Odinism and Immigration in the UK

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  December 18, 2011 — 71 Comments

So here’s a brand-new legal precedent involving modern Pagans that you might not have expected. An American in a relationship with a married British man, and having born his child, was granted the right to stay in the UK on the grounds that she and her child have a “human right to family life.” Here’s the twist, the British man, Alan Caulfield, and his wife Anne-Marie, claim they can’t get divorced due their Odinist faith, and they all now live together in the same flat.

“Miss DiSanto’s application succeeded after the Home Office dropped its objection on the grounds of bigamy, and she made two appeals. In the course of the appeals, her lawyer said the Caulfields no longer had a sexual relationship but could not divorce on religious grounds, as all three worship the Norse gods, including Odin and Thor. […]  Miss DiSanto, from Chicago, arrived in Britain on a visitor’s visa in December that year, already pregnant with Mr Caulfield’s baby. They met in April 2008, but it is not known how. She gave birth to a daughter in July the following year and now lives with Mr Caulfield, 29, and his 28-year-old wife, who works as a nanny, in a three-bedroomed semi-detached property in Eltham, south-east London.”

The Telegraph is quick to point out that The Odinic Rite, the most prominent Odinist group in the UK, does indeed allow divorce among its membership and that the trio must be practicing their own form of the religion that prohibits divorce. Many see this case as a landmark because it opens the door for interpretations of family life within the context of immigration that could include polygamy and polyamory. The Home Office, which oversees immigration, issued a statement saying they would seek to reform Britain’s immigration laws to prevent such rulings in the future.

“For too long Article 8 has been used to place the family rights of immigration offenders above the rights of the British public. This is why we will change the immigration rules to reinforce the public interest in seeing those who have breached our immigration laws removed from this country.”

While I’m sure that there were some who were expecting a ruling like this at some point, I doubt any of them thought it would happen with an American, and with Odinists. The Telegraph seems first out of the gate with this story, so no doubt we’ll be hearing much more about this soon from other media outlets, and from Pagans and Heathens in Britain. I’ll be keeping an eye on the fallout from this development as things move forward.

Jason Pitzl-Waters


  • Anonymous

    These people must be pulling their conception of Odinism out of the air. Divorce is well attested in the Icelandic sagas and in other sources on the lifestyle of pre-Christian Scandinavians.

    • Soli

      That’s what I was going to say. It’s a very odd reasoning and I’d love to know what they’re really using as a basis.

  • Guest

    umm theres a few thousand years of precedent for legal divorce in historical Heathenry. Where do ppl get this shit??? lol

  • Leea

    since the Sagas did, and modern Odinists do allow divorce, shouldn’t there be some form of proof somewhere required by the courts to allow this? Otherwise, couldn’t anyone claim anything? I really don’t get this ruling…

  • tchase80204

    Since they’re making this “no-divorce” thing up, it seems a precedent’s being set for “you can’t deport me because I say so.” I’m guessing that’s going to end in tears…

  • Um, not necessarily “made up”. Some folkish Asatrur, and many oldline Pagans, consider divorce to be breaking a sacred oath made before the Gods.

    I do agree this is a cheesy use of the vows… this woman couldn’t wait and immigrate legally, become a citizen, before becoming impregnated?

    • Anonymous

      Except it clearly is made up, unless you want to claim that ancient heathen Scandinavians, who get divorces in the sagas, were not aware of the importance of oaths in their religion or something, which would be patently ridiculous.

      • Of course, we could argue that most neo-Pagan religions, and most modern practices of oldline Pagan religions, are “made up”.

        • Anonymous

          Perhaps most modern pagan religions are made up. I don’t know. I am not personally involved with a made up modern pagan religion. Odinism in its various forms, like other forms of heathenry, at least pretends to be some kind of a revival of ancient religion. Insofar as they, as Odinists, make this kind of claim, I am quite happy to judge them as if it is true, and if these people are claiming that being an Odinist means they cannot get a divorce, then I am happy to say they are full of it, because the religious tradition they are pretending to revive my no means prohibits divorce.

        • Anonymous

          Go back far enough and all religions are ‘made up’. whats your point?

  • Kelley

    Just a random guess: Mr and Mrs. Caulfield probably made the mistake of making their vows valid for as long as they live and now do not wish to break faith with those vows.

