are here illegally do their best to stay under the radar of the police so they don’t get sent to Gitmo. When you are driving without a license, you usually drive the speed limit.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it's pretty common knowledge for anyone who has lived outside the US and in Latin America, which I have for several years. DUI is not a serious crime and is rarely enforced. Of course, few crimes are enforced well in the region. You would know that if you have lived (or even visited) there.

I have no problem with legal immigration. I also think we should dedicate resources to creating meaningful job opportunities in lesser developed countries.

What is your solution to immigration? Open the borders to all comers?

I'd love to hear your answer to immigration.

Steve Fine said...

Immigration isn't a problem, unless living with people who were born elsewhere bothers you. So I don't think we need any solutions to immigration rather than to realize that right wing pols are using fear, bigotry and ignorance to try and distract people from real issues and the right wing's massive redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the extremely rich and the right wing's subversion of the Constitution.

I do think there is a problem with people having to sneak in. I say open our arms and let everyone in, and document them so that we can be sure of who is here and so we can collect taxes. And we can screen out those who are truly undesirable, people with criminal or terrorist backgrounds.

And since you think respecting the law is so important (like I do), you must have been appalled by W. Bush from day one, at least there is something we can agree on.

P.S. How can you make such sweeping generalizations about such a large and diverse part of the world? Common knowledge? What is common knowledge? The belief that because you think something, it must be true? No so long ago, it was common knowledge that Iraq had WMD and was about to attack the U.S. with them.

Anonymous said...

So it is true? You can't discuss a single issue without changing the subject to G.W. Bush. The topic is immigration - try to stick with it. Bringing up WMD and Iraq is such a red herring. I don't like GW Bush, but what does that have to do with anything?

Does your blog invite different opinions? It appears not. I offered one and you immediately attacked the messenger.

I have lived in Latin America. I have visited almost every country in Latin America. I speak relatively fluent Spanish. I have actually spoken with immigrants, legal and illegal. Why I have even worked with CASA. So you accuse anyone who thinks we need a coherent immigration policy of "bigotry" is borderline slanderous.

Immigration is not a problem normally. But our broken system is a big problem. It is a waste of resources that could be better spent creating jobs for immigrants. And also providing civics and English lessons to better equip new immigrants to live in the US.

There are almost no countries in the world with open borders, other than anarchical countries like Somalia. Even Mexico polices its borders to prevent Guatemalan immigrants. Does that mean Mexico is bigoted?

How would you intend on paying for the cost of fully open borders?

Instead of opening our borders and creating a brain drain, why are you opposed to creating jobs in the lesser developed countries? That way, a person could have meaningful opportunities in their own country?

Why make someone come to the US if they don't want to, just for economic opportunities? Sounds very elitist of you.

Steve Fine said...

I guess I misunderstood where you were coming from. I don't disagree that we need to put in place policies to help help assimilate immigrants.

Our border is already open, whether we like it or not. What makes you think immigration hurts our economy?

Most studies by economists have shown the contrary.

And yes, in some parts of Latin America, not all, alcoholism is even a bigger problem that it is here.

And in some (not all) parts of Latin America, effective law enforcement is lacking. Some places in Latin America have so many serious problems that preventing drunk driving is very low on the list of priorities.

Anonymous said...

From people in CA and TX to my in box:

> Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the
> Orange
> County Register:
> Dear Editor:
> So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is
> made
> up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down
> the
> Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being
> treated
> the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of
> entry.
> Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like
> Mr.
> Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of
> immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all
> areas
> of
> Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and
> stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even
> get
> down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a
> pledge to
> uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times.
> They
> made learning English a primary rule in their new American households
> and
> some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
> They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a
> new
> life and did everything in their power to help their children
> assimilate
> into one culture.
> Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws
> to
> protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had
> brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their
> children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought
> along
> side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany ,Italy ,
> France and Japan None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave
> any
> though t about what country their parents had come from. They were
> Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They
> were defending the United States of America as one people. When we
> liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the
> French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The
> people
> of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented
> one
> country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about
> picking
> up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It
> would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much
> to
> be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American.
> They
> stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
> And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the
> same
> rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a
> different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a
> guarantee of bei ng faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry,
> that's
> not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants
> who
> landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that
> for
> all
> the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to
> create a
> land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better
> life.
> I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an
> example by
> those waving foreign country flags.
> And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it
> happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the
> immigration
> bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States
> just
> yet.
> (signed) Rosemary LaBonte

Bill: I don't know where you live, but maybe it is in a closeted
> community like Delaware Ohio. Stan and I live in
> border States, and I live in or next to the 4th largest city in the
> USA, Houston TX, which seems to be nearly 65% hispanic, with over
> half of those undocumented, and half of those undocumented are
> vicious gang criminals who carjack, rob and deal in huge drug gangs
> and distribution all over Texas and Houston particularly.
> Yesterday during the May Day rebel "uproar" vs immigration control
> from Mexico, nearly 150 people rathter than the planned 10,000
> showed up downtown waving mexican flags and screaming for more
> freebies and freedom they can't find in Mexico or Guatamala. (see
> for Houston Chronicle verfication of this. Our
> schools, hospitals, emergency rooms and birth rooms are full of
> freeloaders and we are paying for it. An airplane flew over the
> little wetback mob in downtown Houston yesterday with two banners
> behind it: " Love America or Leave it" and the Mexican flag with a
> black X through it. This is the attitude and feeling of most
> Texans who live here today, who want to redo the Alamo again.
> Joel Pettegrew
> In the incarceration figure, you fail to provide the difference
> between legal and illegal immigrants
> which is where the controversy lies.
> In the California statistic, there is no one alive who can document
> the undocumented men in the work
> force. It is a totally unknown statistic, and therefore your use
> of it is false.
> No one is claiming immigrants is shiftless. Stay with the study
> that pertains to illegals. You are
> trying to blind the public with statistics that do not apply.
> Undocumented immigrants are being served everywhere in Arizona
> medical facilities and hospitals
> are closing because of their unreimbursed medical care in the ER's.
> Foreign born in California has no bearing on unemployment which is
> less that 5% across the
> entire country so what's the big deal here.
> What is this Zero Effect crap? Take a look at illegal crime
> statistics in Phoenix and then get
> back to me.
> The ramp up in enforcement is necessary to clamp down on these
> lawbreakers. Why would
> anyone think lawbreakers should be welcome in this
> country........there was no invitation sent
> out to them!
> What BS Statistics presented here.
> Easy

Anonymous said...

I don't think immigration hurts the economy. But illegal immigrants who don't get acclimated to US society and can't get legal jobs are not a positive development.

We should dramatically increase immigration, but base it primarily on skills and job needs.

We should also create more jobs overseas, so people don't have to uproot themselves simply for economic opportunity.

BTW, I never said that alcoholism is a bigger problem in Latin America. I just said that drinking and driving is more common, for a number of reasons. Lack of enforcement, different social norms, etc.