RCC Honors History Project

Archive for June, 2009

Bringing it all together

Posted by chad612 on June 24, 2009

I don’t know if anyone is still looking at these posts.  I haven’t gotten much of a chance to in the last week, because my grad student girlfriend has been hogging the computer to do her final papers.  But now that the semester is over and we’re not struggling to read hundreds of pages a week, write several papers, etc, for all of our classes (I think that one day soon I might start reading for pleasure again) the content of those books can seep into our brains and affect us. The books we read for this class seem to present a really good background to a lot of what is learned in history classes, where wars are the focus and everything else is only significant in how it was affected by war. None of our six books prominently featured war, just the struggle in getting by at home in the times between the wars. The people in these books were more easy to relate to as a result. I’m more worried about being able to pay my rent than that my apartment will be bombed. I have been helping my girlfriend do weaving presentations for grade school kids in the area as a part of her grant, and since the Terkel interviews I did were both of teachers, I couldn’t help but think how I might answer my own questions in the interview of my life.

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Proposition 227 – Full Text of the Proposed Law

Posted by dmcneal347 on June 8, 2009

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution.

This initiative measure adds sections to the Education Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.


SECTION 1. Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 300) is added to Part 1 of the Education Code, to read:

Chapter 3. English Language Education for Immigrant Children

Article 1. Findings and Declarations

300. The People of California find and declare as follows:

(a) Whereas, The English language is the national public language of the United States of America and of the State of California, is spoken by the vast majority of California residents, and is also the leading world language for science, technology, and international business, thereby being the language of economic opportunity; and

(b) Whereas, Immigrant parents are eager to have their children acquire a good knowledge of English, thereby allowing them to fully participate in the American Dream of economic and social advancement; and

(c) Whereas, The government and the public schools of California have a moral obligation and a constitutional duty to provide all of California’s children, regardless of their ethnicity or national origins, with the skills necessary to become productive members of our society, and of these skills, literacy in the English language is among the most important; and

(d) Whereas, The public schools of California currently do a poor job of educating immigrant children, wasting financial resources on costly experimental language programs whose failure over the past two decades is demonstrated by the current high drop-out rates and low English literacy levels of many immigrant children; and

(e) Whereas, Young immigrant children can easily acquire full fluency in a new language, such as English, if they are heavily exposed to that language in the classroom at an early age.

(f) Therefore, It is resolved that: all children in California public schools shall be taught English as rapidly and effectively as possible.

Article 2. English Language Education

305. Subject to the exceptions provided in Article 3 (commencing with Section 310), all children in California public schools shall be taught English by being taught in English. In particular, this shall require that all children be placed in English language classrooms. Children who are English learners shall be educated through sheltered English immersion during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one year. Local schools shall be permitted to place in the same classroom English learners of different ages but whose degree of English proficiency is similar. Local schools shall be encouraged to mix together in the same classroom English learners from different native-language groups but with the same degree of English fluency. Once English learners have acquired a good working knowledge of English, they shall be transferred to English language mainstream classrooms. As much as possible, current supplemental funding for English learners shall be maintained, subject to possible modification under Article 8 (commencing with Section 335) below.

306. The definitions of the terms used in this article and in Article 3 (commencing with Section 310) are as follows:

(a) “English learner” means a child who does not speak English or whose native language is not English and who is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English, also known as a Limited English Proficiency or LEP child.

(b) “English language classroom” means a classroom in which the language of instruction used by the teaching personnel is overwhelmingly the English language, and in which such teaching personnel possess a good knowledge of the English language.

(c) “English language mainstream classroom” means a classroom in which the pupils either are native English language speakers or already have acquired reasonable fluency in English.

(d) “Sheltered English immersion” or “structured English immersion” means an English language acquisition process for young children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English but with the curriculum and presentation designed for children who are learning the language.

(e) “Bilingual education/native language instruction” means a language acquisition process for pupils in which much or all instruction, textbooks, and teaching materials are in the child’s native language.

Article 3. Parental Exceptions

310. The requirements of Section 305 may be waived with the prior written informed consent, to be provided annually, of the child’s parents or legal guardian under the circumstances specified below and in Section 311. Such informed consent shall require that said parents or legal guardian personally visit the school to apply for the waiver and that they there be provided a full description of the educational materials to be used in the different educational program choices and all the educational opportunities available to the child. Under such parental waiver conditions, children may be transferred to classes where they are taught English and other subjects through bilingual education techniques or other generally recognized educational methodologies permitted by law. Individual schools in which 20 pupils or more of a given grade level receive a waiver shall be required to offer such a class; otherwise, they must allow the pupils to transfer to a public school in which such a class is offered.

311. The circumstances in which a parental exception waiver may be granted under Section 310 are as follows:

(a) Children who already know English: the child already possesses good English language skills, as measured by standardized tests of English vocabulary comprehension, reading, and writing, in which the child scores at or above the state average for his or her grade level or at or above the 5th grade average, whichever is lower; or

(b) Older children: the child is age 10 years or older, and it is the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the child’s rapid acquisition of basic English language skills; or

(c) Children with special needs: the child already has been placed for a period of not less than thirty days during that school year in an English language classroom and it is subsequently the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that the child has such special physical, emotional, psychological, or educational needs that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the child’s overall educational development. A written description of these special needs must be provided and any such decision is to be made subject to the examination and approval of the local school superintendent, under guidelines established by and subject to the review of the local Board of Education and ultimately the State Board of Education. The existence of such special needs shall not compel issuance of a waiver, and the parents shall be fully informed of their right to refuse to agree to a waiver.

Article 4. Community-Based English Tutoring

315. In furtherance of its constitutional and legal requirement to offer special language assistance to children coming from backgrounds of limited English proficiency, the state shall encourage family members and others to provide personal English language tutoring to such children, and support these efforts by raising the general level of English language knowledge in the community. Commencing with the fiscal year in which this initiative is enacted and for each of the nine fiscal years following thereafter, a sum of fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) per year is hereby appropriated from the General Fund for the purpose of providing additional funding for free or subsidized programs of adult English language instruction to parents or other members of the community who pledge to provide personal English language tutoring to California school children with limited English proficiency.

316. Programs funded pursuant to this section shall be provided through schools or community organizations. Funding for these programs shall be administered by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and shall be disbursed at the discretion of the local school boards, under reasonable guidelines established by, and subject to the review of, the State Board of Education.

Article 5. Legal Standing and Parental Enforcement

320. As detailed in Article 2 (commencing with Section 305) and Article 3 (commencing with Section 310), all California school children have the right to be provided with an English language public education. If a California school child has been denied the option of an English language instructional curriculum in public school, the child’s parent or legal guardian shall have legal standing to sue for enforcement of the provisions of this statute, and if successful shall be awarded normal and customary attorney’s fees and actual damages, but not punitive or consequential damages. Any school board member or other elected official or public school teacher or administrator who willfully and repeatedly refuses to implement the terms of this statute by providing such an English language educational option at an available public school to a California school child may be held personally liable for fees and actual damages by the child’s parents or legal guardian.

Article 6. Severability

325. If any part or parts of this statute are found to be in conflict with federal law or the United States or the California State Constitution, the statute shall be implemented to the maximum extent that federal law, and the United States and the California State Constitution permit. Any provision held invalid shall be severed from the remaining portions of this statute.

Article 7. Operative Date

330. This initiative shall become operative for all school terms which begin more than sixty days following the date on which it becomes effective.

Article 8. Amendment

335. The provisions of this act may be amended by a statute that becomes effective upon approval by the electorate or by a statute to further the act’s purpose passed by a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Article 9. Interpretation

340. Under circumstances in which portions of this statute are subject to conflicting interpretations, Section 300 shall be assumed to contain the governing intent of the statute.

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Primary Issue: The American Dream ?Que esta?

Posted by kameron1 on June 8, 2009




North County Times

April 16, 2006

(Escondido, Calif.)




Living the (Mexican-)American dream




By: DAVID FRIED – Staff Writer

ESCONDIDO —- Macario’s decade of hard work has begun to bear fruit. The extra money

earned from 10- and 12-hour days has started to provide financial security for the 26-year-old

Escondido resident. He got married two years ago. Plans to have children, and send them to the

best schools, of course.

To top it off, three months ago, he purchased a 30 percent stake in a local home renovation


By most measures, the enthusiastic young man is closing in on the American dream. Except for

one glaring detail: Macario is an illegal immigrant.

His residency status means he lives many of his dreams in the shadows. But that fact does little

to damper his sense of accomplishment, or his enthusiasm.

“This was always my dream, to have a house or a business, and I am making my dream come

true,” said Macario —- who asked the North County Times not to publish other identifying

information, including his last name, the name of his company or his business partner out of

concern that he could be a target of immigration officials or opponents.



Success in the shadows




Macario is one of an estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

And like many undocumented migrants, he tries to live under the radar as much as possible.

