(All emphases by Always On Watch)
Over the past several days, we have seen on our television screens the masses of demonstrators objecting to the Congressional bill making illegal immigration a felony. Of those marching in our streets and demanding their rights—and waving the Mexican flag, no less—how many were themselves illegal immigrants?
On Saturday evening, I heard an immigration advocate say something like this:
"We don't use the term illegal aliens any more."The talk-show host was duly chastened and changed his terminology to the more acceptable illegal immigrants.
Illegal alien—another term to add to the list of offensive and politically incorrect terms, never mind the definition of alien (Illegal is self-explanatory):
"1. An unnaturalized foreign resident of a country. Also called noncitizen."Of late, the various talk shows and President Bush frequently mention the immigration solution called "the guest-worker program." When I was logging into my Yahoo email the other day, I happened across an article on the topic of such programs; the following is an excerpt:
"'[The] historic role [of the guest-worker program] has been as a national emergency program,' Cornell University economist Vernon Briggs wrote in a 2004 paper. 'They are extraordinary policies to be used as a last resort — and then only as temporary measures.'Senator Edward Kennedy says that such problems will be avoided this time:
"In 1917, during World War I, an agreement was reached with Mexico to let in unskilled workers. During the program's five-year life span, 77,000 Mexicans were admitted but fewer than half returned to Mexico. 'The program spawned illegal immigration,' Briggs said.
"A much larger exchange, the Bracero program, began in 1942, during World War II, and continued in varying forms through 1964. Some 4.6 million Mexicans came to the United States, with a peak of 439,000 in 1959.
"The program stipulated that guest workers were to get free housing, medical treatment, transportation and prevailing wages. The reality was often different.
"Avendano of the AFL-CIO said workers were underpaid or cheated out of wages, exposed to unsafe conditions, faced racial discrimination and were saddled with debt from recruiters and employers. Workers were unable to exercise their rights because the employer could have them deported. Under such conditions, she said, 'Workers would rather be undocumented because they have full mobility.'
"Others argue that guest worker programs create an underclass of foreign workers and stigmatize some jobs associated with foreign labor....
"In 1995, the U.S. Commission on Immigration, headed by the late Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Texas, reported to Congress its unanimous conclusion that an agriculture guest worker program 'is not in the national interest and...would be a grievous mistake.'
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., at recent Senate hearings on the immigration bill, said the recent tide of illegal immigrants raises 'the question of whether guest worker programs become magnets for more undocumented populations.'..."
"'[This latest proposal] will avoid those problems by streamlining the application process for employers and strengthening key protections for the workers.'"Certainly allowing for guest workers to have job portability might help to prevent the potential for abuse caused by a guest worker's having to be attached to one specific employer, a serious problem under Bracero. Nevertheless, such mobility can have its own problems, particularly if a guest worker would rather not work or if he desires to disappear within our borders.
According to the above-cited article, the 1986 amnesty for many illegal aliens produced the result that almost one million applications were accepted and, in effect, rewarded those who had illegally entered the United States. In addition, experts in immigration matters now concede that fraudulent documents were accepted in that 1986 process.
One argument we consistetly hear from those opposing certain restrictions on immigration is that we need immigrants for cheap labor. But cheap labor has costs: the overburdening of our school and health-care systems, to name just two of areas affected. And I must also mention this article, which I found at Woman Honor Thyself; the article speaks to offenses and untoward events on our roads.
Furthermore, by allowing unbridled and especially illegal immigration, we are tacitly reinforcing the backward policies of many of those nations from which immigrants are fleeing so that those nations have no incentive to fix their own problems which spur their population to crossing our borders. It seems to me that a wall along our southern border might well be a good idea. From what I can observe, the majority of illegal aliens present today in the United States are from Mexico and Latin America.
America is the land of opportunity. Is it any wonder that people want to come here? But illegal immigration is, well, ILLEGAL.
In this blog article, I have barely touched on the ramifications of illegal immigration. Readers, how do you see the issue of immigration and the bills before our Congress?