Tag Archives: illegal immigrants

Notes on Forestalling Social Unrest in California . by Alice B. Clagett *

Written on 12 April 2018; published on 6 December 2019

  • THOUGHTS ON PROVIDING STAGE ONE WORK FOR THE CALIFORNIA HOMELESS AT LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE, IN EXCHANGE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES
    • Prison Work Programs for Less Than a Dollar an Hour
      • Prison Release Work Camps.
    • A Stage One Consideration in Employing California’s Homeless at Less Than the Minimum Wage
  • THOUGHTS ON SLOWING THE SPREAD OF HIV AND AIDS IN PRISONS
    • On Isolating HIV-Positive Prison Populations in Cell Blocks, Together with HIV-Positive Prison Guards
    • Conjugal Visits
  • HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES, COMPARED TO THAT IN CHINA
    • How China Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from North Korea
    • How the United States Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from Mexico
  • CONCLUSION

Dear Ones,

I wrote up these notes in April 2018, with a hope that I would soon finish them off. More than a year later, I have to figure I may never get round to that. I apologize to my reader that they are presented here in outline form …

THOUGHTS ON PROVIDING STAGE ONE WORK FOR THE CALIFORNIA HOMELESS AT LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE, IN EXCHANGE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES

I have a thought that Stage One work might be provided the California homeless at less than minimum wage, in exchange for social services such as State One housing, necessary medical treatment, food, and temporary housing.

I note we have precedents in paying less than the minimum wage, here in America: Commission sales work, work on small farms, and newspaper delivery, for instance …

Link: “When Must Employers Pay the Minimum Wage?, updated by Sachi Barreiro, Attorney, at NOLO … https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/employers-pay-minimum-wage-law-29600.html ..

Prison Work Programs for Less Than a Dollar an Hour

Then there is the special instance of prison labor, where inmates have the voluntary option to work, for less than $1 an hour …

Link: “How Much Do Incarcerated People Earn in Each State?” by Wendy Sawyer, 10 April 2017, in Prison Policy Initiative … https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2017/04/10/wages/ ..

Thus we have a precedent, in the exceptional circumstance of incarceration, for offering work at a great deal less than the minimum wage. Could we build upon this precedent by offering work training to our felons or released felons or homeless, at far less than minimum wage?

If the precedent might be stretched in this way, then we might have the setting for an economic bounce-back, here in California, as greater numbers of the currently unemployed are able to find employment.

Prison Release Work Camps. I am thinking that something like this might be good if, for lack of funds, we have to release the prison population. For those who are ‘unregenerate’ … to use an old-time term … work camps might be set up or ‘rough and tumble’ work might be provided as an alternative to imprisonment, at greatly less than the minimum wage. This topic I discussed in a little more detail here …

Link: “Ought the United States, like North Korea, Have Forced Labor?” by Alice B. Clagett, published on 21 May 2019 … https://wp.me/p2Rkym-cQw ..

A Stage One Consideration in Employing California’s Homeless at Less Than the Minimum Wage

Here is a Stage One consideration: Let’s try to figure out some way to get around the minimum wage, for people who are unhomed, and who are receiving extra social services, in the event the United States government is not able to participate, here in California, in ameliorating the situation, and easing the social unrest.

For instance, could we offer something more akin to prison labor … voluntary labor, and a very small wage, in exchange for housing and food and medical care? Could we offer that, in camps especially set up for that?

What would be the long-term situation with regard to those that California cannot now find work for at minimum wage, and who must find work? If employment at less than minimum wage in exchange for social services were to be offered as a temporary, short-term Phase One, then what would be Phases Two and Three?

THOUGHTS ON SLOWING THE SPREAD OF HIV AND AIDS IN PRISONS

On Isolating HIV-Positive Prison Populations in Cell Blocks, Together with HIV-Positive Prison Guards

In United States prisons, HIV tests might be used to separate the HIV-positive prison populations … and the HIV-positive prison guards … physically, from those prisoners and guards who are HIV-negative. These tests need to be performed every 6 months, as I understand it, and also one month after possible exposure to the virus. HIV tests might be made routine in prison medical facilities, not only for the safety of prisoners and guards, but also for the sake of the infectable law-abiding populations upon whom prisoners might prey, either as prostitutes or as sexual predators, after their release.