    • Lonespark

      That…makes a lot of sense as regards this case. And that is standard boilerplate for a lot weddings, even secular ones. Which I think is unfortunate.

  • Disastercat

    The Sagas and ancient Heathen/Germanic law all allowed for divorce, it was not out-lawed until the conversion period. That said, my guess is also that they are mistaking “the taking of an oath” as being the same thing as a marriage vow. Everyone is welcome to their personal opinion of course, but there is nothing in modern (or ancient) Heathen practice that prevents a couple for divorcing and re-marrying someone else.

  • If you want a polygamous household just say so. Seriously, all of this could have been avoided had he just married the second woman, after proving he could provide for her as well as he does the first wife, and keep it rolling. I believe second wife doesn’t get as many privileges as the first, but she’s nowhere near as bad off as fourth wife.

    I would NEVER want to be fourth wife.

    Though I think that may change if second wife produces a son…I can never remember the exact rules with that one.

    I just know I didn’t want to be fourth wife. At the minimum I would be third with 2 sons.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    “For too long Article 8 has been used to place the family rights of immigration offenders above the rights of the British public.” — Home Office

    I don’t see what rights of the public are violated by these people forming this family in the UK.

    • Sonneillonv


    • The right of Little Englanders to moan about ‘letting in anyone’ every time there is an eccentric case like this one and be annoyed that someone ‘foreign’ is living the kind of life that doesn’t correspond with their own moral values.

    • The Hidden One

      What it is probably referring to is related to this statement in Jason’s article:

      “Many see this case as a landmark because it opens the door for interpretations of family life within the context of immigration that could include polygamy and polyamory.”

      This is not exactly true. In fact, this law has been used to allow dozens, even hundreds, of illegal immigrants from African and Muslim countries not only into the UK, but allowed them to stay there in openly polygamous relationships. As for what Baruch’s Home Office quote is talking about, it is this large number of Illegal Immigrants in the UK, that get billions of pounds in government subsidies, welfare, and other assistance programs. Indeed, many an immigrant family, living off nothing but government charity, has much nicer housing than native English people who are hard working and paying their taxes. And when I say nicer housing, I mean stuff that even upper middle class Americans would have trouble affording in some instances.

      And that’s not even touching the emotional nature of many an English person, who feel betrayed by their government, are upset that illegal immigrants live better than they do, and often receive leniency from the Legal system in cases of criminal matters, and are called “racists” for speaking out against these things.

      The only real difference in this situation, is that it is a “white” family getting the benefits by claiming Odanism, rather than say an “Asia/Arab” family claiming the above need via say “Islam.”

      • Norse Alchemist, why are you using a different name?

        • The Hidden One

          A change of name to go with a change in the world, I think. I have been the Norse Alchemist for a long time. And I’m not sure that’s “who I am” any more. It was also an attempt to make a comment and see the reaction to it without the prejudices attached to that name. Thank you for not allowing that to happen, Jason.

          Anyways, I probably won’t be commenting much here anymore. The…politics and double standards have ruined my taste for trying to share with the people here. And now that you have ruined my little experiment…well, it seems impossible to gauge if a comment can be made without pre-judged attitudes towards me.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Problem is, your typically Norse Alchemist response sounded as if someone just like NA was to be found among UK Pagans. That was actually interesting for the two minutes before finding out it was you all along.

            By all means, if you want to start up under a new name, get outta here. That’s what I did. When I discovered The Wild Hunt I decided I wanted to start over without the baggage that attaches to my legal name, and started posting here under my craft name. That’s the way to do it — clean break, new start.

            Fare well and widely.

          • Zan Fraser

            BEHOLD: the time has come to FLING OFF the metaphoric Cloak of Disguise and REVEAL THAT: the One dwelling among you, whom you all have come to idolize and cherish for his erudite wisdom and affable nature- the One known to you ALL as The Hidden One- is NONE OTHER than I: NORSE ALCHEMIST!! And now you all stand revealed as the Hypocritical FOOLS that you are!! (Collective gasp of shock; cue to Jason, wringing his hands in a fury): CURSES! Shown up by the NORSE ALCHEMIST!! Ah, my man- I wish it could have been for you.