He has two cars —- older-model Toyotas —- but no driver’s license. He drives the vehicles only

to and from work. He takes a back route to avoid the possibility of being pulled over.

Rarely do he and his 22-year-old wife go out in the evening, except maybe to walk around the

block. Usually, if they leave the Escondido house where he and his wife rent a bedroom, it’s with

his brother-in-law, a legal U.S. resident.

“I feel a little that I can’t do some things,” Macario said. “And I want to do so many things in this


That’s why he plunked down the $6,000 he had squirrelled away bit by bit over the years on the

opportunity to own part of the home renovation company where he had started working two

years ago.




A step up




The owner, a former Escondido official, said he saw something different in Macario, a drive and

ambition that he wanted to foster.

It was no small transaction.

In order to allow Macario, a foreigner, to legally own part of the company, his partner had to

reform his business as a C corporation, named after the tax code that governs it. Typically, a

jointly owned company would qualify as a partnership, but then both owners would have to be

American. The change in company status means fewer tax breaks for both men, but his partner

said the trade-off was worth it.

“I just wanted his sacrifice to mean something,” said Macario’s partner, who spends time each

week with his apprentice, going over the ins-and-outs of owning a business.

It’s a lot to learn for a man who never went beyond elementary school.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” Macario said of learning about payrolls, insurance and taxes —-

plenty of taxes.

Company documents show Macario paying about $160 in personal taxes every two weeks, not to

mention the additional $108 in payroll taxes the corporation pays.



A growing investment




Stories such as Macario’s reflect a growing reality of border politics, according to Wayne

Cornelius, director of UC San Diego’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies.

Increased calls for stricter border enforcement and efforts such as Operation Gatekeeper, which

was implemented in 1994 and built a steel wall along parts of the 1,952-mile U.S.-Mexico

border, have merely pushed migrants to cross in harsher, less populated terrain, such as the

Arizona desert. Each year, roughly 400 people die trying to sneak across the border from


“We’ve made it much more costly and risky to come and go crossing the border, and because of

that we make it more likely (undocumented immigrants) will spend a longer time in the U.S. and

settle permanently here,” Cornelius said.

The upshot is that more illegal immigrants living here pour what money they are able to save

into homes or small businesses on this side of the border.

“They’re more likely to invest more on the U.S side than in their hometown, because they don’t

see much of their hometown,” Cornelius said.



No return





For Macario, seeing home is out of the question.

“I feel like, if I went back to Mexico, I couldn’t make it there,” said Macario, who was just 16

when he hiked across the border and into the hills of Jamul.

He left for a reason, after all. He had no work and no money to pay for school.

Leaving the two-bedroom shanty he shared with his parents and nine brothers and sisters in order

to help the family made sense.

Ten years later, most of his siblings are spread around California. The two youngest are back

home taking care of his parents, who speak with him by telephone but never face-to-face.

They do not see the fine white powder that covers his hands and work boots after spending the

day carefully shaping stone slabs into luxury countertops. On his wedding day, they did not kiss

the soft beard that has grown on the young man who left their home as a boy searching for

something better, anything better.

“It’s hardest because I can talk with them, hear their voice, but I can’t visit,” Macario said,

narrowing his almond-shaped eyes.

Crossing the border is just too risky, and expensive.

“I simply can’t go back,” he said.

Who would want to? he says

The appeal of the U.S. is obvious, he said, especially when you compare the two places.

American police, he says, are here to protect you, “no matter if you’re dark-skinned, white,

Chinese,” not like back home, where they are often indifferent at best, and corrupt at worst.

Hospitals will attend to you, whether you are able to pay or not, unlike Mexico, he said.

He still recalls his first taste of American life —- tomatoes, sweet, ripe tomatoes he and the

others in his pack picked from vines on a local farm, their first meal after the two-day crossborder


Once inside the U.S., Macario made his way to Vista, where some acquaintances had told him he

could stay with two other Mexican migrants in a makeshift room built in a garage.

His village in the state of Puebla offered little more than subsistence farming to its 2,000


Everyone he met in the U.S. and every place he went yielded opportunity.





He says he quickly tracked down a Social Security number. Maybe it was lost by someone.

Perhaps it’s from someone deceased.

The number got him work, first as a landscaper in Encinitas, then at a restaurant washing dishes

and busing tables. The jobs paid $5.50 an hour, not much, but enough to pay rent, send home a

little money, and save what he could.

Once, he submitted an application for legal residency when the owner of the landscape company

he worked for offered to sponsor him. It cost Macario $3,000 in legal fees. But the owner died

before the application was completed, leaving Macario without anyone to vouch for him.

While still working at the restaurant, he began learning to cut stone for kitchen sinks and other

household embellishments. Then, in 2004, he took a job with the company he now co-owns.

The company that means he has arrived, and has no intention of leaving.

“Being here legally or illegally, I feel American.”






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Proposition 227

Posted by dmcneal347 on June 8, 2009

Would you vote for it? Proposition 227 was passed on June 2, 1998 with 61% in favor to end bilingual education. Its goal was to teach English as rapidly and as effectively as possible by exposing LEP children to it. I have read articles that said in 2002 the results were huge. And I have read articles from those that oppose it, they say that the numbers are exaggerated and that SAT-9 scores have actually gone down. What do you think?

Article that was for prop 227-

Article against prop 227-

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George W. Bush on Immigration Reform, 2007

Posted by nrohr on June 8, 2009

George W. Bush Discusses Comprehensive Immigration Reform

George W. Bush

From: The White House.

June 26, 2007

Thank you all. Please be seated. Thanks for coming. Thanks for working on an immigration bill that’s important for this country. I appreciate your efforts and I appreciate your time.

I do want to thank Secretary Gutierrez and Secretary Chertoff for their hard work. And one of the things I told members of the Senate, that the administration is going to be involved in crafting a comprehensive bill that’s good for the country. And I said we’re going to be more than just giving speeches, or using the microphone to proclaim the need for a comprehensive bill. I would send two members plus our staff up to—two members of my Cabinet plus our staff up to work the—to work with the senators.

And you guys have done a really good job. Thank you for your time. Thanks for your understanding of the complex, carefully crafted piece of legislation that is moving through the Senate. And you’ve done exactly what I asked you to do—that’s why you’re in the Cabinet. (Laughter.) I appreciate you all helping work this bill through the Senate.

The first thing that we’ve got to recognize in the country is that the system isn’t working. The immigration system needs reform. The status quo is unacceptable. Most Americans understand that. They say, well, we attempted to reform the system in 1986, and the reform didn’t work. Our view is, if the status quo is unacceptable, we need to replace it with something that is acceptable, and have been working toward that end with both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. The reason the Senate, of course, is that we’ll be moving our attention to the House when it passes a comprehensive piece of legislation.

I view this as an historic opportunity for Congress to act, for Congress to replace a system that is not working with one that we believe will work a lot better. In other words, this is a moment for people who have been elected to come together, focus on a problem, and show the American people that we can work together to fix the problem. If you dislike the status quo on immigration, then you ought to be supporting a comprehensive approach to making sure the system works.

And it’s a practical approach. The Senate has worked very hard to craft a comprehensive bill. In a good piece of legislation like this, and a difficult piece of legislation like this, one side doesn’t get everything they want. It’s a careful compromise, and many of you have been involved with that compromise.

The problem that this bill recognizes, the bill recognizes that we’ve got to address the problem in a comprehensive fashion. There are people who say, well, we’ve got to do more to protect our border—and they’re right, we do have to do more to protect our border. And that’s why this bill has a lot of border security measures that will help continue the strategy that we have been implementing over the past year. As a matter of fact, there’s a $4.4 billion direct deposit on enforcement measures. But it’s important for our fellow citizens to understand that in order to enforce the border, there has to be a way for people to come to our country on a temporary basis to do work Americans aren’t doing. Otherwise, they will continue to try to sneak in across the border.

And, therefore, a second aspect of the comprehensive bill is one that addresses the economic needs of our country, and that is a temporary worker program that will match foreign workers with jobs Americans aren’t doing—and notice I say temporary worker program. There are a lot of employers here in this country that worry about having a work force that will be able to meet the demands and needs of a growing economy.

There are people who live in our neighborhood and around the world who are desperate to provide food for their families, and recognize there are available jobs, and they will do anything to come to our country to work, because they want to fight off the poverty and starvation that has affected their loved ones.

It’s a powerful incentive to be a mom or a dad to make sure your children don’t suffer. That’s an incentive. That’s an incentive for people here in America; it also happens to be an incentive for people around the world. And, therefore, people will be willing to go extra lengths to avoid border security. They’ll be willing to be crammed in the bottom of 18-wheelers. They fall prey to these coyotes who smuggle human beings to achieve profit.

When I say the system hadn’t worked—the system hadn’t worked to enforce our borders like we want, but the system has also fostered illegal operations that prey upon the human being, and it’s not in this nation’s interest that that continue to happen.