Conjugal Visits

I think that, to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS amongst United States prison populations, we ought to consider allowing conjugal or significant other visits in our federal prisons, and in those state prisons that currently do not do so.

Conjugal visits might lead to less intercourse amongst inmates, and less intercourse between inmates and prison guards, so that HIV might spread more slowly amongst the prison population. I feel that conjugal visits might also lead to less violence amongst prisoners.

Such a policy also might help prisoners who have been in long-time-paired relationships to preserve those relationships while imprisoned. It might help families stay together through the financial hardship of imprisonment of a parent, and that might positively affect community life.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF IMMIGRANTS TO THE UNITED STATES, COMPARED TO THAT IN CHINA

I have been perusing the “CIA World Factbook” online …

Link: “World Factbook,” by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) … https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/ ..

… and have found it full of information pertinent to forestalling social unrest in California. For instance, from my reading, it seems to me that the human trafficking of immigrants to China from North Korea in our lifetime is, in some ways, analogous to the human trafficking of immigrants to the United States from Mexico.

How China Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from North Korea

Apparently, there are masses of people in North Korea, whom the government forces into forced labor in China …

“… North Korea does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of [human] trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government continued to participate in human trafficking through its use of domestic forced labor camps and the provision of forced labor to foreign governments through bilateral contracts; officials did not demonstrate any efforts to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention measures; no known investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenders or officials complicit in trafficking-related offenses were conducted; the government also made no efforts to identify or protect trafficking victims and did not permit NGOs to assist victims (2015) …” –from Link: “CIA World Factbook, North Korea,” in the section: Transnational Issues … Subheading: Trafficking in personshttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html … public domain

Korean people also may flee to China of their own free will so as to escape starvation …

“… risking arrest, imprisonment, and deportation, tens of thousands of North Koreans cross into China to escape famine, economic privation, and political oppression … –from Link: “CIA World Factbook, North Korea,” in the section: Transnational Issues … subheading: Disputes – International https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html … public domain

Those types of labor available to trafficked peoples sometimes may be beneath the level of misery that is acceptable here in the United States …

Link: “Trafficking in Persons Report June 2017,” by United States of America Department of State … https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=801874This is a pdf download.

It might be prostitution. It might be illegal activities such as theft. It might be begging. They might be held by gangs that are ‘beneath the law’ and forced to be members of those gangs. This, to me, is unacceptable.

How the United States Deals with an Influx of Minimally Employable People from Mexico

The situation with immigrants from North Korean to China is analogous, in some regards, to the situation with immigrants from Mexico to the United States. Immigrants from Mexico are not forced by the United States government into inhumane kinds of labor, but they may find themselves in those kinds of situations … living In dug-out caves in the Earth, for instance. And doing seasonal, migrant labor. Or young women or children may find themselves forced into lives of prostitution by pimps.

One thing we might look at, going forward, is how job training might be offered new immigrants, here in the United States, so as to broaden the scope of job opportunities for which they are eligible. This type of job training is doubly beneficial: It helps raise the living standard of immigrants; and it helps lessen the spiritual burden of human trafficking in the United States and uplift our nation through good works in our community.

The philanthropy we offer those caught in the throes of human trafficking is a kindness we offer our children as well, for they will look forward to a better educated community through whose informed choices may be sculpted a brighter tomorrow for all America.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, I feel that Los Angeles in particular, due to such stressors as homelessness and released felons, faces the spectre of social unrest at present. What to do? I feel we must look at what other countries do when faced with these stressors. We must not turn away from innovative solutions simply because we feel they are beneath us, as Americans.

I feel it is because we feel this: that the lesser good we are able to provide the homeless and released felons is beneath us, and unworthy of them, that we have found ourselves for ten years to be in stalemate as a city.

