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Sacrificing for Success: Unseen struggles

Original post made on Feb 5, 2016

The average household income in Pleasanton was $145,000 in 2014, and the median single-family home was $732,000. Many believe everyone who lives in Pleasanton is as rich as those U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicate or is on their way to becoming so.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 5, 2016, 7:12 AM

Comments (27)

Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2016 at 9:37 am

We are a nation of immigrants!!? You mean the ones who came before!? (1) Legally, (2) learned the language, (3) didn't require everything written in their native tongue, (4) earned a living instead of being given hand outs, (5) obeyed the laws of the US (See #1 LEGALLY), (6) pledged allegiance to OUR flag and didn't insist on flying the flag of their homeland. (7) Volunteered to fight for liberty and freedom for the USA! Oh, yeah, those forefathers! Haven't seen any in a very long time!!! The one's coming across our borders now are ILLEGAL and CRIMINALS!! At the very least, send them back to their country of origin. Reduce the aid we send to their counties by $5000 (airline ticket) each, until they stop sneaking across the border!!

In 1986 the United States Government gave Amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens and promised it would never happen again, and now we have 12 million more illegal aliens and they want to do the same thing. We need to enforce our immigration laws. Let's go after the people who hire illegal aliens and fine these companies. We need to deport all 12 million illegal aliens and make certain our borders are secured. These illegal aliens living in the United States today are NOT WELCOME and unwanted by everyone but the employers who exploit them. We need a way to kick them all out of the country and never let them back in again.

Posted by Ordinary Joe
a resident of Amador Estates
on Feb 5, 2016 at 9:55 am

[Removed because it was off topic and didn't contribute to the conversation]

Posted by carlos
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Feb 5, 2016 at 10:16 am

Since the average household income is $145,000, I may be eligible for food stamps. :)

As for as the "American Dream", it's alive and well. You just have to work hard for it. It's always been that way.

Posted by Old Guy
a resident of Willow West
on Feb 5, 2016 at 10:25 am

Citizen... Please be aware that your opinion on this issue has support. I can respect the dedication to family described in the article however reality of their legal status must override their efforts to provide opportunities for themselves and their children. It's difficult but turning a blind eye to the issues of undocumented individuals is wrong. It's a hard and sometimes painful decision but enforcing our laws and respecting our history is the only acceptable path for dealing with these issues.

Posted by Julie
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 5, 2016 at 10:27 am

@citizen -

You are talking out of both sides of your mouth. C'mon. For example - how can "illegal immigrants" be taking handouts/not earning a living and working but exploited by employers? They are either stealing American jobs or living off the American government, right? Can't be both - you need to choose which xenophobic caricature you are embracing today.

What an embarrassing and hate-filled response to a wonderful article, which you clearly didn't even read.

Posted by Olive
a resident of Dublin
on Feb 5, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Olive is a registered user.

Wish I could live in Pleasanton. Another guilt ridden story for all of us. How about the Catholic Church helping our seniors!!!

Posted by Olive
a resident of Dublin
on Feb 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Olive is a registered user.

Also, when did it become ok to break the law to get what you want? We all have our struggles..Believe Me! Life is tough..we all have to play the cards we're dealt, with integrity and rule of law. We are a country of laws! Finally, can we step back and put American workers first! Does any of our elected officials care about Americans! Nurses I know can't get jobs anymore because they can't speak Spanish...and on and on...what is the point of this article anyway? To make Americans feel bad? To make us have empathy? We have that!!! We are generous, kind, giving!!! How much is enough???

Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2016 at 5:38 pm

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.


Perhaps you are not familiar with how illegal immigrants can be both taking jobs from citizens and legal immigrants and also taking handouts, it's actually fairly common as I grew up part time in the San Joaquin valley. It's quite simple. They work under the table for wages far below what most people would get paid with a job that requires a E-verify and a valid W2, and with kids they get assistance with food, housing, health care. Anyone who lived in a community with large number of migrant workers would know that. It is literally very common.

Take care now.

Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 5, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

People have to survive, it does not matter where people are from.

Everyone has a life to live, it does not matter legal or not.

Those people that arrived on the eastern shore on the Mayflower were all illegal.

Posted by Liz Paul
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 7, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Liz Paul is a registered user.