And, finally, this bill goes to the heart of our values. We have proven that our nation is capable of assimilating people. And I’m confident that we can continue to be a nation that assimilates. The bill recognizes that English is a part of the assimilation process and wants to help people learn the language in order to be able to take advantage of America.

You know, I’ve heard all the rhetoric—you’ve heard it, too—about how this is amnesty. Amnesty means that you’ve got to pay a price for having been here illegally, and this bill does that. But it also recognizes it’s in our nation’s interest to bring people out of the shadows; that there’s got to be a way forward that recognizes there is a penalty for being here illegally—on the other hand, that recognizes that each person has got worth and dignity.

I love a country where people come with dreams and aspirations and through hard work can realize those dreams and aspirations. I’m struck every time I hear—I’m struck about our greatness every time I hear a story about a child taking advantage of a mother’s or dad’s hard work to realize the blessings of America. I was at the Coast Guard Academy—I’ve told this story several times—and the number one cadet talked about his migrant grandfather. The fellow was a Mexican American—or is a Mexican American. The father came from—the grandfather came from Mexico to work hard so that, hopefully, some day somebody in his family would realize the blessings of America. And it worked.

The country is better off. Our soul is constantly renewed. Our spirit is invigorated when people come here and realize the blessings of America. And so the bill that we’ve worked hard to craft is an important piece of legislation that addresses the needs of a failed system, that says we’re going to change for the better.

I want to thank you all for working hard. We’ve got a couple of days of hard work ahead of us to get the bill through the first stage of the process, and then, of course, when successful in the Senate, we’ll be reconvening to figure out how to get the bill out of the House. It’s an important piece of legislation; it’s an important time to act for the sake of the country.

Thanks for your time. God bless your efforts. God bless our country. Thank you.

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Posted by dmcneal347 on June 8, 2009


BIRDA TROLLINGER, ROBERT MARTINEZ, TABETHA EDDINGS AND DORIS JEWELL, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,



TYSON FOODS, INC. a Corporation



1. This is a class action brought on behalf of all persons legally authorized to be employed in the United States (“U.S.”) who have been employed by defendant Tyson Foods, Inc. (Tyson), reportedly the world’s largest processor and marketer of poultry, as hourly wage earners at 15 of its facilities throughout the U.S. during the last four years.

2. The Complaint contends that all such persons have been victimized by a scheme perpetrated by Tyson to depress the wages paid to its employees by knowingly hiring a workforce substantially comprised of undocumented illegal immigrants for the express purpose of depressing wages (hereafter “the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme”).

3. Tyson perpetrates the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme through a complex and highly disciplined network of recruiters and temporary employment agencies, which obtain illegal immigrants, and perform additional services to facilitate their illegal employment by Tyson including transporting them to the U.S., obtaining housing in the U.S., and manufacturing and/or falsifying identification documents.

4. While the work at Tyson plants is grueling and extremely dangerous, the company avoids paying market wages to its employees as a result of the successful perpetration of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme.

5. The Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq. (RICO) and has directly and proximately caused the wages paid to plaintiffs and the class members to be substantially depressed, i.e., below the level of wages paid by other employers of unskilled laborers in the areas surrounding the 15 Tyson facilities who participate in the Illegal Immigrant hiring Scheme.

6. Plaintiffs Trollinger, Martinez, Eddings and Jewell, U.S. citizens, were employed at one of the 15 Tyson facilities perpetrating the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme. That facility is in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

7. Tyson is a corporation organized under the laws of the state of Delaware with its principal place of business in Arkansas. As alleged below, it has committed a pattern of racketeering activity in this district and is currently under indictment in this Court in case No. 4:01-CR-61, U.S. v. Tyson Foods, et al., for some of the illegal activities comprising the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme (“the Indictment”). A copy of the Indictment is attached to and made a part of this Complaint.

8. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1331 and 18 U.S.C. § 1964(a).

9. This action is brought and may be maintained as a class action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) and (3). Plaintiffs bring this action on behalf of themselves and all other persons, legally authorized to be employed in the U.S., who have been employed by Tyson at the 15 Tyson facilities located in the communities enumerated at pages 42-43 of the Indictment (“the Class”).

10. The Class for whose benefit this action is brought is so numerous that joinder of all Class members is impracticable. The actual number can only be ascertained through discovery of Tyson’s books and records.

11. Among the questions of fact and law that are common to the Class are:

Whether Tyson is engaging in the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme;

Whether Tyson is doing so in order to depress its employees’ wages;

Whether the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme has caused class members’ wages to be depressed;

Whether Tyson conducts the Illegal Employment Hiring Scheme through its network of recruiters and temporary employment agencies;

Whether the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme violates the Immigration and Nationality Act and RICO; and

Whether Tyson should be enjoined from conducting further racketeering activity and further association with its network of recruiters and temporary employment agencies.

12. Plaintiffs’ claims are typical of those of the Class in that they arise from the damages they have suffered as a result of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme. Plaintiffs seek no relief that is antagonistic to or adverse to other Class members.

13. Plaintiffs are committed to the vigorous prosecution of this action, and have retained counsel who are competent in the prosecution of class actions, RICO and complex litigation. Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect and represent the interests of the Class.

14. Questions of law or fact common to the Class predominate over issues affecting individual Class members. A class action is the only appropriate method for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy for the following reasons, among others:

The individual amounts of damages involved, while not insubstantial, are generally not large enough to justify individual actions;

The costs of individual actions would unreasonably consume the amounts that would be recovered;

Individual actions would unduly burden the judicial system; and

Individual actions brought by Class members would create a risk of inconsistent results and would be unnecessarily duplicative of this litigation.

15. Plaintiffs anticipate no difficulty in the management of this action because the evidence proving the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme is ascertainable through discovery, the identities of the Class members are known to Tyson, and damages can be calculated to a reasonable certainty through expert testimony.

A. The Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme: Years of Racketeering Activity
16. For at least the last several years, Tyson, which claims to be the world’s largest processor and marketer of poultry and employs over 120,000 workers, has aggressively engaged in an effort to reduce labor costs by driving down employee wages. Its primary strategy for doing so is the knowing employment of undocumented, illegal immigrants for unskilled positions in its processing facilities.

17. Illegal immigrants, because of their impoverished economic state, their desperate need for employment and their illicit presence in this country, tend to work for wages significantly below what a labor market comprised of U.S. citizens would pay.

18. Illegal immigrants can also be exploited in other ways as well. Owing to their constant fear of apprehension by law enforcement authorities, Tyson’s illegal immigrant workers tolerate deplorable workplace conditions and do not file worker’s compensation claims when they are injured on the job.

19. Tyson is unable to attract large numbers of illegal immigrants to work for the company on its own. Consequently, it relies upon a large network of recruiters and temporary employment services to identify qualified candidates for low-wage unskilled labor, induce those candidates to work for the company and often provide assistance in transportation to one of its facilities, provide housing (frequently in homes owned and rented out by Tyson executives at over-market rates) and other amenities.

20. Tyson pays its recruiters and temporary employment services a fee for each illegal immigrant worker it hires.

21. In exchange for these benefits, recruiters must submit to a regimen of strict discipline set by Tyson. This regimen requires recruiters to carefully screen candidates so as employ only those with personality traits consistent with Tyson’s desired worker profile; typically, these are illegal immigrants who feel vulnerable, submissive, have little knowledge of the U.S. legal system and a pressing need for immediate employment.

22. Tyson instructs its recruiters and temporary employment services to coach illegal immigrant workers to: (i) deny, if asked, that they have been smuggled into the U.S.; and (ii) credibly present verification documents to Tyson which both the recruiters and Tyson know are falsified, all in an elaborate scheme to hide the illegal employment activity. Many such illegal immigrants are recruited in Mexico and have their passage into the U.S. paid for by Tyson’s recruiters. The recruiters then meet the illegal workers as soon as they are smuggled across the U.S-Mexico border and transport them to the 15 Tyson facilities, at Tyson’s expense.

23. The result is that Tyson receives a constant stream of illegal immigrants seeking immediate employment. These workers accept unskilled positions at a starting wage of approximately $9/hour, no questions asked.

24. Workers at other facilities in the areas where the 15 Tyson plants at issue are located typically receive significantly higher starting salaries.. The difference between this wage level and the wages paid by Tyson is the direct result of the success of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme.

25. Tyson employment personnel hire these illegal immigrants with a wink and a nod, knowing they are being presented with falsified identification documents in order to establish work eligibility (many having been falsified by Amador Anchondo-Rascon in Shelbyville, Tennessee) or having been recruited by carefully selected temporary employment services who hire only known illegal immigrants, at Tyson’s request.

26. Plaintiffs are not aware of the precise number of illegal immigrants Tyson employs at the 15 facilities, but on information and belief Plaintiffs allege that the number employed is over 250 per year at each facility, year in and year out, since the knowing employment of illegal immigrants became a RICO predicate offense in 1996. Plaintiffs believe approximately half of Tyson’s workers at the 15 facilities are illegal immigrants, and the vast majority were hired by Tyson with actual knowledge of their illegal status and further, with knowledge that they were smuggled into the U.S. and harbored in the U.S.