          • Anonymous

            Sorry, but the second you started beating the drum about the poor native British besieged by muslim welfare cheats, the jig was up. Even if Jason hadn’t said anything, the fact that you immediately turned this into a discussion about the muslim hordes again made it painfully obvious. And I too find it amusing that you’re going to complain about prejudice against you here when the worst you’ve had to deal with is snark and disagreement. You have no problem labeling hundreds of millions of people as inherently barbaric, backwards and an intolerable threat to civilized peoples. If you can’t take a hundredth of what you give to others, perhaps it is time for you to move on to somewhere you won’t be questioned or criticized.

          • Secret Pagan Undercover Agent

            Sorry, sorry, it’s me, Zan Fraser here again, pretending that I’m establishing a really crafty Secret Identity as Secret Pagan Undercover Agent. Granted it’s not as clever as THE HIDDEN ONE- cause Mata Hari herself couldn’t have penetrated THAT crafty disguise! (And seriously, that sounds so much some Super-Villain, especially when you say things like, So Jason, you have ruined my little experiment)- Cause seriously, it would have been so brilliant: WHO is this provocative and mysterious new Hidden Stranger, beguiling everyone so with the Insightful Nature of his Opinions? I don’t know, but he inspires me to lead a better life! Yes, I feel that way, too! Seriously, it would have been brilliant- or at least suitable for satire. Secret Agent Zan Fraser, over and out.

          • Zan Fraser

            Dang- that didn’t work; I was hoping it would come up under “Secret Pagan Undercover Agent”

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          BUSTED ::snark ::

          • NorseAlchemist

            Alas, you were one of the few I respected, Baruch. I expected better from you.

            I’m sure that now you, and many others consider my statement invalid since Jason revealed who I was. There was no real deception intended here. What I spoke was true to what I have read. The situation in England and much of Europe is as I stated. If there was deception intended, I would have covered my tracks. But Jason knew who I was (though he could have emailed me privately about the name change rather than just blasting it all over, thanks again Jason). XP

            But perhaps those realities are too much for those here.

            Whatever. It has become clear that my kind are not welcome in this place. You’ve run all the others off, or silenced them. I dreamed to stay and maybe even change this place, make it welcome for all, but it seems such is just that, a dream. So I will take my bag and my stick, and journey elsewhere.

            Fare you well, I pray that the insistence of the commentators here on conformity doesn’t come back to bite you all later on. The communities will not grown until everyone learns to tolerate those with views and practices they aren’t comfortable with. But I will be on the fringe, with the rest of us Pagans and Heathens you main-streamers have shunted off back into the shadows.

          • Bookhousegal

            You know, NA, maybe if you’re that easy to spot out as an individual, it’s not some prejudice about the label or being part of some non-mainstream group: maybe it’s the content.

            Also, possibly, your choice of alias might have been a bit of a giveaway to some. When not-being seen, I usually try to avoid concealing myself behind a big ‘Hiding Place’ sign. (Though it does sound like a fun idea. 🙂 )

          • It’s interesting to hear you calling for tolerance for views and practices that others might not feel comfortable with, since you so frequently rail against those different than yourself. That’s part of why it was easy to spot you, and why some people are less than interested in what you have to say – you’re usually espousing dislike for some other group of people be they poor welfare recipients, Islamic, or liberal. You’ve demonstrated two and a half (using the word politics in y instead of a specific party – though you have in the past, gets you a half) of those examples in just this thread alone.

            It seems a little hypocritical to be calling for tolerance when you have so very little yourself.

            I wish you well and hope you find the community you’re looking for.

          • Crow Face

            O, melodrama, thy name is Norse Alchemist.

          • Funny how you’re calling for tolerance considering your extremely well-documented and poorly supported Islamophobia on here and other PNC outlets.

      • Anonymous

        I will admit to not being familiar with how England’s social assistance programs work, but I’d be willing to wager this “people on welfare are living high on the hog” stuff is about as true as it is in the US. And when I say “true” I mean “complete load of bollocks”. Likely the people able to game the system well enough to make a high-class living out of it are as few there as they are here, yet they’re the example that proves the rule when it comes to people who think the poor aren’t punished nearly enough for being poor.

        • The Hidden One

          I was only reporting what I had read in news articles and by British people themselves(often ones not approved by the MSM of England). You are of course, entitled to your opinion.

        • Lonespark

          Agreed. The cost of everything, and especially housing, is a dreadful burden for anyone who isn’t filthy rich, these days. And in some cases qualifying for assistance does allow you to have your own place, whereas when you don’t, you can’t. And, truly affordable housing is at a ridiculous premium so families and charities are putting up unsustainable amounts of money just to find any place to (legally) put people who need housing. This is straight up horrible. Danger-to-civilization horrible, I don’t disagree.

