Another side of the immigration issue
RE: Illegal immigration causes many problems (SDN Sept. 17)Yes, Mr. Dobert, illegal immigration causes many problems. The problem that bothers me most is the dead people in the Arizona desert – something you didn’t mention in your letter.Here’s why we can’t we have a legislator like Robert Vasquez (who is getting tough with illegal immigration). In a democracy, we can often become subject to the tyranny of the majority. Apparently, the majority of the constituents of our elected representatives are willing to put up with the many problems that illegal immigration produces to reap some bigger benefit. Until a very vocal and well-organized electorate says they want things differently, our immigration laws and enforcement will not change; and even then, it still might not happen. This June in Oregon, the strawberry farmers lost $10,000 per day because there was a shortage of strawberry pickers during the prime picking weeks; tighter controls of border crossings and the intimidation of the Minutemen were responsible. Score one for “the rule of law”; score 0 points for the U.S. economy.Even The Economist, a fairly conservative British magazine, says: “America’s present immigration law flies in the face of economic reality. The economy is creating far more low-end jobs than American workers are willing to take … “America has spent millions of dollars trying to tighten up its border only to see the situation get worse … Closing the border is impossible without some sort of legalization for the millions in the country; mass deportation would do irreparable harm both to America’s economy and to its traditions as an immigrant-friendly nation.” (May 21, 2005)Mr. Dobert, let’s do a “Katrina” and all share the blame. It’s not just the employer of these illegals whose “personal economy” benefits, as you allege. How much money do you think you have saved eating at restaurants where Spanish is the primary language in the kitchen? How much money have you saved eating produce that was picked and packed by illegal, brown hands? Are you willing to give up these savings? Unless an employer pays cash, these illegals file a W-2 (albeit with falsified documents) and pay taxes. In fact, payroll taxes withheld from the illegal workers subsidize Social Security with as much as $7 billion a year, and another $1.5 billion for Medicare. They will never receive these benefits for which they are paying; but you will someday. (New York Times, April 5, 2004, and Time Magazine, April 18, 2005) Now, who’s subsidizing who?You say you are “tired of hearing how our local officials are going to reach out to help immigrants and how our schools need bilingual education to educate them.” Well, I’m tired of people like you who are misinformed; and I am especially tired of politicians like Robert Vasquez and Tom Tancredo who are either ignorant of the facts and any viable solutions or who are insidiously stirring up people like you into creating scapegoats. The illegal immigrants have children, and they are here among us; regardless of whether it’s legal or fair is now a moot point. Deny a proper education to the illegal immigrants’ children and you are effectively removing the bottom rung of the ladder that will help them climb out of poverty; another segment of society will become welfare-dependent or worse. Finally, regarding all those men and women living and working among us whom you call “felons” because they crossed the border by bypassing a customs post … I say then that a lot of U.S. citizens will be felons until they decriminalize marijuana and oral sex in our respective states. So much for legal labels.
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