Skip to comments.Shadow workers
Posted on 02/16/2005 9:33:21 PM PST by 82Marine89
The United States has no business accommodating a permanent underclass of illegal workers, whose ranks have grown to at least 6 million. Problem is, the reform plan with the most momentum in D.C. would make an untenable situation worse.
The flawed AgJobs bill, first introduced in 2003, would cover no more than 10 percent of the illegal labor force. And it would grant those workers de facto amnesty, moving them ahead of legal immigrants who've obeyed the law in their quest to reach America. It would mock the orderly process of naturalization, when there are alternatives -- including other guest-worker proposals -- that could pull illegal workers from the shadows and still honor the rule of law.
The bill would let as many as 500,000 farmworkers gain temporary residency; and though their spouses and children could also live in the United States, the spouses couldn't find work legally -- which means many of them would become off-the-books employees.
The farmworkers could qualify for green cards in as little as six years, letting them crowd ahead of many who would immigrate legally, including family members of the physicians and engineers recruited by America's technology leaders.
Meantime, the millions of illegal workers who've found jobs in construction, landscaping, housekeeping, food service and hospitality would remain underground. But allowing an illegal work force to live permanently in the United States imposes budget-busting burdens on public services, from hospitals to schools. And it fosters disrespect for legitimate law-enforcement authority.
AgJobs has a filibuster-proof 63 Senate sponsors -- which makes it imperative for congressional leaders to expeditiously craft alternative legislation that meets the basic outline President Bush has endorsed: Let foreign workers in a variety of industries qualify for temporary employment if Americans won't fill the jobs; but amnesty should not be part of the deal.
The immigration status quo is not sustainable. But AgJobs offers the false promise of cheap, legal labor for one industry, leaving the majority of illegal workers to perpetuate an underground economy. Congress should start fresh with new legislation that honors the law and follows common sense.
It also creates a huge, impoverished underclass, with all the attendent problems of crime, drugs, and general mischief.
Those problems are already there, but the Police departments are not allowed to enforce our immigration laws. If they were, these people could be deported and maybe a dent could be made in the crime problem.
Yeah,...but "at least 6 million",???? Whoa nellie,its more than twice that figure,you should see the NYC area,awash and driving labor price$ crazzy,and then WE pay for all their services!
The more I think about it, the more it seems this AgJobs thing is Bush's tradeoff to big Agribusiness for cutting farm subsidies.
Only one thing can end this: Mechanization. Agriculture is one of the few industries where you can truly say the Mexicans and the Central Americans do work Americans won't do. The children and grandchildren of the Oakies became prosperous, many of them OWNING the largest farms in the Central Valley, while certain other groups who used to do farm labor went to the welfare line and the housing projects.
I'm all for strict enforcement of immigration laws, but if you are a Korean Deli owner in Brooklyn, are you going to hire Darnell from the projects who badmouths the customer or Jose from Puebla that does what he is told.
In NYC, you have one choice: Puebla. NYC went from having NO Mexicans when I was a kid in the 1980s to having 300-400,000 today. Where they really hurt wages are in the food service and the construction industry. As the unions are bought off, you see them on the crews.
Yep, this is my newspaper. They were also one of the first to editoralize the Eason Jordan story.
Where I live, there are those ribbon-shaped magnetic signs "Support our Troops" and "God Bless America" on so many cars. "W" and "Bush/Cheney" stickers too!
New poll is up!
Do you believe securing U.S. borders should be the first priority of homeland security?
Yes 96% 1895 votes
No 4% 89 votes
Total: 1984 votes