By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
GA: Something else scared people off from Arizona: Joe Arpaio.
TT: Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Right. Well, the interesting aspect of all of this stuff is that when put to a vote, when put to a test in terms of a poll, most Coloradans agreed with that particular proposal. Most Hispanics in Colorado, according to the poll, also agreed with it. The Zogby poll that came out a little bit ago — 56 percent of Hispanics in the United States agree that there is too much immigration coming into the United States altogether. Now, this is heartening, and certainly something I talked about all during the campaign.... I am proud of the fact that, in at least one poll, I had more Hispanic support than Mayor Hickenlooper...
GA: But just because a certain segment of the population supports something does not make it right. And so saying somehow that Latinos are in favor of stricter immigration reform does not necessarily make it right.
TT: You don't think that's true?
GA: Polls? I don't believe most polls.
TT: I wish I didn't, either...
GA: But that is something that has always fascinated me about you: You have this emphasis on, okay, we need to crack down on the employers. We need to crack down, you know, if we stop it, whether it's E-Verify or something else, then we can somehow stem the flow of illegal immigration. But that is also the root cause of immigration, period: It's the economy. Is it the worker, or it is businessmen who want to have cheap labor?
TT: Exploit is the word.
GA: Exploit. But that has also been the American way. America has demanded cheap labor. I think to truly, completely stem the flow of illegal immigration, you truly have to crack down on capitalism, on the businesses. But we would never do that because that would reek of socialism.
TT: Just watch.
GA: Sure, okay. Just watch.
TT: Because I would guarantee you that is exactly where I would go, because that is the nexus. That's where you can deal with this issue, because you don't have to be rounding people up; you don't have to be doing anything nearly as extreme as that. You simply have to say: The thing for which you came you cannot get. And therefore, people either go home or they go someplace else.
GA: And what does that do to business?
TT: I'll tell you what it does to business. It tells them they're going to have to meet the market. You know, labor is a market just like anything else, and so the fewer number of people you have to work for you, what happens? What happens in any market system? It is not anti-capitalist, it is pure capitalism. Because the fewer number of people that are applying for the jobs available creates this other phenomenon. It's called higher wages. Because they meet at some place; they meet.
GA: The last thing the American businessman wants to do.
TT: Tough crap!
GA: I would argue that folks are misdirecting their ire at the immigrants, as opposed to the businesses and the industry that hire them.
TT: Let's go after those businesses. I'm all for it.
GA: Let's go smash capitalism! Let's do it right now. Let's go.
TT: Fine. You wanna say smash capitalism; I simply say it's obeying the law. And there are all kinds of laws that employers have to obey.... Now would you say, well, we shouldn't have health codes because that's anti-capitalist? B.S. It's got nothing to do with capitalism. These are the regulations that you operate under. One of them is hiring people who are legally present in the United States. There's nothing wrong with demanding that of any employer in this country. That's the main issue....Who is our first loyalty to? Is it not to the people who are here, who have either gone through the process directly, or were born here? And Gustavo, I don't care. I can say this a million times, and I don't know if you'll ever believe me, sir, but I will tell you, it's got nothing to do with race. In my heart, nothing.
GA:...I understand that. And I would believe you, Tom, if you weren't so insistent, that you will not believe that even among this wave of immigrants, whether they are legal or illegal, that we don't become American. That we don't become acculturated. You do not want to believe that, and that's why/where we have this difference in opinion. So when you give me these good economic arguments, I might disagree, I might agree. But when you start talking about culture, it all flies out the window. And I'm sorry about that.... We have a huge crowd that's fully acculturated, but still very proud of their roots. We're telling you, we're telling you that we're acculturated. You don't believe it, hence the interest in the debate.
PC: One more question here. You've already agreed to smash capitalism and that you like to curse. Let's see if we can get an agreement on one more thing: Do you think the USA will ever intervene and help our neighbors fight this war against drugs? Where are you on drugs?