Thank you Michael for your comment. Having lived in Mexico City for almost 15 years prior to moving to Pleasanton, I have seen the incredible difficulty that people go through trying to raise a family on a minimum wage of less than $2 a day (that's per day - not hour). So a life with not enough food, clothing and often the kids can't go to school as they have to try to find some way to make some money, even the equivalent of pennies, just to help out. Then there's heartbreak that families go through when one of those family members decides they must leave their family behind to seek a better paying job in another country in order for their children to have a better future. In my 13 years here, I have met very, very few current Pleasantonians who personally have gone through this type of experience. Therefore, I would ask that instead of all of these above mentioned judgements against the people in the article, I ask that you instead try to even imagine what you would do in their shoes. I know that I would have done the same. And I say that comment proudly and openly - using my own name - instead of making judgments while hiding behind some screen name.

Posted by Olive
a resident of Dublin
on Feb 7, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Olive is a registered user.

There's the guilt the borders then, have no laws, no country. Then see what happens.

Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

Perhaps someone can help me understand this, is an illegal immigrant single parent of 4, renting out her apartment to cram 7 people into one unit really what we want to promote and encourage in Pleasanton? Where exactly do we draw the line and say people have the responsibility to take care of themselves and not demand others to subsidize their residency in a place they cannot afford?

I bet people who pay the most amount of lip service to the poor will be outraged and demand "responsible growth" if any developers dared to build the kind of apartments that Erica lives in their neighborhoods.

Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 8, 2016 at 6:22 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Oh Liz give it a break!

$150b to $200b is spent each year cost for illegal immigration. That's EACH YEAR!

But no, because OTHER countries are hell holes, then the shining bright star of the United States MUST admit and pay for those other countries utter incompetence to provide for their own citizens!

I have that just about right for you Liz and Michael?

Do you want to see those countries policies change quickly? Tax remittances at 25 or 30% and lets see what happens then. Let's build the border wall and enforce the laws. Offer anyone here illegally to self-deport, then get in line to come back. Formulate a strict guest worker program that allows easy access for workers seeking seasonal work. After season, back home they go. Deport ALL illegal immigrants who are in our prisons AFTER they've finished their sentences. No exceptions.

I can go on and on.

There are so many things we can do to make immigration work, but nobody, Republicans or Democrats, have the will to do anything but talk.


Posted by caywen
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 9, 2016 at 8:28 am

caywen is a registered user.

This isn't a story about our immigration policy or the politics surrounding it. This is a story about people who sacrifice everything to give their kids what they never had. Before soap boxing your politics, think about what you would do. Me, I would hope that I would have the courage to do the same. Maybe immigration policy does need to change, but not because hard working parents who love their kids send them to our schools.

If there is one thing I want Pleasanton to accomplish, it is maintaining our willingness to share for the greater good. That is what good towns and good people do.

Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 9, 2016 at 8:43 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

This isn't about "soapbox" politics. This is about solutions.

I just simply disagree that the United States must change because OTHER countries cannot support their citizens. And I sure as heck think that United States citizens should not have to transfer their wealth to a permanent underclass that resides here illegally.

You want compassion, yet you don't ask for justice for those same people that are FORCED to leave their own countries because their politicians are too corrupt to fix their internal problems.

We can do something about this, politically and diplomatically, but we don't because that would mean there would be insufficient means of graft for our government and profit for corporations.

Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2016 at 9:20 am

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

I guess the definition of courage has changed since our fathers' and grandfathers' days. Why did my forebears work all those decades in coal mines of Appalachia and Utah when they could just have moved to a prosperous city or township, had many more children than they did, and demand everyone else to "share for the greater good"?

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 9, 2016 at 9:37 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Just to add to everyone's thinking, Web Link

"The 50-state analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released on Thursday found that roughly 8.1 million of 11.4 million undocumented immigrants who work paid more than $11.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2012, even while they were living illegally in the country."

And many, because of their status, do not file claims for refunds. If we are going to debate what we should do, you need the entire picture. This is likely a factor of living in Pleasanton, but I don't know anyone who wants the jobs these immigrants (legal or illegal) have; so I don't see the logic in saying they are taking American jobs away.

Posted by no user name
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 9, 2016 at 10:20 am

no user name is a registered user.

I do not support illegal immigration. However, I have a business that requires manual work to be done and I have found not one single "American" willing to do it. All of my workers are legal workers from Mexico and other Central American countries. I pay them for 8 hours of work per day, I issue them W-2s or 1099s as appropriate and not one tax form has been returned due to a made up or duplicate SS number.