27. Additionally, the act of knowingly employing an illegal immigrant constitutes harboring that person, and each time Tyson knowingly hires an illegal immigrant and/or provides such person with housing, it harbors that person from detection.

28. In order to perpetrate the Illegal Hiring Scheme, Tyson has knowingly hired illegal workers who have been harbored and/or smuggled, in violation of § 274(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“the Act”), which provides that: “Any person who, during any 12-month period, knowingly hires for employment at least 10 individuals with actual knowledge that the individuals are aliens… shall be fined under Title 18, or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.” 8 U.S.C.§ 1324(a)(1)(B). Plaintiffs believe and thereon allege that Tyson has committed at least ten violations of the Act in each year since 1996, with actual knowledge that each individual hired was smuggled into the U.S. and harbored once here, and that its violations are ongoing, continuous, and will not stop without judicial intervention.

29. The violation of the Act is one of the predicate offenses under RICO. 18 U.S.C.§ 1961(1)(F).

30. As detailed above, Tyson has formed ongoing associations with its recruiters and temporary employment services for the purpose of executing an essential aspect of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme: the identification and recruitment for employment of illegal immigrants who are willing to be exploited by Tyson. Tyson could not successfully conduct the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme without this enterprise, and its success in executing the Scheme for several years is the result of the discipline and single-mindedness it brings to this disparate group scattered throughout the country. Through Tyson management techniques, the group has functioned as a unit for years and continues to supply Tyson with the illegal workers it needs to depress workers’ wages.

31. Tthe recruiters and temporary employment services also permit Tyson to shift responsibility for much of the illegal activity to others, thereby using the enterprises as a front to facilitate more racketeering activity than it could possibly commit on its own.

32. For example, Amador Anchondo-Rascon, who has entered a guilty plea to one count of the Indictment, has been described as “the perfect go-between for Tyson plant managers searching for low-wage workers” because of his exposure to the immigrant community in Shelbyville, Tennessee through his operation of a successful grocery store specializing in foods favored by Mexicans. During the last three years he sold thousands of illegal immigrants fraudulent identification documents from the store, as an informal Tyson employee. Tyson then accepted the fraudulent documents, no questions asked, even though it knew the workers were ineligible to be employed in the U.S.

33. Each association of Tyson and its recruiters and temporary employment services servicing each of the 15 Tyson facilities constitutes an association-in-fact enterprise affecting interstate or foreign commerce pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1961(4). However, the recruiters have existences apart from their affiliation with Tyson. They conduct both legitimate and illicit activities. Legitimately, they recruit legal workers for other employers. The illicit activities, facilitating Tyson’s Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme through recruiting illegal immigrant workers and/or manufacturing fraudulent identification documents at Tyson’s request, are concealed and separated from their legitimate activities.

34. Tyson’s demand for illegal immigrant workers requires extra care from the temporary employment services because Tyson’s need for illegal immigrants is difficult to satisfy and conceal simultaneously. Thus, these employment services have typically changed their manner of conducting business in order to meet Tyson’s requirements, and they do so under the constant threat that Tyson will terminate its lucrative alliance if they fail to fulfill Tyson’s demands.

35. As stated above, Tyson, a “person” within the meaning of RICO, has committed a pattern of racketeering activity (the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme) through the association-in-fact enterprises with its recruiters and temporary employment services, since 1996. Section 1962(c) of RICO makes it illegal “[f]or any person… associated with any enterprise… to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs… through a pattern of racketeering activity.”

36. Plaintiffs and Class members have been damaged in their business and property rights through their employment at depressed wages by Tyson. These injuries are the direct, proximate and intended result of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme, which is targeted at Tyson’s employees. These injuries were the intended and foreseeable consequence of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme and are compensable pursuant to Section 1964(c) of RICO.

37. There is only one reason for Tyson’s perpetration of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme: Tyson knows that the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme drives down the wages paid to all the workers at its 15 facilities.

38. As intended, the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme has driven the wages paid to the legal workers at the 15 facilities well below the wages they would otherwise be receiving.


39. Plaintiffs Trollinger, Eddings, Jewell and Martinez, all U.S. citizens, were employed as hourly workers at Tyson’s Shelbyville, Tennessee facility at various periods, since 1996.

40. At all relevant times, their wages were depressed as a result of the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme.

Plaintiffs demand judgment and other relief as follows:

A. Certification of the Class pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3);

B. Judgment in an amount equal to three times the damage caused the putative Class by Tyson’s racketeering activity, the Illegal Immigrant Hiring Scheme, pursuant to 18 U.S.C.§. 1964(c);

C. Preliminary and permanent injunctions enjoining Tyson from any further racketeering activity or any further association with its recruiters and temporary employment agencies;

D. Appropriate attorney’s fees, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1964;

E. Trial by jury, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 38;

F. For any other relief the Court deems just and proper.

DATED: March, 2002.

Berta Trollinger, Robert Martinez, Doris Jewell and Tabetha Eddings


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Brief History: Cinco de Mayo

Posted by kameron1 on June 8, 2009

The celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the U.S. has assumed the regular characteristics of other inherited culutral celebrations that are not innately native.  Cinco de Mayo, for some, has become an event in American culture much like St. Patrick’s Day, a day in which the primary goal is to drink until you drop.  Perhaps drinking to the point of unconsciousness is not everyone’s goal in celebrating Cinco de Mayo, but the festivities don’t shy away from the drink. And it is perhaps this inebriated celebration that clouds the truth of Cinco de Mayo.  I have looked at a brief historical account of the foundations for the celebration and also and article explaining the capitalistic schemes behind the promotion of this small feat in Mexican history.

P.S.  Unfortunately, the apparent changing identity of American culutre to that of a Latin based American identity has its benefits and its dissappointments.  In the case of Cinco de Mayo celebrations it is dissappointing that a somewhat sacred, or respected battle has been turned upside down by the capitalist ambitions which, I think, partially identify the American spirit.  It is a benefit to the wallets of bussiness people, but a dissappointment to Mexican history; history has been turned into a mechanism for profit.


Brief History:

During the French-Mexican War, a poorly supplied and outnumbered Mexican army under General Ignacio Zaragoza defeats a French army attempting to capture Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. Victory at the Battle of Puebla represented a great moral victory for the Mexican government, symbolizing the country’s ability to defend its sovereignty against threat by a powerful foreign nation.

In 1861, the liberal Mexican Benito Juarez became president of a country in financial ruin, and he was forced to default on his debts to European governments. In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve a dependent empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large French force and driving President Juarez and his government into retreat.

Certain that French victory would come swiftly in Mexico, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles. From his new headquarters in the north, Juarez rounded up a rag-tag force of loyal men and sent them to Puebla. Led by Texas-born General Zaragoza, the 2,000 Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On the fifth of May, 1862, Lorencez drew his army, well-provisioned and supported by heavy artillery, before the city of Puebla and began their assault from the north. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers to the fewer than 100 Mexicans killed.

Although not a major strategic victory in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s victory at Puebla tightened Mexican resistance, and six years later France withdrew. The same year, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who had been installed as emperor of Mexico by Napoleon in 1864, was captured and executed by Juarez’ forces. Puebla de Los Angeles, the site of Zaragoza’s historic victory, was renamed Puebla de Zaragoza in honor of the general. Today, Mexicans celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla as Cinco de Mayo, a national holiday in Mexico.


New York Times article–Business section:

May 2, 2003

THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING; Marketers extend their holiday efforts to a Mexican celebration and even to Lent.

By Courtney Kane

MARKETERS are rarely shy about injecting commercialism into the holidays, whether it is Christmas, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. But a selling season based around Cinco de Mayo?

Turning Cinco de Mayo, in this country once a regional Southwestern celebration of Mexican pride, into a two-week bacchanal of beer, tequila, chips and salsa is the latest attempt by marketers to create selling opportunities where none previously existed.

Long John Silver’s, the seafood restaurant chain, decided that Lent, when Roman Catholics do not eat meat on Fridays, is a perfect time to advertise its fish menu. Toys ”R” Us heralded a two-week pre-Easter sale this year with a significant marketing campaign. In January, Office Depot ran new television and radio advertising for a back-to-business effort, just as many companies have back-to-school sales.

”I think marketers are so desperate” to connect to consumers in these economic times that the company-created selling season will only proliferate, said Pamela N. Danziger, president of Unity Marketing in Stevens, Pa., and the author of ”Why People Buy Things They Don’t Need.”

But Dr. Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys in New York, a brand and customer loyalty consulting company, said: ”Even as artificial as it may be, it creates a real opportunity. Generally speaking, these kinds of created events are done for a short-term jump and some sort of profitability, and generally speaking they get it.”

