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Posts Tagged ‘undocumented immigrants’

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

This morning, Allan found Skooter sleeping in the bathroom sink.

Anchorage Cottages

We began the work day with our weekly visit to Anchorage Cottages.

greeted by my good friend Mitzu.

Allan gave the viburnum in the center courtyard a flat top.

Allan’s photo

center courtyard

SorryNotSorry, daisy snobs; I decided to put in two clumps of shasta daisies on either side of Crocosmia in this messy little bed.  To be done later this fall.

window boxes from inside (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

I think the verticality is important, and yet we hear that the Salvia is making the windows harder to open and close.

Office courtyard with Beth on the phone taking care of business.

office courtyard sweet peas

Long Beach

While driving the main street on the way to the Anchorage, we had been pleased to see the planters had not been sat upon too terribly much during Rod Run.  This was especially good because we read later that the drivers downtown had gotten rather rowdy at times.  Excerpts from an article in the Chinook Observer:

The event resulted in one police chase and one rollover wreck, and some police officers said the atmosphere seemed a bit rowdier this year. But aside from those incidents, the Rod Run was safe and successful, authorities said.

And: “As they pulled through the intersection of Pacific and Bolstad at sunset, one Jeep-driver peeled out, and jerked backwards, slamming on his brakes just as he was about to hit his buddy’s Jeep. On each pass through downtown, they revved their engines, surging forward and screeching to a stop again and again. Some observers cheered, others looked seriously annoyed.

And “Early in the evening, a visiting officer from Castle Rock noticed a man in a black truck talking on his cell phone as he drove through downtown. When he signaled the man to pull over, “The guy dropped the cell phone, turned and took off. He went to Ocean Beach Boulevard,” Washington State Patrol Sgt. Brad Moon said. “The driver was headed north, accelerating to the point where he lost control of the vehicle.” Near Bolstad Avenue, the man crashed into a white SUV and jumped the curb, nearly hitting a woman in a wheelchair.

Officers from several agencies arrested him at gunpoint. Tests later revealed the man had a blood-alcohol level of 0.26, well over the legal limit of 0.08, Moon said.”

Memories of when the event used to be on Labor Day Weekend: “Fifteen years ago…. State Patrol would send as many as 40 troopers to help out, and they’d arrest 40 to 60 drunks over the weekend. For the last few years, they’ve arrested four to six people drunk drivers each year. This year, there were three DUIs….”

chairs left over from Rod Run (Allan’s photo)

Our new method of discouraging sitting by leaving as much foliage as possible, tatty or not, hanging over the edge, seems to have worked.  Today, it was satisfying to tidy the planters up.

lots of candy wrappers from candy tossed from cars (Allan’s photo)

Herb N Legend Smoke Shop, before

and after

I took the wheelbarrow all through town and filled it to the brim twice.  With tourist season officially over, I had room on the sidewalk to maneuver my wheelbarrow through town. Allan watered the trees and  three blocks worth of planters, more than usual for him on Tree Watering Day, because all my clipping slowed me down.

The classic Long Beach frying pan photo

Fifth Street Park and Captain Bob’s Chowder

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ was abuzz with insects. Some looked sort of unfriendly.

Our friends Captain Bob and Cathy had left their café to go on a celebratory vacation.

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ was the plant that created the most wheelbarrow debris.

Third Street Park planter, before

and after (not exactly gorgeous. I know.)

I thought Allan had gotten way ahead of me and was pleased to see him still behind me, under the Elks sign, working on the two north blocks.

looking north at Bolstad and Pacific; Allan in yellow vest under the Elks sign.

He caught up and passed me, going south, within a block, which is when I asked him to also water the planters on the southernmost block.

by Cottage Bakery, somewhat sat upon but not bad at all

My lovely Othonna cheirifolia was unscathed.

While watering a street tree, Allan found part of a cigar, which he put into his debris bucket, of course.

A man emerged from a restaurant and mournfully said, “You got my cigar wet!”  Allan fished it out of the bucket and said, “It isn’t clean,” and the man took it and and walked off with it in his mouth.

a tree garden that did get very much stood upon (Allan’s photo).  This is also the one that needs to be bucket watered because the faucet does not work.

Allan’s photo

more candy wrappers (Allan’s photo)

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ and bidens (Allan’s photo)

in the Heron Pond (Allan’s photo)

While I was watering and clipping the carousel planter, a man stopped close to me and asked, “If I give you my address, will you come do my garden?”  We hear this a lot; I gave my usual jolly reply of, “After I do MY garden!”  Then he said he would pay $35 an hour, and I said, “That is tempting; we don’t make that here. Where do you live?”  “Longview,” he replied, “and my gardener makes $35 an hour, and sometimes $42 depending on what sort of gardening she is doing.”  I said that the big city does pay better.  He then asked, “What are you having for dinner?”  “I don’t know,” said I, “I don’t do the cooking.”  At that point, he tried to hand me $20, saying, “This is to get yourself something good for dinner.”  I demurred and told him he should to give it to someone who truly needed it.  He insisted, I refused, he graciously accepted my refusal and walked on.  As he walked away, I called out “You are a very nice guy!”