I often encounter people holding "homeless and hungry" signs and I always ask them if they are willing to work for money and I will even include meals. You can guess the profane responses that I get. They don't want work, they want a handout.

Until people from this country are willing to actually work I will continue to hire laborers from other countries. They earn their pay and I consider it a good value.

Posted by truewest
a resident of Stoneridge
on Feb 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm

truewest is a registered user.

Are all these "extra" bedroom tenants actually legally residing in the buildings in question? Rented to with the permission of the landlord? Putting an unplanned-for burden on building and city services and infrastructure?

Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

Ok Kathleen, let's assume that you're info is 100% correct. Let's do the math shall we: $150b - 12b= $138b net cost to the taxpayers.

Yes, I think that makes the problem MUCH better. /sarcasm

And btw, not once did I frame this in the mode of "taking jobs away from Americans". This is STRICTLY a citizen taxpayer/national security issue and other than lip service, our ridiculous political class refuses to do anything except all more illegal immigrants.

And just so you know, the corporations are doing the same thing with H1-B visas in order to get cheaper labor in the professional class.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Well, it wasn't my "info." Here is another article on this debate, which is more complex than just the numbers: Web Link

Maybe we find a way for those who are gainfully employed to safely register and begin a process to stay. It would mean some who are more transient won't register, but it would be a start. If you wish to find all those here illegally, and/or include those with H1-B visas, and kick them out, go ahead; there are likely going to be unintended consequences, and not for the better.

Posted by caywen
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 9, 2016 at 5:48 pm

caywen is a registered user.

In what way are the people the article talks about a drain on our society? I see examples here of homeless refusing to work and "underclass" who leech off the system. That doesn't at all sound like these people. So, whatever you are saying is pretty off topic. This is about people who want their kids to have a good life in our good town and are willing to work their asses off for it.

Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm

BobB is a registered user.


I agree the people in this article are working hard and contributing to society. But some of the children of immigrants like these can be a disruptive factor in schools. I've seen it here personally in Pleasanton Middle School.

Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Feb 9, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

"In what way are the people the article talks about a drain on our society?" I posted the article precisely because it presents a positive side to the discussion.

Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 10, 2016 at 8:00 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

I find it interesting that in the article, the representative from the Social Security administration claims that illegal immigrants contribute $15b per year to SS, yet the Institute of Taxation and Economic policy claims TOTAL fed and state taxes at $12b?

Seems like agencies these calculations might be a, with respect to the amount of total taxes paid? That's the problem with these types of articles and studies. NOBODY KNOWS!!

From the article: "The dollar VALUE of the benefits far outweigh the costs, so the government could just transfer extra funds to those local populations that need more help. " Emphasis mine.

Note what the author did there? Sure, there is VALUE to paying the lowest possible wage for the work that most working Americans won't do. If I ran a construction company, you bet I'd use the lowest cost labor I could find to build my houses, only a fool would do otherwise. But make no mistake about it, there are far more people here illegally that DO NOT contribute in any way to the tax base, and its those people that create the vast gap between what is paid in, and what is paid out.

Do we just let them stay and create a permanent underclass?

Like I said, this problem needs to be fixed. It is, at best, naive to think that offering amnesty will somehow magically fix the issue.

Posted by DKHSK
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Feb 10, 2016 at 8:23 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Interesting article from Mexico News Daily (safe link): Web Link

From the article: "Remittances sent home by Mexicans working outside the country surpassed petroleum revenues in 2015 for the first time. There was a 4.75% increase in money sent from abroad, most of which comes from the U.S., to total US $24.8 billion last year, up from $23.6 billion in 2014, said the Bank of Mexico."

This number would indicate that the vast majority of income made by II's is unreported. When coupled with receiving benefits, is it any wonder why people are angry at our political class??

Why would we not tax remittances now?

Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2016 at 12:27 pm

FrequentWalkerMiles is a registered user.

Now in case anyone asks "well gee how to illegal aliens get benefits?" I assume people understand that

(1)the US, unlike any other developed country, gives automatic citizenship to children born to illegal aliens. So the benefits are applied in their names who have the same rights as children of people who went through the legal channels to get here

and (2) it is very common for illegal aliens to use others' social security numbers to apply for government assistance. Anyone who have been around a large immigrant community would know that.

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