Sunday, March 26, 2006


So, it seems that the latest target of the Republicans is immigration and immigrants. Apparently, their latest 'bright' idea is to make it a felony to be an illegal alien. This is crass. However, even the terminology is somewhat puzzling. Why is it that the U.S. insists upon calling persons of other nationalities 'aliens'? It might make sense if the story of ET was true, but otherwise it makes it sound as if the Blob from Planet X, was working illegally in the U.S.

The problem with the proposals is that there are many jobs that are being done by undocumented workers, because U.S. citizens do not want to do the work. At least, this is one line of defense. It is a bit a Straw Man though. Take the case of workers in New Orleans. Many of the contractors employ sub-contractors who in turn employ undocumented workers. This protects the large companies from sanctions, should there ever be a crack down. It suits companies to employ undocumented workers, because these individuals are not in a strong position to complain when they do not get paid. This means the company can get the work done, whilst 'keeping labor cost down' (as they say in business speak). It is also the case that undocumented workers are more likely to not mind living in dorms, or other substandard living conditions. Given that there is insufficient accommodation in the New Orleans area, economic desperation works to the advantage of the corporations again.

With the proposed new anti-immigrant legislation, one hears the shrill voice of the Republicans waffling vague tropes about National security. They really need to get a new tune. It was not plausible three years ago, it is not plausible now. (Question: How was Iraq ever a threat to the U.S.? Answer: The only way Iraq was a threat was if Saddam Hussein put stamps on his missiles and mailed them to the U.S.!). The Republicans also suggest that anything like an amnesty would be unfair to those who have gone through the 'proper' immigration channels. It is clear the Republicans have never had a conversation with anyone who has had to deal with the faceless, Kafkaesque and baroque entity that is the INS. Even for well off, middle-class and educated persons, even applying for employment authorization is a nightmare, requiring piles of paperwork, a good deal of cash and the services of a lawyer. It is hardly fair to ask a simple honest laborer to negotiate these mine fields.

So, I suggest the following:

  1. Oppose the silly new Republican immigration reforms.
  2. Talk to someone who has had to deal with the INS at any level.
  3. Try and talk to someone who may be an undocumented worker and ask them about their motivation for doing this.
  4. Help those who work hard, but do not make a lot of money, be they documented, or not.

The CP


Blogger Professor Zero said...

Did you see everyone marching in Los Angeles? See

It is unclear to me what kinds of organizing is taking place in N.O., if any (yet). I'd like to know.

7:28 AM  

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