          So…it clearly follows?.. that this is the fault of immigrants and/or the poorest people. They are clearly controlling governments and economies and…?

        • Merofled Ing

          True. In addition, when it comes to polygamy, it’s really a matter of international law. By and large, marriage certificates are accepted across borders – i.e. married couples moving from one country to the next don’t have to get married again. Obviously, often and outrageously enough, no protection for gay couples, but with most Muslim countries there are international agreements. So if polygamy is legal there, European (or other) countries are faced with difficult choices. Disregard a legal certificate because I don’t like it? Only accept the first wife? Chuck the second one out? (Good idea if you want to help the position of women.) Anyway, the marriages are seen as valid, the kids exist, there are laws regarding the minimum space families / individuals are entitled to in housing, and then the annoyances begin. With declining birthrates, what the heck… but that is possibly too simplistic an approach.

        • Bookhousegal

          Well, the conservative characterization that people on public assistance are living high on the hog is realy intended to generate class resentment: the real problem in Britain is in fact that the cost of living’s gone way up and the lowest private sector wages *haven’t,* ….the big scandal is that some people working low wage private sector jobs in some places are actually taking home less than some people on social supports in some places. (The benefits must adjust, while wages aren’t) None of these people are living what you’d call ‘high on the hog,’ of course, but it does generate some resentment.

          Cutting benefits or getting angry at immigrants isn’t, of course, going to solve anything, just add more misery and depress a number of economic sectors further, though: The real problem is wages and prices, and of course unemployment. As in the US, the problem is that there aren’t jobs for the workers that are *here* and Big Finance is just trying to keep reaping profits off a dwindling ‘real economy.’ …one symptom of this is that ‘supply and demand’ aren’t really something that the boardrooms want to see working to *lower* prices, and that’s causing all kinds of systemic imbalances. I might have a different attitude about bringing in *more* immigrants to an island nation in that condition, myself. I think here in America, my attitude’s different in that it’s not like there’s no work to be done, and all: it’s just that all those empty factories and cities …and the value of human labor, are on the wrong side of stockholder profits.

      • Illegal immigrants getting subsidies on the taxpayer dime and living better than citizens… That is happening here in the USA as well.

        • Anonymous

          Alice wrote:
          Illegal immigrants getting subsidies on the taxpayer dime and living better than citizens… That is happening here in the USA as well.

          [citation needed]

          • Look above. Varies by state. Of course, there aren’t any actual statistics, any more than there are for any other illegal activities… because criminals don’t self-incriminate on the Census.

        • Can you cite some non-anecdotal evidence, like a non-partisan survey or government study that illegal immigrants in the United States are “living better than citizens”? If you can’t provide something more than hearsay, word-of-mouth, or exceptions that prove the rule, you might want to rethink this statement.

          • How’bout I go take some photos of homes and cars of immigrants on welfare, then take a photo of MY home and car? Yeah, yeah, I know, I can’t PROVE that they’re not parked outside Social Services in their Escalades and Tahoes for anything more than the view… nor can I prove that they’re illegal… unless we film someone shouting “La Migra” and seeing how many flee the scene…!

            But you wanted actual statistics, which are difficult to come by, but here’s a shot at it:

            Okay, here’s illegal immigrants by state, estimated: http://www.statemaster.com/graph/peo_est_num_of_ill_imm-people-estimated-number-illegal-immigrants You’ll notice that CA has more than two million illegal immigrants, yes?

            Here is an article stating that illegal immigrants’ children, just in LA County alone, cost taxpayers $600 million bucks. Factoring in food stamps, law enforcement, and other costs, it’s more than $1.5 BILLION.
            http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/19/welfare-tab-children-illegal-immigrants-estimated-m-la-county/ Yes, it was on FOX news, but the stats came directly from the LA county supervisor. This figure, BTW, is NOT including public education.

            This article is about my home state of MI. http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/09/gov_rick_snyder_signs_tougher.html Our governor just signed into law some limits on what people can earn while on Welfare. You’ll notice that a family on Welfare can earn up to $1,164. Then they can receive up to $500 JUST in cash assistance, PLUS food stamps, around $150-200 per PERSON, medical care, child care, heating credit, etc. Factor in law enforcement and education, and you’ll see it’s costing us a bundle. For individual states’ welfare incomes, you’ll have to check the state government site for each state, and their “social services” statistics.

