Class Warfare Blog

July 24, 2013

Steve King’s “Immigrants to Dogs” Speech Misunderstandings

There has been a big flap about whether Rep. Steve King (R-IA) compared immigrants to dogs in a speech a couple of months ago. Here’s the key quotation (the whole thing is all over the Internet, be my guest):

You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest . . . not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner. You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet. We’ve got the vigor from the planet to come to America.

What is missing from this whole debate, since King is a notorious race baiter, is not the immigrant = dog comparison as that is a stretch at best, it was his barely veiled correspondence of “undocumented Mexicans” with “the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.” In other words he was playing the lazy Mexican card. Not only is he saying that undocumented Mexican immigrants have no really useful skills, but they are lazy, too.

“The solution to the “illegal immigration problem” being alluded to is quite simple: require proof of citizenship from anyone you hire.”

Obviously Representative King has spent no time in Mexico. Mexicans are the hardest working people on the planet. The “lazy Mexican” meme came about because Mexicans in California (they used to own California, don’t you know) took a nap in the hottest part of the day (a siesta). Anglos couldn’t conceive of wasting productive time, so the Mexicans were just “lazy.” The fact that after the heat of the day peaked and was declining somewhat, those Mexicans worked their asses off for the rest of the daylight hours when the Anglos knocked off at six, was missed in the observation.

And King is arguing that we should only allow immigrants into this country with the kinds of skills that will compete for jobs with Americans possessing similar skills. This is a Republican strategy to hold down wages. New immigrants, hoping to establish themselves and qualify for citizenship, don’t go on strike demanding higher wages. They don’t even ask for raises.

Mr. King fails to note that the undocumented Mexicans here for jobs are by and large doing jobs Americans do not want (picking produce, manual labor, etc.). And if their employer takes out withholding taxes and payroll taxes (though many do not) those taxes go straight into government coffers because undocumented workers do not fill out tax forms; they get no refunds.

Mr. King is a hateful racist and is not a good representative of all of what is good and fair in the state of Iowa. They would do well to find someone else to represent them.

So that I am not misunderstood, I am not in favor of illegal immigration of any kind. I think people should go through the process. The solution to the “illegal immigration problem” being alluded to is quite simple: require proof of citizenship from anyone you hire. This is not difficult; it is done all over the world. Republicans don’t want this “burdensome regulation” because it would solve the problem. They would rather have the problem (as a talking point to curry favor with their base) and the cheap labor their big business supporters want.

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