We are unable to provide the level of benefits and care that has been, with hopeful optimism, voted into California law. Massive problems lie before us, and have done so for 10 years now. California is a Sanctuary State for those fleeing from downright extermination in the crueler states of our great Union.

Though we are that to many, we have not the funds to help those seeking sanctuary in the manner afforded the homeless, the helpless, those seeking shelter, food, and work in days of old.

Here in Los Angeles we must make bold to provide what we may to those who have nothing at all. Though it be against the laws of our nation, and against those of our State, we must do what we can. We must offer what we may. We must open our hearts, still our doubts, and come up with sensible, novel solutions to the new problems that lie before us.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

Video: “Everyone In–Supportive Housing Across L.A.,” by Everyone In LA, 8 March 2018 …  https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=22&v=QnZWabk8mO0 ..

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China and the United States: Human Rights and Illegal Immigration . by Alice B. Clagett

Published on 31 October 2017

Dear Ones,

Here’s a video about China and the United States, and their views on human rights and illegal immigration. There’s a spiffed-up Summary after the video …

VIDEO BY ALICE

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

It’s Alice. I Am of the Stars.

I’m here to talk a little about human rights and human trafficking in China and in the United States. The ‘take’ that I have so far is what you might call only a beginner’s ‘take’.

I became interested in China’s annual reports on the United States’ infringement of human rights a few years ago. I was just looking over the most recent one this last month. (1) This is my précis:

I think China states that America falls down in human rights with regard to equal pay for women, discrimination against minorities (to do with economics, especially), and also, as I recall, with regard to crime and violence in the streets, and drug use and the drug trade and so forth.

There may be other things. But the underlying understanding that I got from looking over that report was that, in China, I feel, they greatly value an orderly society, a harmony in society, and like that. To my mind, it feels like they look aghast at the disorderliness of the American people.

And I will say that the people here are very different in their social values, from the people of China, apparently … from the Chinese ideal of values. People in the United States value more the liberty to go exploring and figuring things out, and making a way for themselves, and so forth. They value their freedom to pursue their happiness, and like that.

To my mind, a natural consequence of this value of liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the disorderliness that we see in this society.

In addition, we offer a chance for other people, from other parts of the world, to become citizens. That results in cultural diversity. And in some geographic areas it results in discrimination, because people who are all of a particular race or culture, or like that, are confronted … suddenly sometimes … with people whose culture is very different … or perhaps their physical characteristics are very different. And then there’s a commotion as the cultures become accustomed to each other.

In the cosmopolitan areas it’s different. There’s much more exposure to diversity. And so people don’t react so much to diversity when they see it. Unless you’re in an area like South Central Los Angeles, where everybody is de colores, and so then a white person, a Caucasian, comes in, and they look very different. Or if you’re in West Los Angeles, it’s the exact opposite, you know?

We have here a randomness, a drive to individuality, the Horatio Alger story, and these create less harmony, in a way, but more tolerance for diversity, in another way.

So then I thought: I’ll just see what the United States has to say about human rights, and so forth. So I checked out the “CIA Factbook.” And there, there’s a section on Countries … each Country. I especially looked up the United States first, and then China … among others.

For each Country, there are various sections. After Government and so forth, there’s a section that has to do with global problems with some portion of which the particular country is faced.

If we live in the United States, we all know about the United States Government system. So I looked up the last section, labeled “Transnational Issues,” as I couldn’t quite fathom what it would be about. (2)

What it said is the we, in the United States, are facing problems with the drug trade. Also it said we have problems with money laundering, which is a concept I’m not too clear on.

It didn’t mention crime and violence, but everybody knows that there are problems with crime and violence here, and in other parts of the world. 