            What the article and the statistics doesn’t state is that unrelated people who are room-mates can EACH earn that much money per month. Illegal immigrants often have six or eight or ten people living in a household, each collecting that much money. It also doesn’t mention that they’re frequently paid “under the table” to do farm or factory labor.

            This is the MI census that says 12% of the population is foreign-born:
            http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26000.html Doesn’t say whether or not they’re citizens. However, you’ll notice from the first article that there are an estimated 70 thousand illegal immigrants in MI. I believe that’s a very low figure. Of course, they’re not gonna put on the census if they’re illegal.

            When you consider that the average income for a working family in MI is around $25K (census, again, per capita income)… well, let’s see… $1,164 in income from work, + $500 in cash assistance, + $150 to $200 in free food per person (we spend $400 per month for a family of four, including personal care items and animal feed — contrast that with the $6-800 per family of four on food assistance), plus free heat (I pay about $200 per month, but I heat with wood — propane is about $1400 per tank which lasts on the average of two months, call it $700 per month in free heat)… YEAH, I’d say people on Welfare are doing better than working people.

            Now, how many illegal immigrants are actually on welfare? We only have the FOX News estimate, because, well, social services doesn’t wanna give that up. It’s confidential.

            Do illegal immigrants pay taxes? No statistics available about that, either.

          • You have not provided one shred of hard evidence that that illegal immigrants in the United States are “living better than citizens” in any quantifiable way. You’ve given me anecdotes, opinion, conjecture, and an estimate from Fox News.

          • Anonymous

            You also say that “a family on Welfare can earn up to $1,164. Then they can receive up to $500 JUST in cash assistance, PLUS food stamps, around $150-200 per PERSON, medical care, child care, heating credit, etc”, giving the max possible without even mentioning how likely it is that any one person would qualify for all that. Especially if that person has no documentation of citizenship. Yet you make it sound like all of this is simply handed to people when they walk through the door of any social services office, no questions asked. Having been there myself, I know that’s not even remotely how it works, but I also know that “They’re giving those people free money!” is pretty effective class warfare rhetoric.

          • Crystal Kendrick

            ” Illegal immigrants often have six or eight or ten people living in a household, each collecting that much money. It also doesn’t mention that they’re frequently paid “under the table” to do farm or factory labor. ” And this is living high on the hog? Sounds like squallor to me.

          • “Do illegal immigrants pay taxes? No statistics available about that, either.”

            Actually, they DO give out SS #’s for tax purposes. So many do in fact pay taxes…

  • Lonespark

    It seems strange to characterize it as “not permitted to divorce” rather than “obligated to support all the children and their mothers,” out of whatever concern for wyrd and luck and orlog and one’s family line… It’s an interesting precedent, and a fascinating subject of conversation.

  • From The Telegraph article:

    “It comes as pressure mounts on the Government to reform human rights laws, which many Conservative backbenchers say are threatening to make permanent and undemocratic changes to the rule of law in Britain.”

    I take it by “undemocratic” they mean that conservatives are loosing their hold on majoritarianism used to oppose minority religious/human rights.

    When is majoritarianism contrary to minority and human rights? That is a major question of the century on both sides of the pond. That is the bigger issue, far larger than **speculations** as to whether anyone involved in human rights dilemmas might collect government funds.

    I do, however, agree that if (if!) they want a polyamorous relationship, they should be up front about it…or if such honesty within a plea for human rights is “political suicide,” we need to examine why and get at the root of it…which brings us back to what Conservative backbenchers mean by “undemocratic” and the bigger question.

    When is majoritarianism contrary to minority and human rights?

    And does sticking to the one husband, one wife/lover household really make us healthier or safer from the ravages of abuse and economic woes? Does it make us superior, more culturally advanced, stable? Really? I might be monogamous and in a traditional marriage but I would say no, except for in the case of sexist polygamy, specifically, which is abusive by definition.

    The answers to our most pressing questions do not rest on religious and sexual identity, on religions (although they come into play politically), but on informed and well implemented understandings of the abuse and equality power paradigms and what they mean or can mean in terms of well being, human rights and family.

