Experts: Poor economy raises immigrant backlash,0,4997698.story

Experts: Poor economy raises immigrant backlash


May 5, 2008

As the economy sinks, hostility against undocumented workers ratchets up.

That’s the conclusion of immigration experts from different political viewpoints who spoke yesterday at a panel discussion at Molloy College in Rockville Centre. While speakers sharply disagreed about immigration policy, they found common ground when discussing an anti-immigrant backlash.

Fast-rising gas and food prices, coupled with increasing angst about tight salaries and layoffs, are already fueling anger against undocumented workers, the experts said.

“My concern is that as costs keep rising, employers will be more inclined to hire illegal aliens,” said Michael Cutler, a former U.S. immigration agent who has crisscrossed the country calling for a crackdown on undocumented workers. “This will cause more resentment.”

As the conversation turned into a debate, Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, agreed with Cutler on just one matter – that immigration has become a “flash point” as the economy sputters.

Sentiment against undocumented immigrants has become especially edgy on Long Island, where residents already have high taxes and a high cost of living, the panelists said.

“When there’s economic pain, the extreme elements tend to look for someone to blame,” said Roger Clayman, executive director of the Long Island Federation of Labor, who wants to avoid blaming undocumented immigrants for problems. With the housing industry stalling, he said, workers will blame immigrants who work for low wages.

Yesterday’s discussion, sponsored by Molloy’s Institute for Christian-Jewish Dialogue and the Long Island chapter of the American Jewish Committee, followed several discussions at Adelphi and Hofstra universities, along with churches and village halls, in recent months. But this one had a sense of urgency because of increasing fiscal woes and a debate over the Suffolk legislature’s attempt to crack down on contractors hiring undocumented workers.

That legislation, like many other issues, divided the panelists. Cutler, now a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based think tank, saw merit in the bill proposed by Legis. Brian Beedenbender (D-Centereach) and others. But Clayman dismissed such moves, saying “they are designed to benefit politically a few folks who introduce the legislation.”

Panelists couldn’t even agree on terms to use. Cutler insisted on talking about “illegal aliens,” saying the phrase is used in many other countries. But Valenzuela rejected that as offensive to undocumented workers who, he said, come to this country for a better life.

After Cutler derided immigration lawyers as greedy, audience member David Sperling of Huntington, got a laugh by introducing himself as an immigration lawyer.

Sperling rejected the federal government’s plan to build a fence on parts of the U.S.-Mexico border: “If you build a 10-foot-high fence, someone’s going to build an 11-foot-tall ladder to get over it.”

Copyright © 2008, Newsday Inc.


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Gore’s Myanmar Words as Inopportune as they were Repulsive

Gore’s Myanmar Words as Inopportune as they were Repulsive

Marc Sheppard

Thirty days after Steve McIntyre caught NASA cooking climate history again – this time in a feeble attempt to somehow conceal the alarmist-embarrassing  downward trend since 1998 — Al Gore shamelessly portrayed Saturday’s Myanmar cyclone catastrophe as a ‘consequence’ of global warming. 


A mere 16 days after NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation’s cool phase shift would likely bring colder temperatures for as many as the next 20-30 years, Gore told NPR that the “trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming and specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures.”  This just 6 days after a German study also predicted cooler ocean temperatures due to the Meridional Overturning Circulation entering a weak cycle, and in spite of there being absolutely no empirical evidence of a global warming / storm strength link. 


Gore’s monotonous and baseless account of AGW forced violent cyclones and hurricanes came just two days after McIntyre reported that 4 of the past 5 months were “‘all-time’ records for Southern Hemisphere sea ice” levels.


In fact, it was the very day after Anthony Watts reported another false start to the distinctly overdue Solar Cycle 24, a likely contributory factor to falling global temperatures, that the Nobel Peace Prize winner exploited the deaths of over 22,000 (reported and still rising) human beings to egoistically advance his threatened AGW political agenda while callously protecting his personal financial interest.


And with 41,000 reported missing since Cyclone Nargis devastated the former Burma, the death figures are sure to rise to unthinkable numbers.  Meanwhile, the nation’s corrupt military rulers are making aid delivery to ease survivor misery nearly impossible.


And while these poor souls will undoubtedly see years of unimaginable suffering and the arduous rebuilding of over a million destroyed homes, this man — who professes his desire to save the planet – saw another opportunity.  That it arrived at the end of a one month period in which another wheel fell off the greenhouse gas disinformation bus almost daily only adds to the morass.

This was an astonishingly nauseating display — even for the likes of Gore.