That’s Spanish for “sports.”

What kind of sports shall we play, then? Hunt ’em all down and fling ’em all out? Even the only President we’ve got is realistic enough to understand that there’s not enough manpower to track down and deport all illegal (undocumented) aliens and so is concentrating instead on weeding out those who have committed real crimes while here. Not to mention that we need all those law-abiding fruit pickers, roofers et al even though they may not have gone through “proper” immigration channels. Fair enough, but not enough fair to allay the fears of the decent and hard-working, even though technically illegal, immigrants. More demonstrations! I wish I’d invested in companies that produce sign-making materials.

Going through such official channels, one quickly comes to suspect that the Gummint is making sport of those who want to immigrate the “right” way. Endless hurdles to jump, long waits to endure, massive fees to pay, etc.. My wifeperson finally got scheduled for an interview with a real live immigration official just before we moved from Texas to Washington. Fortunately, said official liked us, or at least took pity on us. Although there was, inevitably, one more form to be filled out, she (the official) said that she would retain our file for a month and that we should mail the completed form to her at the Dallas office. If we sent it to our new “local” office in Seattle, she said, it would go – you guessed it – straight to the bottom of their heap.

The governments on this continent do love their silly border games. Consider the case of Point Roberts, a tiny bit of the USA that should really be part of Canada. A perfect example of what happens when borders are established with a map, a straightedge and a whole lot of ignorance, Point Roberts just happens to be south of the 49th parallel, which makes the residents thereof ‘Murricans. The distinction was generally ignored until “Homeland Security” (how Balkan that sounds!) became fashionable, at which time all the local roads were barricaded and an official border crossing station established. Oh, those local roads are all still there, blocked only by some large chunks of concrete placed across them. Presumably, children from both sides of the divide still play together. But are they being black-marked by doing so? True, last time I was there I didn’t see any machine gun towers or CCTV cameras, no armed drones circling overhead, but then “they” are getting ever better at hiding such things. Kiddies, play at your peril! Could that ball be a bomb?

Adults wishing to cross the border with food items have to play the “guess what’s banned this week” game. At one time, Canadian beef was not allowed. Last time I checked, beef was OK but lamb wasn’t. Sorry, but I’m not up to the strain of keeping track of what’s what with fruits and vegetables. At least I’ve never (yet) been detained when bringing a box of doughnuts home from Tim Horton’s, a Canadian purveyor of calorific treats (says he, drooling on keyboard).

Word games. Suppose we add an “e” to “deportes,” making it an English word, “deportees.” I can never hear that word without remembering a story. Back when I was still working, I was lucky enough to have a temporary office worker assigned to my department. Her last previous assignment had been with a bus company that had the regional contract for hauling deported Mexicans back to Mexico. She told me that one of the bus company’s regular employees was a Mexican-American lady who took a shine to one of those awaiting deportation. When she told him how unfortunate she felt their circumstances, he replied that she shouldn’t worry, that he’d be back the following week.

I, too, will be back (cue: evil laughter).

33 thoughts on “Deportes”

  1. The female-type parent had no interest in taking a US passport. Six months before her permanent residency card was set to expire she dutifully filled-in the renewal forms. After multiple assurances that “they were working on it” she received notice that it would not be done in time. Her options were to leave the US willingly before her legal status lapsed and apply for re-entry from Germany, risk deportation for lacking legal status with the full acknowledgement that it was their fault, not hers or apply for naturalisation as that could be done most quickly. She did just that as she couldn’t simply walk away from her position for an indefinite amount of time or face deportation.

    There are no perfect places. One risks dealing with bureaucratic ineptitude and the unfortunate consequences thereof in every country. Parenthetically, I’m in the midst of sorting yet another bout of pettyofficialitis out. But, at least in my experience, the Yanks of perfected a special sort of toxicity. I’ve had to endure the “we’ll do to you and with you as we please and you’ll accept it, or else we’ll do everything in our power to destroy you” mentality so often that I’ve developed an engrained reluctance to enter into any sort of legal arrangement with Americans. Returning permanently to Europe has provided its challenges, but I very rarely think that it was the wrong decision. Those times I do think this involve delusions of living in Australia or New Zealand. Or, most bizarrely, living in Japan.

  2. Christopher, that happened to me just before Christmas, but it has obviously become so routine that they now have a preprinted extension sticker they whack on the back of the green card that gives you another 9 months which is obviously the time they take to process the whole shebang. Not surprising considering the waiting hall was 150 wogs and three whites in the queue! I was assured it was like that every day!

