The illegals are PEOPLE, remember? The question is, if "we" supposedly are so against illegal aliens being here, why are "we" enticing them to
come here with jobs and social services?
Can you blame these people? If you couldn't get work, were living in a box and feeding your kids cat food, wouldn't you sneak across the border if
in that country they had programs to give you free food, school tuition, and you could even get a job? Heck yeah!
This is a classic issue that politicians will always pay lipservice to. Hate illegals in speeches because it is popular with constituents, but in
private, support leniency for illegals because it pleases the campaign-donating corporations. So I have no doubt that illegals will continue to be
tolerated--if not invited to the U.S. I am not surprised that individual states have begun to court them.
Good for the economy? The easy answer is no--but that may not be the case. The overwhelming cost of social services provided to illegals is clear,
but on the positive side, there are the
that 75% of all
illegal aliens are paying into Social Security--$7 billion last year. These benefits will never be collected.
Then there is also the fact that cheap labor is contributing to lower-cost production, keeping consumer prices lower. Consider the following....
Shortly before Thanksgiving last year, Tom Nassif did something few law-abiding citizens would ever think to do: He called the U.S. Border
Patrol here and suggested agents stop manning a highway checkpoint intended to keep illegal immigrants out of the country.
A former U.S. ambassador and currently the president of a powerful farming association, Nassif told officials that the agency couldn't have picked a
worse time to beef up enforcement. Didn't they know it was lettuce season?
The checkpoint - complete with drug-sniffing dogs - was meant to stop the flow of illegal immigrants who might have slipped through the regular border
controls. But it was also ensnaring busloads of undocumented workers who are critical to the task of picking lettuce and other vegetables during the
winter growing season. Border Patrol public information officer Joseph Brigman says he told Nassif that "we aren't targeting fieldworkers; we're
conducting normal operations."
Nassif, head of Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers, an association of 3,000 farmers who grow, pack and ship about half the nation's fresh produce,
didn't buy that. The next day, he issued a public protest saying the ill-timed action was provoking an "acute shortage of labor" that threatened
the harvest, which was just getting under way, and the economy of Arizona's richest agricultural region. Calling for the checkpoint to be moved,
Nassif demanded a "reasonable application of enforcement now and in the future."
Few industries have come so close to admitting they cannot survive without the labor of illegal immigrants. In the process, the growers raised one of
the trickiest issues in the widening debate over immigration: how to close the U.S. border to terrorists and drug smugglers without also stopping the
flow of illegal workers who prop up big industries like agriculture.
At least half of the 1.8 million crop workers in the United States are undocumented, according to the Department of Labor. They sustain an industry
valued at $30 billion annually. They also make lawbreakers out of thousands of employers who hire them to do work they say Americans are unwilling to
Americans complain about losing jobs to illegal aliens and outsourcing, but this is why tomatoes don't cost $5 each and you don't have to buy a
service plan or wait on hold four hours to find out what is wrong with your cell phone.
Agriculture, construction, food service, and the hotel industry are dependent on illegal aliens. Without illegal immigrants harvesting our produce,
we couldn't afford salads. Without illegal aliens washing our dishes, only the uber-rich could eat out--and many restaurants would close their
doors. Without illegal aliens making the beds and washing sheets, hotel rooms would cost more than they do.
These people (and they are people) come here because there are jobs for them--and in many cases, they are courted by industries. Most corporations
care more about their bottom-line than what they are doing to Americans. Sure, many Americans don't want to take a low-paying job with no benefits
that involves menial labor, but if a corporation can access a workforce that is non-union, non-regulated, and pay them low-wages and not have to pay
benefits, they are going to do it--whether it means they hire illegals in the U.S. or go abroad. The stricter laws become regarding illegal aliens,
the more business in these industries will close their doors and just relocate to Mexico, Central and South America where they can pay workers $1.50
an hour and work them to death.
So whether it is luring illegals to the U.S. with jobs and social services or seeking a low-cost workforce abroad, American workers are going to
continue to be downsized because corporations don't want to pay-up for our healthcare, safety and salary requirements.
And the kicker is that we, the taxpayers, wind up subsidising these corporations. They get to take advantage of a low-cost workforce of illegal
aliens and we pay for the benefits that the company isn't paying via tax-funded social welfare programs.
The sad part is that these illegal aliens are just pawns. Punishing them for wanting to work, working to help keep our prices lower, and taking
advantage of programs designed specifically for illegal aliens is putting the blame in the wrong place.