Then I looked under China. There the “CIA Factbook” indicated intertwined global problems, especially human trafficking. (3)

So then I looked up a very recent congressional report on human trafficking (4) and a  horrifying State Department report on human trafficking all around the world (5) … and I got a notion about what that entailed. It had to do, not just with children being sold for the sex work trade, but also children being sold into hazardous occupations that involved the use of chemicals that might be damaging to the body, and so forth. And sometimes, children die because of their exposure to difficult work conditions, and so forth. I’m not sure of the mortality rate; I didn’t go into it that far.

I was thinking this over quite a bit, because here we have a conundrum. China is stating that the United States falls down on human rights. And yet China is very big on human trafficking.

And so I looked a little more into human trafficking in China, and found out there were a lot of Korean refugees that pleaded to be admitted to China. Then, in the “CIA Factbook” for China, I found out that China only allows people of Chinese descent, or Chinese parentage, to become Chinese citizens. It’s a closed society.

So, China was faced with Koreans and other nationalities who, to them, are a different culture and a different race from them … who are what you might call illegal aliens … many illegal aliens … entering their country; and what to do with them, because their government could not accommodate them. And so their decision, based, I feel, on their very high ideals of harmony … harmonic relations in the world … was to create a kind of indentured servant system … what we call ‘human trafficking’ … to provide these people with a basis of work in the world … a productive social role … in exchange for the most fundamental human needs, such as shelter, clothing, and food.

On the trip up to Ojai today, I kept thinking about this. I kept thinking: What is the connection here? What is the story? You know? How could it be that two big countries … gigantic as far as geography is concerned … should both hold forth that their government offered the very best in human rights … And yet, each could accuse the other of being the very worst in human rights. It just didn’t make any sense to me.

And finally, I thought of the illegal alien situation here in California, and in other parts of the United States. And I realized that the situation that China faced with regard to the Korean immigrants, was very similar to the situation that the United States faces with regard to the influx of illegal aliens from South of the Border.

So then I looked at how the United States treats its illegal aliens, compared to how China treats hers. And I realized that, in general, we hunt them down and deport them back to their countries if we can. (I’ve read that China does this with Korean refugees as well.)

Now, as to which system …

  • deportation, or what’s sometimes termed repatriation,
  • or human trafficking,
  • or some version of that …  maybe a more lenient version of that, such as indentured servitude, that was practiced for a limited term in order for a person to learn a skill or trade, during the times of Benjamin Franklin in America

… is the more understanding, or connecting with, human rights, I don’t know!

One is based on a very orderly notion of civilization and human affairs … that’s the Chinese.

And the other, the United States way, is based on a kind of a free-for-all, you know? Every man for himself, in a way. Of course, we’re very socialized now, and we offer many socialized services to our citizens. But the big concern, in recent years, has been:

How can we afford to offer these socialized benefits to people who aren’t contributing to our tax base. And I think that’s a reasonable consideration:

How can we stay afloat economically, and still assimilate what was called, in ages past, the poor and huddled masses of the world? In those days, when we opened our doors to everyone, we had plenty of free land that needed settling. But now, our urban centers are very overpopulated, and our social services are very overstretched.

So the question is: What can we do? What can we do, to do the best by these people that come knocking our door; the most humane thing that we can do? But at the same time, something that keeps our country afloat. You know what I mean?

So there you have it. I think that the basis of the concern that both countries have, has to do with how to treat our illegal aliens.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

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FOOTNOTES

(1) Link: “Full text: Human Rights Record of the United States in 2016,” Beijing, 9 March 2017 (Xinhua), http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2017-03/09/c_136115481.htm ..

(2) Link: “CIA Factbook,” Countries: United States, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html ..

(3) Link: “CIA Factbook,” Countries: China, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html ..

See also: Link: “Human trafficking in the People’s Republic of China,” in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China ..

(4) Link: “Attorney General’s Annual Report to Congress and Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Trafficking in Persons Fiscal Year 2015,” https://www.justice.gov/humantrafficking/page/file/948601/download ..

(5) Link: “Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2017,” Department of State, USA, https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271339.pdf ..

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social issues, human rights, human trafficking, China, United States, illegal immigrants, indentured servitude, social services, deportation, repatriation, government, citizenship,