    I don’t personally condone any illegal immigration anywhere. So many are working in the black economy for cash, paying no taxes and yet collecting every handout and free medicine and education without contributing a penny. I would weed out such gimmigrants ruthlessly along with the felons and deport them without recourse to law.. Should they come back I would give them an arbitrary year very hard labour, they wouldn’t come back too often. However the ones that pay taxes etc I would make a route to citizenship in due course.

    Only group I feel any pity for are those that were bought to a country as very young children who know nowhere else and have never been to their country of origin. It was not their fault but that of the parents. Those I would give a break.

  3. CO: It’s sometimes hard to argue that one should follow the laws in the USA. Many times one is far worse off for it. The male-type parent’s younger brother often used to say “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission”. I had a proper larff today after reading an advertisement for the Green Card lottery. Lower taxes in the USA! Marginally, until you count social security and Medicare contributions, health insurance costs and the amount one must set aside for a pensions. If you live in a state with a state income taxes and a municipality with a municipal taxes you pay Scandinavian rates for a much lower quality of life.

  4. The problem is that illegal immigration has been going on for so long that the illegals have become part of the economy so it isn’t that easy to get rid of them. Meantime the local labour has been marginalised by the low wages that immigrants (legal or not will accept). It’s a viscous circle.
    None of which is to say that the problem cannot or should not be dealt with.

  5. CT: Social Security and Medicare contributions are eventually returned to you in the form of Gummint pension payments and health care benefits – provided that one lives long enough and is in poor enough health to receive same. As a former resident of NYC, I can attest to the combined burden of federal, state and city taxes. At the time, however, what troubled me more than the financial burden was the paperwork burden – three different sets of forms! On your other subject, if you think that the INS people are highhanded, you ain’t seen nothin’ until you’ve run afoul of the dread IRS.

    Regarding immigration: What we really need is a greatly simplified procedure for immigrants, especially those from Mexico, to legally enter and reside in the USA, even if only temporarily as seasonal workers. CO has some good ideas on this. Many of those who are already here truly want to be good residents even though all the bureaucratic ayes haven’t been dotted and tees crossed. Heck, many even *want* to pay inkum tackses.

    A former co-worker, upon his retirement, took a part-time job with a national firm that provides (for a slight fee) tax assistance. One day a mob of Mexican laborers entered the office wanting to know how to pay their income tax. It seems they’d been working for a contractor who, rather than keeping individual records, gave all the money in cash to one of the bunch for further distribution. After consultation with the firm’s top experts and with some help from the tax man (gladly furnished, as it was found money for the IRS), he eventually managed to get the income and resulting tax liabilities divvied up, but therein lies a lesson for our revenooers: keep at least as close an eye on those who hire illegal immigrants as on those immigrants who really do want to fit in, pay taxes and at least act like citizens.

    Granted that there are also those who come here wanting to squeeze every penny they can out of the system. What to do with them? Perhaps, to borrow from G&S’ The Mikado, something involving boiling oil or melted lead. Let me meditate on it for a while…

  6. Jazz: The important thing is to take a sensible approach to dealing with these problems. Say, have a phase-out of free movement from Europe in order to allow businesses to prepare. At the same time, people in areas with higher unemployment really should be heavily encouraged to move to places where they could more easily find employment. Some simply refuse to do it.

  7. Uncontrolled immigration, which is what we now have in the UK, drives wages inexorably lower. There is a fast approaching point at which the ‘indigenous’ population will no longer stand for this.
    This situation will lead to civil unrest, particularly of the govt doesn’t get a move on with Brexit or the House of Lords tries to hold things up.
    If you think that the UK is too stable a country for nasty things to happen then you are “whistling as you pass the graveyard” as the old saying goes.

    I’m damn sure I wouldn’t like to be forced to move home. Have you any idea how difficult and expensive accommodation is here and what a nightmare it would be to have to move (particularly for families). You seem to live a somewhat peripatetic existence but that isn’t an option for most people.

  8. Cog: That was entirely my point. In most of Europe what is called taxes amounts to a higher rate, but that includes health insurance, a pension, old age care, uni to various extents, local taxes for certain services, etc. In the US this is all tacked on to a basic rate of taxes. Even then, on a fairly average income of £40,000 the US would tax at 42pc including social security and Medicare, but not healthcare, uni, etc. Sweden would levy a tax rate of 31pc. Denmark’s tax laws are hideously complex, but no more than 51.5pc can be levied. This includes all taxes and services. In the US, it would be far higher for the same. By some measures roughly 60pc if not more.

