I'm referring to a letter by a "Guadalupe Ramos" who writes in about an article on Lou Dobbs who has seems to have some convictions about illegal immigration (as I do). The writer of this letter says that she came across the border "illegally" when she was two, and her father worked with a phony social security card and had taxes taken out of his pay and never received benefits from the American Government. The way I see it, withholding taxes don't make up for filing your taxes, believe me I know all about that personally. As far as applying for benefits, it would be difficult with a phony SS card and so what? I never received a dime in benefits until I was 52 years old, and I wish I was never in the position to have to ask for them in the first place.
This woman goes on to say that the "Hate, lies and fearmongering seem to be penetrating even those who preach against it. Do not fall for them". If she means that the people who think that illegal immigration into this country is a big problem, then I too fall into the same category as Lou. She says she got citizenship in 1980. I say she was damn lucky and I also would say that if it were up to me, she wouldn't have gotten it. Call me Archie Bunker or anything you feel like calling me, but just because I consider myself a "progressive" doesn't mean that I support people that break the law.
The heart of the matter, is why these laws were put on the books and enforced for all of these years. Usually if a law is put on the books, and there is really no need for it, eventually it will be forgotten about and sooner or later rescinded. I know, there are some "blue laws" and some crazy laws that are still in the law books, I'm speaking generally. These immigration laws were designed to put limits on immigration and protect Texas and California and the whole Southwest from being a defacto part of Mexico. It has been a problem from the mid 1800's until today. It is a very real problem.
With illegal immigration you have two sets of problems. The first set of problems are the one's that affect the illegal immigrants themselves. Many come here willingly to seek a new life, some come here with false promises of work and some are practically kidnaped and put in the back of semi's to work in the fields of California and other states. They are practically abducted by "employment managers" that work for the giant Agra-Conglomerates. They arrive penniless and are given barely enough to survive, and not enough to escape. Others are brought across the border by the coyotes they pay huge sums of money too, and dumped on an Interstate to fend for themselves. If they manage to elude getting caught, they work for less than minimum wage, and hook up with other illegal's and there may be twenty people living in a two bedroom house and they divide their meager paychecks to pay the rent, and send the rest to their families in Mexico and other Latin American countries. They have very limited access to medical care, and those that bring children with them are hard to place in school. They don't report crimes against them for fear of being deported. It's not a great life.
The other set of problems are the ones faced by the Federal and State governments and the people of this country. With the huge influx of illegal immigration, schools are crowded and a great number of students don't speak English. The census does not get the numbers of illegal aliens, and the taxes don't keep up with the demand on the school system. The same with the healthcare system. There are hospitals treating illegal aliens that don't pay taxes. Healthcare costs are driving some hospitals to the brink of bankruptcy. The community hospitals that have to take indigents in, rely on property taxes to operate. People that live in areas with a high illegal immigrant population have property taxes going through the roof. At the same time, their property values are falling, all for the same reason.
I'm sure everyone knows all of this, and I'm not really educating anyone. The only thing I'm trying to say is that because I consider myself a liberal or a progressive person, doesn't mean that I sympathize with illegal immigrants to the degree that we should all turn a blind eye to what is happening. I'm not hatemongering and fearmongering when I say that it causes tremendous problems for America. In other countries like Mexico for example, if you are caught there illegally, it's six months in prison and deportation.
The biggest lie ever told is that phrase "They do jobs that American's won't do". That is just not true. They do jobs for wages that Americans won't settle for, but if a decent wage went with the job, you would find Americans working those jobs. That is a lie I've heard Bush actually say on TV. He is just covering for these Agra-businesses and corporations that depend on illegal immigrants to work for practically nothing so that their bottom line will be higher. We all know why some Republicans are soft on immigration penalties. At the rate of immigration now, this country will be over 50% Hispanic by the year 2020. I don't care, I'll be dead by then. Bell South told it's workers in Miami around the year 2000, that if they couldn't speak Spanish, they would have to relocate to Orlando and other cities if they wanted to keep their jobs. I don't think that's right. Although I would encourage people to learn Spanish if I was the CEO, I wouldn't do something like that.
Why do we have a problem with immigration in the first place? Do you believe that it's not "Politically Correct" to come out and say that you believe our immigration laws should be strengthened and enforced? I'm not afraid to say it. It's a bad situation for the country and the illegal immigrant. I happen to like Mexican people. I've worked beside them, and lived in Spanish neighborhoods. I have served in the Army with many Hispanic men and women. They have family values, are honest and work very hard. I can't come up with a single thing that I don't like about them. In fact, of all the people I've met in the world, and all of the culture's I've been around, Hispanic people are the most polite and open people I've ever met. The problem isn't with them, it's just the circumstances. We are being overwhelmed. If somebody came up with a way we could accommodate all these immigrants, I'd be all for it. The problem is that nobody will do, what is needed to be done. We need to secure our borders and keep the number if immigrants to this country at a reasonable level.
If we have to build a fence, then let's do it. If we have to put the military on the border or beef up the Border Patrol, then do it. If we started charging the Mexican government for every illegal immigrant schoolchild's education and every hospital visit or stay, you can bet that they would be helping at the other side of the border. Still, the easiest way to enforce immigration laws and the cheapest way out of this mess, the way that would also help American's that live in this country the most, is to prosecute these giant agricultural firms and factories that hire them for minimum wage or less. That's the REAL ticket. That would be the most economic and simplest way to enforce immigration and it would also benefit the working class of Americans immediately.
Why won't the government do it? The same reason why they really don't represent the people that elected them in the first place. The reason why immigration laws aren't enforced and funded is because corporate America does not want their bottom line to get any smaller. Illegal immigration is good for business, and whatever is good for business is good for the politicians that depend on corporate donations to keep their seats in Congress. That is at the root of most of our problems in the US. I'm afraid it always comes back to that, and until we do something about it, it always will.