Monday, March 27, 2006

“Work that Americans will not do”

This phrase has become a mantra for those who want to keep a ready supply of illegal immigrants to fill certain slots in the labor market. Whatever you think of the laws governing immigration, as long as they exist, these people are not legally allowed to be here. Turning a blind eye, and coming up with euphemisms like “undocumented” does not change that reality. Are these laws realistic or enforceable? Not apparently, so the law needs to change.

What are these jobs that nobody wants? I’ve seen honest men work as garbage collectors, lower themselves into damp manholes and work with high voltage current. I’ve seen documentaries of US citizens risking their lives to plant dynamite in a flaming oil well. I’ve seen others go miles into the ground after coal and other minerals and still others trust their lives to small fishing boats in icy waters. I’ve seen footage of men jumping out of planes and into war zones and forest fires. So what are these jobs that no one wants? They are the jobs that do not offer a fair compensation for the work being done. They are the jobs that buy you misery, and only a part-time respite from hunger. They are jobs that afford you living conditions that are in some cases worse than a homeless shelter. And why do people come to take these jobs? Because their home countries are even more desolate. The power structure there is often more despicable than the people who exploit them when they come here. They have traded no opportunity for a lousy opportunity.

Who got paid for bringing them here? Who got bribed, and who got cash for the warm bodies? Welcome to the new slave trade, where people live in fear of deportation, so they won’t make trouble for their masters. Human trafficking has become one of the largest criminal activities in the world.

I want to see what happens to these jobs if the illegal workers are granted legal working status and need an immediate 15% raise to cover Income Tax Withholding.

The phrase “Work that Americans will not do” is a direct quote from the Secretary of State. She should be ashamed of herself. Every citizen of every country from Argentina to Venezuela, every Canadian, and every member of every tribal nation from Arapaho to Zuni (and no, I did not forget Apache, that’s not what they call themselves) are Americans. I bet they feel left out when blowhards from the United States refer to themselves in that way. Most of the non-Asian illegals are Central and South American. So where are these jobs that Americans won’t do?


At 4:51 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

Whatever you do, please don't defend immigration laws. They are the last acceptable form of slavery.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Rev. Barky said...

The work sectors that appear to be most afffected seem to be food service and construction. Last year I was a member of the fringe economy in the construction sector and I worked as a guerilla electrician. I wired several houses for shady real estate developers - or flippers. I was paid under the table and my fellows workers were Israeli students on vacation visas. No licenses, no permits, low pay and no legal recourse. I gave it up and went back to electrical engineering. I can certainly appreciate the need for licensed, legal and fair pay in construction.
All these greedy assholes wanted was cheap labor and they wouldn't hesitate to cheat you out of your hard earned pay. We need to crack down on shifty employers that bring down wages, exploit and encourage desparate illegal aliens flooding into the country. Bush would rather go after student loan drifters than people who profit from identity theft or duck employment taxes.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay said...

"I can certainly appreciate the need for licensed, legal and fair pay in construction."

I can't.

At 7:53 AM, Blogger breakerslion said...

I don't defend these laws. I don't defend nationalism, jingoism, or any of the other bullshit that lets egomaniacs get their hands on high-tech weapons and subjugate the rest of us. As long as there are ignorant, desperate, and superstitious people, there will be dictators to take advantage of the situation. This is the dark side of the greed that you rightly support in good measure, but honest dealings are only part of the human cultural norm.

Electrical codes exist to reduce the number of times that firemen must risk their lives to rescue people inside burning buildings. As long as the opportunity for dishonesty exists, rules must be codified and enforced. Anarchy is fine as a concept and as a lever for social change, but in its purest form, if someone kicks the shit out of you and takes your stabbing rock, I don't give a shit.

Borders suck, and it pisses me off that I need a passport to travel. As for immigration laws, I subscribe to the Sam Kinnison U-Haul theory of helping starving people. We have made concentration camps without visible fences.

Laws that exist to be broken so that a power elite can flaunt them and prevent people from negotiating a fair exchange at arm's length for their goods or services, need to be changed. Laws that exist so that the revenue confiscated from the lawbreakers perpetually fuels the enforcement agency also need to change. There is no incentive to truly enforce either of these types of law.

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