  9. Jazz: Quite. So generations can rot away in the Southern Welsh Valleys and northern Sink Estates when there are labour shortages in the South East and Embra. Good thinking, mate. Those who wish to improve their lots are willing to move. No jobs in Grimsby or Glasgow? Find a way to move to the South-East or Embra. No jobs in Brandenburg or Saarland? Move to Bavaria or Hesse. One can’t be “forced” to move, but there’s little point in saying immigrants drive down wages or take jobs from “natives” when the natives can’t be arsed to move where there actually are jobs. I’ve learnt to make due with my circumstances, for better or worse. Do I enjoy moving about as much as I do? I do not,and I hope that my next move is my final move for some time. However, I am willing to do what I need to do. I should add that as I struggle to support myself, I didn’t actually have a family to put greater strain in my resources and limit my ability to change my circumstances.

  10. Christopher. You are talking a load of simplistic crap and not for the first time.

    And don’t call me ‘mate’ you patronising prick.

  11. Jazz: Te he he. Bloody brilliant comments, mate. You really do so much to further your argument that way. I will be sure to take you even more seriously because you resort to calling me a “prick”. You’re such a dear. I just don’t know how I can stand in the shadow of the glory that is your existence. Your pithy wit overwhelms.

  12. I can almost hear a German Accent in that little rant. As corporal Jones in Dad’s Army used to say “They don’t like it up ’em” ….or maybe you do ?

  13. Good night, fellow Charioteers. It’s late and tomorrow promises to be a busy day. Don’t mind the resident baby’s tantrum. He has these on occasion. One hopes he’ll grow out of his sense of inadequacy one day.

  14. I have to agree with jazz. To move from the south Wales valleys to a city in the east of England would mean an increase in rent about x4! Quite impossible on a conventional wage.

  15. Someone I dare not name for fear of being accused of making ad hominem comments said something about Bearsy and yrs. truly engaging in “unchariot behavior.” Unless my optic nerve is short circuiting badly, Bearsy’s name appears nowhere above. As for me, the only individuals I named are people with whom I was generally in agreement (at least for today).
    ¿Que pasa?

  16. Cog, Janus is appealing to the moderators and you to remove ad hominem stuff. As author of the thread you can, I think, remove comments.

    On the recent question: an unemployed person in Poland can move to the UK and earn three or four times what they could in Poland, the multiple is higher for some other EU countries. Youth unemployment in Italy, Spain and Portugal is around 40% so money of them will come here. These folk can tolerate crowded sub standard accommodation whilst they save or send money home. I don’t blame them. I would probably do the same myself. The risk of making such a move is minimised by the fact that the UK has over generous social well fare. NHS, free schooling, possible housing benefit etc etc. What’s not to like?

  17. CO: That, however, is a different argument. People have their reasons for moving — or not moving — and those must be accepted.This has little to do with economic arguments surrounding mass immigration and wages. After all, how many Polish mechanics or Czech doctors are moving en masse to Caerphilly, Jaywick or Ferguslie Park? Very, very, very few. Rather, people move to centres of economic vitality. Demographic pressures are a problem in the South-East. There’s a regional housing crisis and finding affordable housing is virtually impossible. For a single person it’s just about manageable if expectations are kept very modest. I’ve found studios in W2-W11 for £670-£750 PCM. Flatshare averages £400 PCM. For families, it’s rather more difficult. What wasn’t answered is this: if labour isn’t willing to move where it’s needed, what good does it do? Perhaps it would, in theory, be advantageous for Jack Smith to be given a go before Pavel Kowalksi or Jean-Marie Dubois. What happens if Jack Smith doesn’t apply? What happens if that position happens to be in Poole and he absolutely refuses to leave Cardiff? Someone has to fill it.

  18. PS: Freedom of movement is only a viable concept when there aren’t extreme economic disparities. Since 2004 Eastern European states have practised social dumping. It’s easier to send excess labour to Germany, the UK and Norway than it is to grow a post-communist economy. Now, the same states that were so eager to get rid of people are stuck in a conundrum because they are suffering from a lack of young, often skilled, workers critical to sustain their economies. It would be better for all if it was gradually wound down over, say, five years to avoid economic shocks and allow for mid-to-long term plans to be made.

  19. AS there is a significant financial advantage for Pavel Kowalski to move to the UK SE he’ll probably do it. There is no significant financial advantage for Jack Smith to do the same. So what do you think is going to happen ??

    Good luck with finding studios in London W… at £700 pm.

  20. I am just about to enter this debate!

    While I agree with Christopher that it would be very good if John Smith, who cannot find employment in the outer wilderness of Welsh Wales, were to move to the inner suburbs of London – but it is virtually impossible for him to do so if he has a family. Single people can and do move, they will put up with inconveniences that people with dependents cannot. Married ‘immigrants’ from poorer countries can afford to accomodate those ‘inconveniences’ because they can support their families in countries with a lower cost of living. Poor old John Smith cannot support his family in Welsh Wales if he is living in the suburbs of London or even Poole – because their cost of living is more or less the same as his is. It is quite pointless to demand that John Smith (with or without his family) should move, when it is virtually impossible for him to do so – and, in fact, financially disastrous for him to do so.