    • Merofled Ing

      Well said

  • Merofled Ing

    OT, so I apologize, but the Daily Telegraph article you link to has ‘related topics’ links, one of them: ‘Arresting witches: A police guide, which is worth checking out. It’s … well, interesting, mixing good advice with rather … unusual ideas of pagans. Might be sth. for another day.


    • Highty

      Hi, I was passing and saw this thread, it might be worth pointing out re the main story and what you’ve linked to that The Telegraph is often colloquially referred to as ‘The Tory-graph’ as in Conservative (big and small c). I imagine that some of that advice for Police has come from the Pagan Federation. Oh yeah, I live in the UK and find Hidden One’s caricatures amusing and ill informed….

  • Rua Lupa

    I wonder if they just wanted to be legally safe as polygamists? As their current circumstances permit if I am not mistaken.

  • Of course, we could argue that most neo-Pagan religions, and most modern practices of oldline Pagan religions, are “made up”.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      Indeed, we could argue that a whole lot more religions than that are “made up.” The amity between branches of Christianity that manifests at every ecumenical or interfaith gathering did not exist 500 years ago when those branches were at war with each other. Just for instance.

  • Here are a few more sites with statistics regarding illegal aliens in the USA receiving welfare and living better than citizens.

    http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16985&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1017 This is as of 2007.

    http://www.gophouse.com/readarticle.asp?ID=7036&District=74 From a MI state representative. Illegal immigrants cost taxpayers more than $900 million in Human Services. No, it’s not necessary for Social Services to check immigration status before offering handouts — otherwise they’d not be passing a law to make this happen.

    http://www.illegalimmigrationcosts.com/ Guesstimates and statistics, including American citizens murdered by illegal immigrants. Now, I’d say being a crime victim of an alien reduces a citizen’s quality of life, wouldn’t you?

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2011/04/most-illegal-immigrant-families-collect-welfare/ Use the link in the article.

    http://www.ihatethemedia.com/70-percent-of-illegal-aliens-in-texas-receive-welfare Go to the quote from the Houston Chronicle; link below.

    Hard statistics aren’t always available, as Social Services are not allowed to demand proof of citizenship in every state, because of “privacy”. I also disallowed anything with statistics over six years old, and any article that was whining about aliens getting their benefits cut.

    The amount of benefits I that I stated in the original post are solid — please regard the Social Services website for each state, and the income level for working families. Here in MI, cash benefits average $512 for ONE person. Deduct income taxes for working families at 28 – 32%. Figure that working families pay insurance premiums, deducatibles and co-pays, while Welfare recipients get medical care given to them for free. Do the math, and you’ll find that families receiving Welfare tally up more income than those who earn their income.

    BTW Jason, I consider a FOX News quote from a government official to be valid. You, yourself, have quoted NPR and the New York Times, both of which have fudged data in the past, or outright lied, and both of which commonly have a liberal bias.

    • Link 1: FAIR is a noted anti-immigration organization with some truly odious views on immigrants. As noted by the SPLC (http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2001/spring/blood-on-the-border/anti-immigration-), so sorry, their interpretation of the data isn’t neutral or “fair”.

      Link 2: Partisan GOP site.

      Link 3: So, so, not an unbiased site. Multiple links to anti-immigration and right-wing sites. Twisting data to make their case.

      Link 4: Yet another right-wing site, and further, proving that illegal immigrants collect state and federal benefits does not automatically prove that they have a better standard of living. Correlation is not causation.

      Link 5: Yet another right-wing site. And again, proving that illegal immigrants collect benefits does NOT prove that their standard of living is better than legal citizens.

      I’d say that your choice of reading material says volumes about you AC, you accuse liberals here of not being open-minded, but you expose yourself as someone who gets “facts” and information from a narrow ideological lens.

      • You asked for statistics. You got them. Data is data. The Houston newspaper, Statemaster, the Michigan Social Services, the census and the CA government official aren’t biased. Yes, the interpretations may be right-wing and anti-immigrant. That doesn’t negate the facts.

        “Link 4: proving that illegal immigrants collect state and federal benefits does not automatically prove that they have a better standard of living…” Proving that ILLEGAL aliens collect ANY benefits proves that they are STEALING from American taxpayers! I would say that the average welfare family getting nearly $700 more a month than the average working family is indeed proving that their standard of living is higher. Further, NOT paying for these aliens, lowering taxes, would greatly improve the standard of living for the working class American citizen.

