Saturday, September 15, 2007
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - PART ONE
For the past few years there have been rumblings regarding illegal immigrants, the number currently in this country, those still flowing into this country, and how they are taking jobs from hard working Americans.
Illegal immigrants are the kissing cousins of gay marriage – a diversionary issue used to get the public to focus on something other than the Bush administration’s failure in Iraq. No government agency has a genuine interest in finding a solution to the current illegal immigration problem. King George just does not want the public thinking about the billions in tax payer monies that his friends are stealing (or the thousands of innocent lives lost) in this war.
To fuel the bait and switch agenda, this week, Julie Myers, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testified before a Senate committee, that it would cost $94 billion dollars to detain and remove the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. 94 BILLION! That figure does not include the expenses associated with finding them and having their cases adjudicated. The $94 million dollar figure is to house them and return them to their countries of origin.
I think we can find a better way of spending $94 billion!
The problem existed seven years ago when King George was running for president the first time, but we never heard him mention it. Seven years ago he and his father’s friends only mentioned Bill Clinton’s Monica indiscretion (every five minutes), keeping the people on their toes – outraged! He never mentioned the millions of people streaming across our border, and he was the governor of the largest border state - Texas
In 2004 the republicans won elections by instilling fear in the American public. Instead of running on issues that truly effect the electorate like health care, education and the economy, they claimed that the terrorists were at our door, queers were trying to steal the religious sacrament of marriage, and Mexicans were the enemy too because they were taking away jobs from honest, God fearing Americans.
Today, again, they are still trying to keep the public’s attention diverted from the blood running down the streets of Baghdad by talking about the Mexicans swimming across the Rio Grande , and also, but less so, the queers trying to infiltrate the institution of marriage.
Adding to the fear are ill-conceived reports stating that the majority of those crossing from Mexico are dangerous felons and drug traffickers.
There are even websites like http://www.immigrationshumancost.org that try to manipulate the truth regarding the illegal immigrant problem, and further scare the American public by showing innocent Americans who are victims of crimes committed by Mexicans.
According to “On Immigration and Crime,” a U.S. Department of Justice study published in 2001, illegal immigration does not lead to more crime; but shows that the majority of immigrants commit fewer crimes than the rest of the population. While there are bad eggs in every walk of life, those that live quiet, law abiding lives and whose only crime is wanting a better life for themselves and their family are far greater than those committing crimes.
My take on the situation is this: If I was born poor in Mexico and lived a few hundred miles from the United States border, and I was supporting my family on $5 a day, and I knew that just a few hours north my cousin was making $5 or more an hour, I too would be crawling through the desert under the cover of darkness to give my family a better standard of living. Who doesn’t want more for their family?
In America we appreciate a success story and we applaud those that come from meager beginnings and triumph over their situation. I think the same should be true of all people.
These hardworking people want the American dream so they risk their lives to get here and then they take the menial jobs that no American will do.
In the early 1900s, Irish and Italian immigrants came to this country (many illegally) and performed low level manual jobs that others were not willing to do. Eventually they worked their way up the socio-economic scale. Today they would not take a job landscaping in the 115 degree heat for $5 an hour.
In the middle of the 20th century the same is true of black Americas. In the shadow of slavery, and continued oppression, blacks started out doing the jobs no one else wanted to do, making no money in return. They too through the generations have worked their way into the American middle class and would not clean house for $7 an hour.
As a rule, illegal immigrants do not take jobs away from Americans. We would not do the type of work, for the low pay, that they are willing to do. Of course, there are a few exceptions, but I don’t know anyone willing to spend eight or more hours, hunched over picking strawberries for less than minimum wage.
In an April 16, 2006 article in the Winston-Salem Journal, Jim Johnson, the director of the Kenan Institute's Urban Investment Strategies Center - part of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that what some people tend to forget is the indirect effect that the Hispanic worker has had on consumer prices.
“If everyone without proper immigration visas were deported, U.S. consumers would have to prepare to pay more for such ordinary goods as food and housing. For example, the construction industry in North Carolina would pay about $1 billion more in labor costs without the Hispanic worker, according to the study.”
"The next time you go to a restaurant and see a Hispanic busing the tables, just put an extra $20 on the table, because that's how much more your meal will cost," Johnson said. "If you play it to its logical conclusion, then it ought to be illegal to buy it (goods produced with illegal labor). It's a hot good."
With all of this said, I agree that we do need to stop, or slow, the flow of individuals crossing our borders illegally - not because of some irrational fear of Mexicans and their desire to take our jobs, but because of national security concerns.
We need to be aware of who is getting into our country and who is trying to harm us. If the uneducated, entering the country for economic purposes, get through the border with ease, you can be assured that those with more sinister purposes are also sneaking in undetected.
The biggest issue that needs to be addressed is border security - not illegal immigrants. Border security is now “Homeland Security” and therefore needs to be taken seriously.
This is how we should be approaching the problem, not by scaring the American public into believing that a multi-cultural society is bad and not by instilling fear and targeting a particular group.
Do we need to work on a solution for the 12 million hardworking individuals who came to this country to better their lives? YES.
Should we spend hundred of billions of dollars to locate them and return them to their homelands? NO
Should we find a way to lessen the influx of illegal immigrants? YES.
Do we need to secure our borders – ABSOLUTELY.
Posted by Gpawilli at 8:51 AM