    I find it quite intolerable that an unemployed Frenchman (of dubious French ancestry) can move to the UK and, because he has eight children, be given subsidised council / social housing and my grandson, who has worked from the day he left school cannot even get on the housing list, The rent that he has to pay is so ridiculously high, he cannot afford to save to buy his own home. Charity, and benefits, should begin at home.

  21. I haven’t bothered to look but I would expect a three bed terraced house with garden suitable for a family would rent for 300-400 per month in the valleys. Similar in London would be 1600-2000 per month. Frankly Christopher you are way off beam on this one and talking through your hat. Most of the immigrants are living in to a room in sheds in the SE. Nobody is going to be mad enough to try it, Fiscal suicide. These are not people with degrees etc they wouldn’t get paid enough to pay the rent, let alone anything else.

  22. Boadicea: Which, once again, wasn’t exactly my point. Unlimited immigration has exacerbated a housing crisis in South-East England. It’s made it extremely difficult for people with dependants to move to places where there are more and better-paying jobs. Services are put under extreme pressure and rental prices are driven up. I agree with that. That is also why I said that the freedom of movement should be wound down over a space of a few years with fewer and fewer permits being issued in order to prevent shocks and allow for better-quality long-term planning. What my point WAS was that unless one has a family or dependants, there is usually a way to make it work if one is willing to have modest expectations. That, and that perhaps people should wait until they’re relatively sound financially before choosing to have a family. It’s taken for granted that young people from Trier-Saarburg, Saarland, rural North Rhine-Westphalia, etc. move to more dynamic cities like Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Hamburg, etc. for 3-5 years to get job experience. Many choose to return home with much-needed skills. Quite a few young Japanese from the provinces move to Osaka or, especially, Tokyo for 3-5 years after they finish uni in order to gain work experience. Even the bloody Frogs and Dagos move to Paris/Lyon or Madrid/Barcelona for work. Why are Britons so different?

    That said, instead of blaming everything on immigrants let’s look at what the British government has managed to turn into a right dog’s breakfast. If I were registered as a job seeker in Hunland and a company in Munich wanted to hire me I would be given assistance in moving into a flat and starting a new life in Bavaria. My moving expenses would be paid by the job centre. If I did not earn enough to make ends meet, I would get assistance so long as I worked and showed that I was doing as well as I could with my circumstances. Could they compel me to move from Trier-Saarburg to Munich, Frankurt, etc? No, they could not — but they’d make it clear that I would not be at a financial disadvantage for doing so. These benefits are only open to German citizens or “those with a compelling case that they intend to make Germany their home” — people who’ve lived AND worked in the Federal Republic for about 5 years. In the Netherlands, you cannot claim benefits unless you’ve worked in the Kingdom for at least three years and both Sweden and Denmark have cut back on hand-outs for non-long term residents or citizens. The UK’s social system is simply too easy to exploit and that is the fault of the British government.


    I actually checked before I made any comments.

  23. PS: More and more Huns are moving to Austria and Switzerland for job experience/work. Luxembourg’s population swells during working hours as people from France, Belgium and Germany commute into the Grand Duchy to work, taking advantage of Luxembourg’s relatively friendly tax structure and better pension system. Several British and French families live in my neighbourhood and commute to Luxembourg City daily where they work in finance and travel. At least 1 in 10 cars has Luxembourgian number plates.

  24. Christopher, I think it very unwise to continually attempt to assert to nationals of other countries that they are ill or wrongly informed. Whilst you no doubt know Germany like the back of your hand to assume the same level of knowledge about other territories is unwise to say the least.
    You really do not know what local circumstances exist in provincial areas of the UK.
    Let us leave it at that.

  25. Tina: Although I find it risible that this comes from someone who has badgered me for years and insisted that what I know from experience simply isn’t the case, I shan’t entirely begrudge your wish. I admit that I enjoy being a cat among pigeons at times — that I enjoy stirring the pot a bit. However, I rarely do so when I’m completely ignorant. Perhaps I know more than you think. Perhaps I have more experience than you know, things that for reasons all my own I’ve chosen not to divulge. No, of course I don’t understand every single provincial region of the UK. I hardly know Germany. I very rarely leave Trier-Saarburg. I simply do not wish to engage in toxic mud-slinging. It’s unbecoming of civilised adults. I will not, however, be condescended.

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