        I don’t say that liberals aren’t “open minded”, their minds are so open that their brains fall out. I say that they condone illegal activities and have some seriously messed-up priorities when it comes to collecting and spending tax money. I further say that the majority of Americans voted for Conservative candidates because they’re darn well sick and tired of having their hard-earned income thrown away.

        This discussion started because I said to Norse Alchemist’s other incarnation that Americans are just as angry as the English at people immigrating to get on the dole. Read every single last article about the woman who cheesed the British authorities. Find ONE that doesn’t have a tone of derision and scorn for the woman and the government decision to allow her to stay. And of course, it has the “P” word all over it. Great image for us in the international theatre.

        • You asserted that illegal immigrants were “living better than citizens.” I challenged that. You have yet to produce any data that proves your assertion. As I’ve said, proving that illegal immigrants collect benefits does not, in any way, prove they have a better quality of life than legal citizens.

          • Yes, it surely does. Please look again at the average income of working people. Please look again at how much money is given to people on welfare. It’s nearly TWO thousand dollars less per year for the average working family!

            Please realize that paying 1/4 to 1/3 of ones income in taxes, and another 1/4 of ones income in health insurance premiums / deductibles, and co-pays is certainly a much less desirable standard of living than getting health care handed to you for free. Getting a winter’s worth of free heat. Getting $600 per month in free food. Inference, Jason, inference.

            Although I supposed it might be argued that having a couple thousand dollars more money to spend, and not having to worry about layoffs or salary reductions, somehow isn’t really a higher standard of living, since the welfare recipients would be just overcome with shame at accepting a handout from those who toil for their bread…

          • Those talking points have really soaked in, haven’t they? Here, here’s some data from the libertarian CATO institute, hardly a pack of liberals, that refute many of your beliefs about immigrants.


  • http://cis.org/immigrant-welfare-use-2011 One more, with links to the study.

    Sorry to hijack the site, but hey, YOU asked.

    • Yet another biased site that will confirm your worldview! Shocker!


      • Here’s one from uber-liberal NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106657563 When this guy needs healthcare, he doesn’t have insurance, so he heads for the emergency room. Gee, working people either have to pay the bill, or pay for health insurance. I’d say that’s a higher standard of living, getting health care for FREE. Note also the costs to taxpayers to finance “anchor children” of illegal aliens. This is from the liberal darling taxpayer funded national radio station!

        Here is one from “California Watch” that states that 8% of babies born in CA are to illegal aliens. http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/eight-percent-us-babies-born-illegal-immigrants-3805 If that’s not neutral enough, it cites a Pew Research site. I recall Pew being used here at the Wild Hunt in regard to numbers of Pagans, and was considered an accurate source. Further, it’s the same source cited by CATO! Now, go back and read the NPR article again… recall the costs to taxpayers over funding illegals’ children? I’d say paying for someone else’s kids lowers American citizens’ standard of living.

        • Gatelessbarrier


          “Uber liberal NPR”…and certainly the mild mannered, sadly centrist President of the United States is a foaming at the mouth socialist. If folks on the right could only get an actual taste of the liberalism (or socialism for that matter) they so fear…

          If folks wanna hate, go ahead and hate, but for Pete’s sake, find an actual example to hoist up for strawmen.

  • If it weren’t for “illegal” immigration, there would be no such thing as “England” or the “English”.

    • Anonymous

      Given how well that worked out for the Celtic population of Britain, that is hardly an argument for a lax immigration policy.

      • The Celts have no room to complain, either. They were “illegals”, too.

        • Anonymous

          So, similarly, when the Lakota claim they want the Black Hills back, we should tell them to shut up because, after all, they took them from the Cheyenne almost 100 years before we took them from the Lakota?

          • This infinite regression of “illegal” immigrations neither exonerates all those involved, nor does it imply a strict “moral equivalence” among all these different cases.

            My only point in bringing it up is that it makes anti-immigrant Heathens look like clueless ignoramuses.

            Heathens can, however, proudly point to one of the very few examples (and possibly the only one) of a modern human population that did not displace some previous population: Icelanders.

  • Different?!

  • I think we should agree to disagree. I’m’a find sources that agree with my theory that you think are unacceptable for some reason, and vice-versa.

    It just hacks me off when I read about Pagans who are doing something cheesy or annoying or reprehensible, and other folks use it as an opportunity to say, “Ya see? You’re all immoral!”