Cinco de Mayo is a real holiday, although it does not commemorate the occasion many people presume. It is not Mexican Independence Day; it commemorates Mexico’s military triumph over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

Now, the Cinco de Mayo holiday is considered by marketers as the spring version of St. Patrick’s Day: an opportune time to sell beer, liquor and snacks. For Corona beer, which is imported from Mexico, the date has become the cornerstone of the brand’s marketing plan, bringing big returns for the two-week promotional window, selling more than an estimated 100 million bottles.

”It gives us an opportunity as being the No. 1 import in the No. 1 group of Mexican brands in the U.S., to really get a jump-start on the summer beer-selling season, which typically had been Memorial Day,” said Bill Hackett, president of Barton Beers in Chicago. Barton, along with the Gambrinus Company, shares importing duties for the Modelo Group, which includes Mexican beers like Corona Extra and Corona Light, Modelo Especial and Pacífico.

For the third year, Corona is backing its Cinco splash with a $5 million national campaign of television, radio, print, outdoor and other promotions. One television spot, created by the Richards Group in Dallas, parodies St. Patrick’s Day. The spot features a man wandering along the Irish countryside into a pub where the locals ”celebrate their favorite holiday” only to find a Cinco de Mayo party in full swing.

”The character and personality of the Corona brand is very much tongue-in-cheek,” said Don Mann, marketing general manager for the Modelo brands at Gambrinus in San Antonio. ”It’s lighthearted, it’s oriented at fun and escapism so that’s what fits our brand and that’s the nature of our advertising.”

The Hispanic consumer is increasingly coveted by marketers. By 2005, Hispanics will be the largest ethnic youth population. So it is not surprising that other Mexican beers, including Labatt USA’s Tecate and Dos Equis, along with domestic and import brands like Budweiser from Anheuser-Busch and Heineken, the No. 2 import from Heineken USA, also have promotions. A regional promotion by Heineken encourages revelers to ”Save a Lime, Open a Heineken.”

The advertising campaigns do not please everyone. ”I don’t see anything philanthropic or as an acknowledgment of diversity; I think its strictly about market share,” said Bill Gallegos, project director with the Trauma Foundation in Los Angeles, who is also a leader in Latinos and Latinas for Health Justice. He added that ”a lot of the ways that they market these alcohol products are really offensive to us.”

Other products that hype the holiday are soda and chips. For instance, the Pepsi and Frito-Lay divisions of PepsiCo advertised for a Cinco de Mayo promotion as part of a campaign called the Power of One.

But not all marketers, even those with obvious hooks, think that Cinco de Mayo is a good opportunity.

Julie Craven, a spokeswoman for the Hormel Food Corporation in Austin, Minn., which sells the Chi-Chi’s brand of salsa and picante sauces, said the company decided to skip the holiday this year, because it was already too ”cluttered.” Instead, the company decided to advertise heavily around ”March Madness,” when consumers tend to entertain at home.

Other marketers appreciate the lift they get from newfangled holiday seasons. ”We’re in business 52 weeks of the year,” said Warren Kornblum, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Toys ”R” Us in Paramus, N.J. ”Clearly the period from November through the holiday season is the primary one, but Easter, birthdays, graduations — those kinds of things in a child’s life and a family’s life are important. Our belief is that Toys ”R” Us should be there for them.”

Both the Long John’s and Toys ”R” Us events proved to be successful.

Mike Baker, chief marketing officer at Long John Silver’s in Louisville, Ky., part of Yum Brands Inc., said that the Lent program was one of its best ever. Sales were up 9 percent from a year ago.


History link—http://www.history.com/content/mexico/cinco-de-mayo

NY Times Link–http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/02/business/media-business-advertising-marketers-extend-their-holiday-efforts-mexican.html?n=Top/News/Business/Small%20Business/Marketing%20and%20Advertising

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Gore-Perot NAFTA debate

Posted by nrohr on June 8, 2009

Gore-Perot NAFTA Debate (1993)
Larry King Live

For and Against

KING When President Bush signed this in San Antonio, he was on our show, and then a few nights later, I was with you and the then-President — Governor, now President-elect Clinton, asked about this, Nafta, and the President said, to the best of my memory: ‘Well, I’m basically for it. I want to see the side agreements, I want to hear what the unions object to and then I’ll come back and sort of let you know.’ But it was not a definitive ‘Yes.’ What changed?

GORE Well, we negotiated two side agreements that protect labor and protect the environment and not until the two side agreements were completed did we agree to support Nafta. Now this is a good deal for our country, Larry, and let me explain why.

KING But you were hedging early?

GORE Well, we said from the very beginning that we wanted to improve the basic arrangement, which we did with the side agreements, and the reason why this is so important can be illustrated by the story of a good friend of mine that I grew up with named Gordon Thompson who lives in Elmwood, Tenn., with his wife, Sue, and his son Randy. He makes tires for a living. He is a member of the United Rubber Workers and he is for this because he has taken the time to look at how it affects his job and his family.

We make the best tires in the world. But we have a hard time selling them in Mexico because they have a 20 percent tax collected at the border on all of the tires that we try to sell. Now when they make tires and sell them into the United States, the tax at the border is zero. So it’s, it’s a one-way street. Nafta changes that. It makes it even-steven.

KING So he’ll make more tires.

GORE Well, his job will be more secure. They’ll make more tires. They’ll be able to sell more tires. His son will have a better chance of going into that line of work, if that’s what he should decide he wants to do.

And remember this, I mean, people think, well, they don’t buy tires. Mexico bought 750,000 new cars last year. The Big 3 sold them only 1,000 because they have the same barriers against our cars. Those barriers will be eliminated by Nafta. We’ll sell 60,000, not 1,000, in the first year after Nafta. Every one of those cars has four new tires and one spare. We’ll create more jobs with Nafta.

KING Weren’t you a free-trader always, Ross?

PEROT I am a free-trader now.

KING Do you favor some sort of Nafta?

PEROT Absolutely.

KING Then what’s your rub?

PEROT The problem is this is not good for the people of either country.

KING Either country?

PEROT Yes. I think the important thing for everybody watching this show tonight to remember: This is not an athletic contest, this is not a question of who wins — whether I win or the Vice President wins — this is a question of do the people of the United States and the people of Mexico win. Now that’s the important issue, and I’m sure we’re in agreement on that. My concern is very simple.

I look at many years experience in the maquiladoras program and —-

KING These are the —-

PEROT Here is what I see. This — we have a lot of experience in Mexico. I’ve been accused of looking in the rear-view mirror. That’s right. I’m looking back at reality. And here is what I see after many years: Mexican workers’ life, standard of living and pay has gone down, not up. After many years of having U.S. companies in Mexico, this is the way Mexican workers live all around big, new U.S. plants.

Now, just think if you owned a big U.S. company and you went down to see your new plant and you found slums all around it, your first reaction would be, ‘Why did you build this plant in the middle of slums?’ And your plant manager would say, ‘Well, there were no slums here when we built the plant.’ And you say, ‘Well, why are they here now?’ He says, ‘This is where the workers work —-

. . .

Wages in for Mexicans

PEROT All I’m saying is —-

KING —- what would you —-

PEROT —- is if after 10 active years — this has been in effect since the 60’s, but let’s say 10 active years — you would think the standard of living of the Mexican worker would begin to come up. Instead, it continues to go down by design. Thirty-six families own over half the country; 85 million people work for them in poverty. U.S. companies, because it is so difficult to do business in this country, can’t wait to get out of this country and go somewhere else and, if possible, get labor that costs one-seventh of what it costs in the United States.

GORE How would you change it? How would you change it?

PEROT Very simply. I would go back and study. First, we look at this. It doesn’t work. If —-

GORE Well, what specific changes would you make in it?

PEROT I can’t, unless you let me finish, I can’t answer your question. Now, you asked me, and I’m trying to tell you.

GORE Right, well, you brought your charts tonight, so I want to know what specific changes —-

.. .

Previous Accords

GORE I’ve heard Mr. Perot say in the past that, as the carpenters says, measure twice and cut once. We’ve measured twice on this. We have had a test of our theory and we’ve had a test of his theory. Over the last five years, Mexico’s tariffs have begun to come down because they’ve made a unilateral decision to bring them down some, and as a result there has been a surge of exports from the United States into Mexico, creating an additional 400,000 jobs, and we can create hundreds of thousands of more if we continue this trend.

We know this works. If it doesn’t work, you know, we give six months notice and we’re out of it. But we’ve also had a test of his theory.


GORE In 1930, when the proposal by Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley was to raise tariffs across the board to protect our workers. And I brought some pictures, too.

KING You’re saying Ross is a protectionist?

GORE This is, this is a picture of Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley. They look like pretty good fellows. They sounded reasonable at the time; a lot of people believed them. The Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Protection Bill. He wants to raise tariffs on Mexico. They raised tariffs, and it was one of the principal causes, many economists say the principal cause, of the Great Depression in this country and around the world.