I later thought that I could have said I would take it to add to my contribution for the October rent for one of the families whose wage earner has been taken away by ICE (immigration enforcement, which is targeting hardworking undocumented long time community members here).  That probably would have involved more words than I could have managed to muster while watering.  See the end of this blog post for some facts about undocumented immigrants.

I continued walking south till Allan and I met up on the last block.

one of the better street tree pocket gardens, watered once a week

I had forgotten to put a bandaid on my little toe, which began to scream two blocks before I was done, leading to my removing my special shoe insert, followed by a sigh of relief from my little toe and a screech of protest from my sore heel.

Ilwaco

When we got home, Allan went back out to water the Ilwaco street trees and planters, while I sat and read the news.  He had made me a fine cup of Builder’s Tea.

Builders

That gave me the strength to rise again and empty the work trailer of the two wheelbarrow loads of good non weedy clippings, a good addition to my compost bins.  I did not muster the energy to hobble back to the bogsy woods and haul out yesterday’s pile of cut salmonberry trunks and branches.




Thus ends today’s blog post.  Read on, if you like, for some information about immigrants, a subject that is much on my mind because of the way that beloved local people are being taken by ICE.

Here, from the Stories from this week’s installment of the Stories from the Heart series by Sydney Stevens, are some facts about immigration.  How does it connect with us? A bit of our gardening income right now is going to help these local families deal with the sudden crackdown instigated by the new national administration.

A Fact-Checker Speaks (by Sydney Stevens)

Falsehood # 1: They don’t pay taxes

Undocumented immigrants do, indeed, pay taxes. Like everyone else in the United States, they pay sales taxes. They also pay property taxes — even if they rent. As a report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) points out, “the best evidence suggests that at least 50 percent of undocumented immigrant households currently file income tax returns using Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), and many who do not file income tax returns still have taxes deducted from their paychecks.”

Currently, in Washington State, undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $316,624,000 in state and local taxes.

Falsehood #2: They don’t pay into Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), unauthorized immigrants — who are not eligible to receive Social Security benefits — have paid an eye-popping $100 billion into the fund over the past decade.

“They are paying an estimated $15 billion a year into Social Security with no intention of ever collecting benefits,” according to Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the SSA. “Without the estimated 3.1 million undocumented immigrants paying into the system, Social Security would have entered persistent shortfall of tax revenue to cover payouts starting in 2009,” he said. “As the baby boom generation ages and retires, immigrant workers are key to shoring up Social Security and counteracting the effects of the decline in U.S.-born workers paying into the system.” (An article in the Atlantic explains more about this, including “We estimate that earnings by unauthorized immigrants result in a net positive effect on Social Security financial status generally, and that this effect contributed roughly $12 billion to the cash flow of the program for 2010″.)

Falsehood #3: They drain the system.

Undocumented immigrants do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 welfare law, even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.

A Congressional Budget Office report on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 concluded that a path to legalization for immigrants would increase federal revenues by $48 billion. Such a plan would see $23 billion in increased costs from the use of public services, but ultimately, it would produce a surplus of $25 billion for government coffers, CBO said

Falsehood #4: They take American jobs.

Removing the approximately 8 million unauthorized workers in the United States would not automatically create 8 million job openings for unemployed Americans, said Daniel Griswold, director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Trade Policy Studies, in his 2011 testimony before the House Judiciary Sub-committee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

The reason, is two-fold. For one, removing millions of undocumented workers from the economy would also remove millions of entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers. The economy would actually lose jobs. Second, native-born workers and immigrant workers tend to possess different skills that often complement one another.

According to Griswold, immigrants, regardless of status, fill the growing gap between expanding low-skilled jobs and the shrinking pool of native-born Americans who are willing to take such jobs. By facilitating the growth of such sectors as retail, agriculture, landscaping, restaurants, and hotels, low-skilled immigrants have enabled those sectors to expand, attract investment, and create middle-class jobs in management, design and engineering, bookkeeping, marketing and other areas that employ U.S. citizens.

Falsehood #5: It’s just a matter of following the law.

Under current immigration laws, there are very few options for legal immigration, the costs are increasingly prohibitive and the wait for any kind of status can be long and frustrating. According to the State Department, that imaginary “immigration line” is already 4.4 million people long and depending on the type of visa sought and the country of origin, the wait can be years to decades long. In some countries, such as the Philippines and Mexico, people have been waiting over 20 years for approval of a family-sponsored visa.

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