Immigration & lllegal Immigration - The New Culture War
The New Culture War
Immigration, especially illegal immigration is perhaps the hottest and most emotional issue facing the USA today. So hold on to your hat. This will be a wild ride ...
First let us examine one of the true issues Americans really fear but seldom mention ...
Americans today think about the cost of illegal immigration. Racism is the wedge conservatives use to distract us from real questions that need answers.
If they are so upset with people draining the public treasury, they should protest real drains like the $70 billion of corporate tax income lost in offshore tax havens annually.
Politicians and immigration foes are trying to manufacture a new culture war. But the majority of Americans don’t want one and must speak up now to drown out the subtle racism dominating this debate.
The next issue is the so-called scheme to eliminate America's borders and merge the country into the North American Union ...
The next issue is the fear of Black Americans losing out to the Latino population because of illegal immigration ...
Now for some facts and figures on US Immigration Policy seldom mentioned ...
The number of visas that have been issued for non-immigrant workers is staggering - over 17 million since 1985.
Non-immigrants take professional jobs such as high-tech, education, medical, accounting, and blue-collar jobs in manufacturing.
And now for the main core issues ...
The US admits about 800,000 legal immigrants per year. Foreign-born people accounted for 8% of the US population. (Census figures)
55% of all illegal aliens come from Mexico. (Other Latin American countries account for another 20%). 40% of all illegal aliens live in California. (TX, NY, FL, and IL account for the next 40%).
The illegal alien population is growing by about 275,000 each year.
An immigration policy that serves the fundamental interests of middle-class Americans must take two realities into account: immigrants’ economic contributions make them indispensable to our nation’s middle class, and, at the same time, a lack of effective rights in the workplace for undocumented immigrants undermines the ability of all working people in America to secure and maintain jobs that provide a middle-class standard of living.
So here’s an idea for state lawmakers (not to mention Congress). Address the underlying causes of the nation’s jobs, health care and pension crises, like putting taxpayer money to fund services that benefit the majority of us, rather than providing the very wealthiest with tax breaks they don’t need.
And instead of criminalizing workers, how about negotiating trade deals that benefit workers in other nations, enabling them to support their families without leaving home?
Scapegoating the most vulnerable is much easier, and a great distraction in an election year for those who want to turn the discussion away from such real concerns of working families as good jobs and an affordable education.
Undocumented immigrants come here to work. If jobs didn't exist, the number crossing the border, mostly from Latin America, would plummet.
The cost for ending those jobs would be high. Ending the endemic use of undocumented workers in low-wage, dead-end jobs would force employers to pay real wages and offer real benefits to attract "real Americans" to do the work, and some jobs would simply leave the country.
Prices for food, clothing and any product that relies on dirt-cheap labor would rise for everybody, and those middle and upper-class families that count on don't-ask, don't-tell relationships with undocumented housekeepers, gardeners, nannies and elder-care workers would be affected.
Too many employers are unwilling to abide by labor laws governing pay, overtime and worker safety that would attract legal workers. The undocumented workers are used to undermine the hard-won gains of the American labor movement.
Three supermarket chains in California are currently trying to break their unions, citing the encroachment of Wal-Mart on their turf even as their profits soar.
Who will replace some of these workers if they aren't willing to give up salary and basic benefits? Take a guess.
As a matter of justice, we have to stop pitting one group of workers against another. The first step would be to make the undocumented workers already here legal. Or, failing that humane step, eliminate the jobs for undocumented workers by toughening the law on hiring--and arresting employers who violate the law.
We must increase the number of legal immigrants allowed annually, particularly from Mexico with its strong family and historic ties to this country.
Also, immigration laws have been rigged to favor certain skilled occupations, ignoring the reality that much of our prosperity derives from the sweat of unskilled immigrant labor.
Scapegoating, along with other forms of human sacrifice, is as old as human society. It is particularly evident during periods of political, economic, or social instability, when there is a failure of group expectations.
The scapegoat serves two purposes during such periods: as an object upon which the fears, anger, and frustrations of a group can be directed. The scapegoat is also politically useful during periods of turbulence, as a means of reminding people that the state retains the power of life and death over them.
Scapegoats served the needs of power systems during the Inquisitions, as well as witch and heresy trials, when church authority was challenged by such influences as the Reformation and scientific inquiry.
The roots of the Salem witch trials have been traced to political instabilities within that colony. The upheavals of the Civil War brought about a sharp increase in the lynchings of blacks, as did the depression of the 1930’s.
Lies & More Lies
Lyndon Johnson’s and Robert McNamara’s lies about the prospects for winning the Vietnam War – lies that led to the deaths of at least fifty thousand Americans – have morphed into George Bush’s lies about "weapons of mass destruction" and the prospects for "Iraqi freedom" if only more American soldiers can be sacrificed to the cause.
As Halliburton and other corporate interests close to the White House prepare to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars from the Iraqi war; and as Vice President Cheney treats a Supreme Court justice to paid hunting trips at a time when a case involving Mr. Cheney is before that court, even the most unsophisticated minds experience a failure of expectations about the nature of government.
Stop and Think
Stop and think. Our unemployment level is about 4.5, and that's about as low as you can get it. So, where is the problem? We have to have people fill these jobs. They come in and fill these jobs.
Immigration is an international phenomenon of the twenty first century. Many immigrants flee their countries because of war, famine, unemployment, or a lack of political or religious freedom. Some of these problems are due to corrupt government officials in their countries.
The United States government and North American based international corporations have not been neutral spectators of this international immigration.
For example, it was hypocritical to contribute to the militarization of Central America in the 1980s (through the funding of the Contras) and at the same to complain about the arrival of Central American immigrants to the United States.
Recently, the presence of Canadian and North American agrobusinesses in Mexico has transformed the Mexican landscape. Corn growing peasants could not compete with these large foreign agricultural corporations. 1,800,000 Mexican farmers have been forced off of their land and the overwhelming majority of them have migrated
We call them illegal. Are they illegal? They're filling jobs that need to be done. But we're making a mountain out of a mole hill. The whole national immigration issue is national scapegoating. It's national scapegoating because we have our failures in education, we have failures in health care, every place you turn our society is crumbling around us. And so we want to find somebody to scapegoat, blame it on them.
I just recently went to Canada. I went into Canada, it took me three seconds. Coming out took two hours. Two hours in line to get back into our country. Something is wrong. We need to stop scapegoating people. People come here because they want to feed their families because they're starving in other locations. We need a foreign policy that addresses the entire Western Hemisphere in this regard.
We're scapegoating the Latinos of our society because we as a society are failing in education, we're failing in health care, we're failing in our crumbling infrastructure, and we're failing by invading countries and spending our treasure. That's what's wrong.
It’s no crime to work.