Now, I framed this so you can put it on your wall if you want to.

PEROT Thank you, thank you, thank you.

KING Would raising tariffs produce another —-

PEROT We’re talking to two totally different, unrelated situations. Now, you do need to measure twice and cut once, but then if you have a program that is failing, you should not institutionalize it.

See, the Mexican program has failed. It’s failed the people of Mexico. It’s failed the people of the United States. These numbers they give of exports from the United States are not realistic numbers. For example, they count in the Government figures automobile parts going into Mexico to be put into cars made by U.S. car companies in Mexico and shipped back to the United States to be sold as if Mexican consumers bought those parts. That didn’t happen.

Then, if you take a —- let’s just say you have a piece of glass crystal that you spend $100 making it in this country, you’re going to send it to Mexico to have $10 of additional work done to it, they count it as a $100 export, then they count it as $100 to come into Mexico from the U.S., then they count it as a $110 import back to the United States.

Now then, when you look at how they count, the real export figures to Mexican consumers are tiny. The used factory equipment coming from U.S. factories going into Mexico — new factories going to Mexico —-

GORE Are not more?

PEROT No, no, no. It’s equipment from the U.S. into Mexico. That’s used equipment. Then, we count that as if Mexican consumers bought it. Nobody bought anything. Old equipment must come to Mexico.

GORE Let me respond to that if I can because, unfortunately, there’s a grain of truth to that, but it’s so tiny that —- I mean it’s not a half-truth. It doesn’t quite rise to that level. There are a few things in that category, but the vast majority, 80 to 90 percent, are exports that stay in Mexico and are bought there.

Here’s what’s happened to our trade surplus. And these figures are net figures. It takes into account everything that he’s talking about in that small category. In 1987, before Mexico started lowering its taxes at the border, its tariffs, we had a $5.7 billion trade deficit with Mexico. After five years, our, the goods we make and sell into Mexico, the volume has been growing twice as fast as the goods they make and sell in the United States.

So last year we had a $5.4 billion trade surplus. Now if that trend continued for another two years — and Nafta will by removing those barriers greatly accelerate it — we will have a larger trade surplus with Mexico than with any country in the entire world.

KING Why are trade unions so opposed to it, then?

GORE Well, some of them —-

KING If your friend, who makes the tire, and he is a union member, is going to benefit from this, why is the unions aligned with Ross Perot? Why do we have this alignment of Ross Perot, unions, Jesse Jackson, Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader?

GORE Because some of them make the same mistake that, with all due respect, Mr. Perot makes. They confuse the bad trade deals in the past with this one, which is the first time we’ve been able to get one that’s even-steven, with zero on — zero taxes on both sides. You know, I told you about my friend Gordon Thompson? The international president of his union opposes Nafta; Gordon Thompson has taken the time to look at the facts, and he supports Nafta.

Let me tell you who else has taken the time: Every living former President of the United States in both parties, the two-termers and the one-termers. Every former Secretary of State, every former Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Treasury. Every living Nobel Prize winner in economics — conservatives, liberals, everyone in between. They’ve never agreed on anything —-

PEROT That fact —-

GORE Let me just finish this one point —- and distinguished Americans from Colin Powell to Tip O’Neill to Rush Limbaugh, Ross Perot Jr., the head of his business, Mort Myerson, Orson Swindle, the head of United We Stand last time; and Ross Perot Sr. supported it until he started running for President and attempting to bring out the politics of fear.

KING Ross.

PEROT Will I be able to speak for a second or two from time to time?

KING You may. You’re on.

PEROT Because there’s a lot of inaccuracies here. Let’s go to the big picture, then skip the personal stuff.

People who don’t make anything can’t buy anything. Let’s start with that. We’re 85 percent of the market. Canada is 11 percent of the buying power.

KING Of the total free market.

PEROT And Mexico is only 4 percent. People who don’t make anything cannot buy anything. Never forget that.

. . .

Accusations Over Airport

GORE There has been unfair competition from foreign countries that don’t let our products in, even though we buy their products. This will help to stop that.

Some people want to stay with the status quo, just keep things the way they are.

We want to open up these barriers. And let me give you a specific example. Valmont Electric Company in Danville, Ill., less than a year ago was trying to sell products into Mexico. They’ve got a 13 percent tax at the border. We have a zero tax coming the other way. They closed down in Danville. Four hundred jobs lost. They opened up in Mexico with 100 jobs down there, and now they ship their products duty-free back into the United States through the Alliance Airport, which is the free trade zone that Mr. Perot’s company has set up for. It’s kind of a private free trade zone —-

KING Are you saying Mr. Perot’s —-

GORE Outside of Dallas. And they take Valmont Electric’s products and distribute them through the United States duty free.

Now, if we pass Nafta, that 13 percent tax that they have at their border would be gone and companies like Valmont could stay here in the United States, sell their products in Mexico and not have to go down there to get over the barrier.

KING Are you saying that Mr. Perot is personally benefiting by attacking Nafta?

GORE I think he has set it up so that he will benefit financially either way. But if Nafta passes, I mean if Nafta is defeated, this family business that has a free-trade zone outside of Dallas will continue to distribute products coming from Mexico into the rest of the United States.

What is the deal with Alliance?

PEROT I think what you meant —- I’ll explain it. What we see here tonight is why our country is $4 trillion in debt, going a billion dollars in debt every working day. Nobody ever focuses on the real problems.

Now, I’m going to try to say this as simply as I can. Alliance Airport is in Fort Worth, Tex., not in Mexico. Alliance Airport is owned by the City of Fort Worth, not my son.

Can you shake your head on that?

GORE No, the —-

PEROT Alliance Airport, check the F.A.A., is owned by —-

GORE You don’t —-

PEROT —- the City of Fort Worth.

GORE You don’t, you don’t have —-

PEROT The airport —-

GORE —- ownership of —

PEROT The airport.

GORE —- of the Alliance Carter Incorporated?

PEROT Please.

KING All right, let him finish.

PEROT Let’s have an unnatural event and try not to interrupt me.


PEROT Now, my son owns land adjoining the airport. Now, the purpose of that land is to build factories and warehouses to be, so that industrial goods can be moved by rail and by air.

KING From the airport?

PEROT Just now. Watch my lips: The jobs will be created in Texas; Texas is in the United States, the workers will be United States citizens. They will be paid U.S. wages. It is a job creator in the United States of America.

And all of this other Silly Putty they throw up. For example, the free-trade zone concept goes back to the 1930’s. It is nothing new about the free trade zone concept. You have to apply to the U.S. Government to get it, and if it didn’t make sense, I guess they wouldn’t have given it to him. But it is not aimed at doing business with Mexico.

GORE You’re not involved in it?

PEROT Mexico will be a tiny, little part of this whole operation. O.K. I am putting my country’s interest far ahead of my business interest.

KING You would do better with Nafta?

PEROT I would. No, it —- When I’m in a room with corporate America, the first thing they say is, ‘Perot, why don’t you keep your mouth shut. You could, with your resources, make more money than anybody else.’

KING If Nafta —-

PEROT Here is the Nafta gain. Buy U.S. manufacturing companies cheap right after Nafta passes that are labor-intensive that make good products that have marginal profits. Close the factories in the U.S., move the factories to Mexico, take advantage of the cheap labor, run your profits through the roof, sell the company stock at a profit. Go get another one.

GORE That’s what they do now.

PEROT You —-

GORE That’s what they’re doing right now.

KING Are they doing that now?

GORE And they’re using Alliance Carter Inc. in part to do it.

PEROT Oh, come on, come on. You’re talking about something like a trickle of water coming over Niagara Falls as opposed to the gusher. You know it.

. . .

Issue of Japan

CALLER The subject has come up about the possibility of Japanese taking over if Nafta doesn’t go through. I’m American. I’ve been living in Mexico City for many years. There are thousands of Japanese here. They are waiting. They are lurking. What are you people doing? Why —-

GORE Let me answer that.

KING Hold on. What’s the finish of it ma’am. All right, I didn’t hear the end of it.

GORE Yes, she said, ‘What are you doing? Why don’t you wake up?’

KING Okay. Well, I think the question was —-

PEROT It’ll only take a minute to kill this snake, go ahead.

KING Go ahead, kill it.

GORE You’re talking about the question, not me, right?

GORE You’re talking about the question not me, right?

PEROT No, this question, absolutely.

KING Go ahead, it’s for you.

PEROT Just this basic. There’s a constant in the Clinton Administration. Any time they get cornered, they go into the what I call the sky is falling routine, the presidency is at stake. The Japanese are coming.

