Chicagoland Exurbs

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5th, 2007 by Mike

Get well soon Ed!

We have a lot of readers from Chicago(land), and I just want to drop a quick mention of a nytimes magazine article on Carpentersville, Il. attempt to make life miserable for immigrants. There has been a lot written about local politics and immigration; this is interesting because (1) in some ways it is removed from the real hot flashes of immigration and (2) you get to see how slippery the "English First" arguments, especially when turned into law, turn into "We Don't want Lower-Class people around!" which turn into "We Hate Hispanics."

Confession: I used to work around that area, and I even worked in one of the companies name-dropped (Motorola) for people looking to buy in Carpentersville (I knew several buyers there). It struck me as a town that was created as a satellite city for the booming centers of Schaumburg – one patch of housing for the executives, and one patch of housing for the service industry workings filling out the rest of the labor force (Two Americas!).

As such, it was built on that uniquely American combination of "cheap land, cheaper foreign capital, and even cheaper illegal labor" equation for city planning. The idea that their "culture" (which is poorly defined outside of English speaking and flag waving) is worth passing repressive, anti-business and anti-community laws to save (as if that was even the stakes) is completely beyond me.