KING The question was she says there are Japanese —-

PEROT Next spring we’ll have the British are coming, you know, the ghosts are coming. Look, the Japanese cannot just wander into Mexico, do anything they want to do, dump across our border unless we’re stupid enough to let them. Now, if our foreign lobbyists say wired in the way they are now, we’ll probably say, ooh, this is wonderful. I can tell you about Japanese deals that have been cut through our foreign lobbyists. I can tell you a deal that’s buried in this agreement that gives a $17 million benefit to Honda. It’s buried, I can show it to you in print. It’s there big time. I can show you a deal —

KING Benefits a single company?

PEROT You bet. I can show you a deal on Tennessee whiskey that will make you just wonder what the heck is going on. The sky is not falling, the Japanese are our friends. They’re not a threat. They’re not a threat.

GORE Let me respond. Both automobile manufacturers, including Honda in Marysville, Ohio, Nissan in Tennessee, Saturn in Tennessee, all of the companies in Detroit, they benefit because that Mexican tariff is brought down to zero. Every other American from Tennessee, whiskey benefits, every American business potentially benefits if they want to sell in Mexico. Hold on, hold on, because I want to respond to her question. This is extremely important. President Salinas has a trade mission to Japan the month after the vote on Nafta. If we don’t take this deal you can bet that Japan will try to take this deal. They’ll be in there in a New York minute. Europe will try to get this deal. They are concerned about us taking this deal.

Listen, Larry, we ought to thank our lucky stars that the Mexican people have had the vision and courage to strike out on the American path toward the ideas of Thomas Jefferson, toward democracy, toward free markets and now they just want to know can we take yes for an answer.

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Prop. 187, by William Bennet

Posted by nrohr on June 8, 2009

In 1994 California voters passed Proposition 187, a ballot initiative that stripped illegal aliens of public services, including education and health care. The principal targets of Proposition 187 were Mexican immigrants who illegally crossed into California every year by the thousands. The massive influx of Mexican immigrants to the United States (both legal and illegal) began in the 1960s and 1970s but grew to greater proportions in the 1980s and 1990s, setting off a contentious political debate within the United States. This immigration was largely a result of widespread poverty in Mexico and economic opportunity in the United States, spurred by American business demands for low-wage labor, which Mexican immigrants provided. As the most populous state in the country and with a seemingly porous border with Mexico, California quickly emerged at the forefront of an anti-immigrant backlash. Supporters of Proposition 187 argued that illegal aliens placed a burdensome drain on state services and cost California taxpayers millions of dollars every year. On the other hand, opponents of Proposition 187 argued that disallowing public services would not deter illegal immigration but only worsen poverty in California. William Bennett, former secretary of education during the Ronald Reagan administration, was among the first Republican leaders to oppose Proposition 187, despite the fact that many California Republicans supported it.

Source: Current, February 1995, “Making Americans: Immigration and Tolerance.”


Proposition 187, California’s ballot initiative which deprives illegal aliens of such publicly funded services as education and health care, won an overwhelming victory last month. A handful of states have expressed interest in putting similar measures on the ballot. Legislation may be introduced in the 104th Congress that would reduce legal immigrant quotas by as much as 50 percent. And some prominent conservatives are now arguing for a moratorium on legal immigration.

Just a few years ago, immigration issues went virtually unmentioned; soon they will be near the top of the national political agenda. For the first time in decades, the GOP will decide immigration policy—and at a time when Republicans are engaged in a vigorous debate about what direction to go. The new majority party now has an opportunity to craft legislation that is responsible, effective and consonant with the best aspects of the American character.

The most contentious part of the entire immigration debate is illegal immigration. When Jack Kemp and I came out in opposition to Proposition 187, we knew we were going against strong and deep political currents. But I believed then and I believe now that the proposition is meretricious, shortsighted (i.e., throwing 300,000 children out of school and onto the streets) and employs means that are profoundly anti-conservative and pernicious (to wit: charging private citizens with the duty of identifying people they “suspect” to be illegal and requiring them to turn the names over to state and federal authorities). It is worth noting that there are already reports from California that Proposition 187 is creating fear among legal immigrants and massive confusion in courts and schools, and among doctors, police officers and social service providers.

Illegal immigration is a very serious problem, and all Americans, especially Californians, are right to be upset and angry. Every sovereign nation has the right and the duty to control its borders. We need to put into place policies that will curb illegal immigration and assist the states in their efforts to do the same. These measures should include beefing up border patrols and deploying them more intelligently; expediting the deportation process, particularly for illegal immigrants convicted of a crime; cracking down on fraudulent immigration documents; overhauling the Immigration and Naturalization Service; changing some of the requirements for immigration sponsorship; and reducing the number of employment eligibility documents. A number of these proposals have been recommended by the House Republican Task Force on Illegal Immigration and the new Republican majority will, I hope, act on them. . . .

But the larger and more important issue before Congress and the country is legal immigration. While there are some minor reforms worth examining, my views on legal immigration are guided by an explicit underlying conviction: Legal immigrants are a net plus for America and hence current policy is essentially viable. In this, the distinction between legal and illegal is fundamental. And making this distinction is critical to policy.

Studies show that legal immigrants are often self-selected on the basis of industry, hard work, self-reliance and a respect for time-honored American principles. They hold strong family values and deeply rooted religious faith. And immigrants are making important contributions to America in the fields of science, engineering, biotechnology, computer hardware and software, to mention just a few.

The Manhattan Institute and the Urban Institute have provided important empirical evidence about immigration. In 1993, the United States admitted just over 900,000 legal immigrants. While recent decades have seen large numbers of immigrants arrive in this country, their numbers are half what they were during the last wave of immigration. Eight percent of our population is foreign-born, compared with double that figure at the turn of the century. Contrary to popular opinion, immigration does not cause higher unemployment rates for U.S. workers (in part because of the jobs immigrants create with new businesses they start). Except for refugees, immigrants who arrived in the past decade receive welfare payments at lower rates than native-born Americans. They are a huge net contributor to Social Security, and annual taxes paid by immigrants more than offset their costs to society, generating a net annual surplus of $25 billion to $30 billion.

In one of the most comprehensive studies ever done on the link between crime and legal immigration, economists Kristin Butcher and Anne Morrison Piehl find “no evidence that immigrants are more likely to engage in criminal activity than natives. In the individual data, in fact, whether or not one controls for other demographic characteristics, immigrants are significantly less likely to commit crime. . . . [We] find no evidence that areas with high levels of immigration have experienced disproportionate growth in criminal activity over the last decade.”

Historians have noted that during the 19th century there were real questions about whether the Irish, Italians, Chinese and Polish immigrants were capable of being assimilated. The Irish were despised “for their ignorance, poverty and superstition.” German immigrants were considered an affront to American culture, in part because they wanted to preserve their traditions and language. In the early part of this century, Jewish immigrants were among the least skilled of all immigrant groups that arrived.

There are two important historical facts to keep in mind. The first is that during times of economic uncertainty and social disrepair, immigrants are always among the first (and easiest) targets of public antipathy. The second is that virtually every group that has come to America’s shores has been spurned upon its arrival, and anti-immigration sentiments have run through public opinion polls for as long as we have had reliable information. Yet these groups have not only assimilated, they have become welcome and valuable members of American society. (Recent public opinion surveys show that the once-despised Irish now consistently rate as the nationality which most benefits this nation).

The immigration issue evokes the strongest passions in the cultural, and not the economic, arena. Indeed, immigration cannot be fully understood outside a larger cultural context. There is an alarming reluctance in our schools and universities to affirm, advance and transmit our common American culture. And while it has profound implications for immigration, I believe contemporary American society’s most serious problems are more fundamental than, and different from, immigration. Our problem does not have to do with legal immigration but with assimilation—and assimilation not just for people born in foreign lands but for the people born in this nation.

Cultural anthropologist David Murray has referred to new-born children as the “ultimate undocumented aliens.” By that he means that children are not born with any culture or society; they must be helped to become citizens every bit as urgently as, say, refugees from Southeast Asia. If we fail the American-born children, they will be the aliens who overwhelm us. And this is precisely what we are seeing happen today.

Because of American diffidence and neglect, many children are not being acculturated and socialized. The repayment for that neglect is now being played out on our urban streets, in hospital emergency rooms, in our courts and our classrooms. In too many places, republican virtues are not being inculcated.

The advocates for ending immigration argue that immigrants pose a cultural threat to America and that our society is no longer capable of assimilating them. But pinning the blame on immigrants for America’s social decay is a dodge and a distraction. And it happens to be exactly wrong. One can make a strong argument that many new immigrants have been corrupted by those same degraded aspects of American culture that trouble so many American parents.

It’s time we get on with the real work that needs to be done: Revivify our character-forming institutions and put an end to misguided government-sponsored policies that foster social fragmentation, resegregation and racial tension. The argument for dismantling the current welfare state and stopping its corrupting dependency has received an extensive public hearing. But there are three other areas that bear on this issue.

Bilingualism: Mastery of English is a key to individual opportunity in America. Teaching English to those whose native language is not English is a continuation of the struggle to provide for all Americans the opportunity to participate fully in our political, economic and social life. Having a common language is an essential condition of a unified nation. We should not be bashful about proclaiming fluency in this language as a critical educational goal, and we should not be timid in reforming our policies so as to secure it.

Multiculturalism: One of the arguments that the anti-immigration advocates rely on is that immigrants promote ethnic separatism and their foreign culture will contaminate our culture. In fact, radical multiculturalism has its origins in America and finds its intellectual home in America’s elite universities. Francis Fukuyama has pointed out that “the ideological assault on traditional family values . . . was not the creation of recently arrived Chicano agricultural workers or Haitian boat people, much less of Chinese or Korean immigrants.” Rather, he says, it “originated right in the heart of America’s well-established white, Anglo Saxon community.”

Counting by Race: Quotas, race norming, racial gerrymandering and set-asides undercut the founding American principle of equality under the law. These policies judge individuals on the color of their skin, not on the “content of their character,” and they have the effect of prying Americans apart. We need to reestablish a principle that many of us thought we settled three decades ago: the moral case for putting a de jure end to racial discrimination and preferences. A good place to advance the cause is in California, where right now a group is undertaking an effort to place a civil rights initiative on the primary election ballot in 1996. Called the California Civil Rights Initiative, it is a constitutional amendment prohibiting the state and its “subdivisions” (colleges, agencies, or local governments) from “us[ing] race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex or religion as a criterion for either discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group in the operation of the state’s system of public employment, public education or public contracting.”

“The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory,” the historian Milan Hubl says in Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. “Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long the nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was.”

Our collective cultural task is to remember what we were and what we still are. If we once again get that right, then immigrants will fit in and flourish, as they always have. If we keep getting it wrong, then it won’t really matter where the people come from. For whatever their place of origin, they will be citizens without a culture, and they will bear children without a future.

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Bill Bradley: Support for Free Trade Agreement

Posted by nrohr on June 8, 2009


By the early 1990s, Mexico had emerged as one of the United States’ leading trading partners. Recognizing Mexico’s growing importance to the American economy, the George Bush administration negotiated a sweeping free-trade agreement with Mexico. The agreement, known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), eliminated all trade barriers between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, effectively turning North America into a common market. The treaty, however, faced a major obstacle in the form of Congress. Although many economists hailed NAFTA as a certain economic boon to the United States, the Democratic majority in Congress viewed it warily. Many Democrats feared that NAFTA’s passage would devastate working-class Americans by making it easier for corporations to move factories to Mexico, where labor is much cheaper than in the United States. In the speech from April 1991 excerpted below, Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey broke ranks with his fellow Democrats and called for the passage of the free-trade agreement. Although the Bush administration failed to win Congressional approval for NAFTA in 1991, the election of Bill Clinton to the presidency in 1992 gave it another chance. Like Bradley, Clinton was a pro-NAFTA Democrat, and after weeks of heavy lobbying by Clinton, Congress finally passed NAFTA in an extremely close vote in the fall of 1993.

Source: Vital Speeches of the Day, May 15, 1991.


So what can we say about this world? First, we no longer stand unchallenged economically, nor only opposite the U.S.S.R. We spent a lot of our economic productivity during the Cold War on insuring ourselves against a military threat from a Soviet Union whose economic and social foundations were full of termites. Then, just at the time Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush, and John LeCarre declared the Cold War over; just at the time Germany reunites, and 100,000 Soviet citizens were permitted to leave; just at the time when we felt we were turning a page of history, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Was his action the beginning of a new kind of conflict or the end of the old? And was our response the beginning of a new world order or the culmination of the old order?

From the standpoint of the Wilsonian vision for collective security, the war to free Kuwait ranks with World War II and the containment of Soviet expansion in terms of its success. Its message is loud and clear. A dictator who invades another country risks the collective condemnation of the nations of the world and the quick destruction of his army. Yet it may also signal the dawning of an age when even the most skilled collective security cannot prevent the violence that lies ahead. . . .

For newly freed peoples seeking ways to live together peacefully in Central and Eastern Europe, in Africa, within the borders of what is still the Soviet Union, and elsewhere, American leadership depends more on the example of the kind of the country we build than on our military might. And the most powerful example is that of a pluralistic society whose democracy and growing economy takes all its citizens to the higher ground.

But we can’t lead by example as long as white Americans build mental walls between themselves and the abysmal living conditions of many black Americans in our cities. We can’t lead by example if we allow gangs to turn city neighborhoods into war zones and schools into fortresses so that the 10 percent of the kids who don’t want to learn destroy the possibility of learning for the 90 percent who do. We can’t lead by example if individuals refuse to take responsibility for their own actions or government bureaucrats remain unaccountable for results. We can’t lead by example if it’s easier for us to put a man on the moon than to get a low-income pregnant women across town to a doctor. We can’t lead by example if we fail to see that crime often causes poverty and destroys the interracial bonds of civil society.

In facing up to the realities of race and ethnicity in America today, we must also observe that the isolation of urban black poverty developed first from our failure to respond to an economic migration of five million people—African Americans moving from the sharecropping farms of the South to the cities of the North.

Racial, ethnic, and religious conflict is sometimes inseparable from the conflict of economic migration. Open borders to Eastern Europe unleash ethnic fears for the people of homogenous countries in Western Europe. Riots in Marseilles, violence in London, and xenophobia in Germany come from fears of actual and potential migrations from Asia, North Africa, Poland, and the Soviet Union. When large groups of people move from one place to another—things change.

One of the most dramatic economic migrations in the world is occurring along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico. It’s more than “the only frontier between the industrialized and developing worlds.” As writer Carlos Fuentes has said, it’s also the gulf between 15th Century Spain and 18th Century England. It separates our cultures as well as our economies, but the comparative economic opportunity in the United States increasingly will pull Mexico’s best people north, leaving Mexico with the unskilled and America with a massive social problem. That is why understanding the dynamics of economic migration will allow us to control it, forestall its most disruptive economic effects and to lessen the ethnic, racial, and religious tensions that could follow. . . .

Now, nearly 20 million people live in Mexico City choking on air pollution. It was Mexican policies that tried to keep Mexico an anti-American island in a sea of good faith attempts to bridge our differences.

But since President Carlos Salinas, a Harvard-educated economist, took office two years ago, the economic and political changes in Mexico have been as profound as in any country on the globe. Last August, Salinas proposed the most significant step for his country’s future, a free-trade agreement with the United States. In February, President Bush and Prime Minister Mulroney of Canada joined Salinas to begin negotiations on a North American free-trade zone.

There is only one thing you really need to know about Mexico to understand why the free-trade agreement is so critical to Salinas: Half of Mexico’s 80 million people are under the age of 15. Beginning right now, either jobs will be created below the Rio Grande, in places such as Doctor Coss, or there will be more and more legal and illegal immigration into Texas, California, Oklahoma, Kansas and even to New York and Florida. That economic migration will dwarf the migration of black Americans to the North.

I believe Congress should support a maximum effort to complete the negotiations successfully. It will not be easy. There are legitimate problems but a good free-trade agreement would be of great benefit to the United States. It could add dynamism to our economy, creating thousands of jobs and making us more competitive in world markets. It could transform our southern border and enrich our national culture.

But the Mexican Free Trade Agreement will be controversial. There will be thoughtful and constructive opposition. Such a major development in our economic lives deserves such thorough debate. But if we view the proposed free-trade agreement as one inseparable component of overall reform in Mexico, I cannot see any strong argument for not attempting to get an agreement.

We don’t always see Mexico as its people would want us to see them. Opponents of the free-trade pact see Mexico’s politics as hopelessly corrupt and undemocratic. Yet Salinas appears to be using his political legitimacy, rather than police power, to bring about reform. And while two-party democracy has not arrived everywhere, it is alive in several states near our border. Opponents of the free-trade pact still see it as a country happily lax in its environmental regulation—yet the mayor of Mexico City told me that he is spending $3.5 billion over four years to clean up the air. Opponents of the trade pact still see Mexico as a stubbornly inefficient, politically stagnant nation unwilling to give up the temporary benefits of inflation, budget deficits, and government ownership of key economic sectors. But Salinas has cut his country’s budget deficit by the equivalent of three Gramm-Rudman acts. He has brought inflation down dramatically, reduced tariffs, encouraged foreign investment, and privatized many state enterprises, such as telephones. Opponents of the trade pact see Mexico as inward-looking, and yet Mexico now turns outward, ready to tear down that last frontier between the developing and the industrial world, ready to try to become a first-world nation.

The negotiations over a free-trade pact with Mexico will be a test of whether Americans and Mexicans can overcome their stereotypes and suspicions of each other in pursuit of a larger goal—a more productive economy on both sides of the border. Can we be bold and imaginative enough to create the conditions that will enhance our children’s future? Do we have the courage to face the fact that their chances for a better life depends on raising our productivity, which in turn depends on a commitment to quality at home and finding common ground abroad?

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