illegal immigration

Illegal immigration & America’s failures

Illegal immigration is one of the biggest political issues of our time. The recent package of executive orders has only appeared to pour more gas on a fire that has been burning for decades. Over the years, an argument often used against illegal immigration is its threat to the jobs of American citizens. But perhaps we only have ourselves to blame.

I am not talking about a lack of immigration reforms. I am not referring to guarding our borders. This is about hiring practices. But I can almost guarantee it is not in the sense you probably think. Do I think illegal immigrants should take American jobs? No. But I do not believe reserving those jobs for American citizens will make things right. What is wrong is that illegal immigrants are capable of performing so many jobs either at or above the same level as the average American.

First of all, we as Americans should be outraged. Regardless of our feelings about immigration, we should be outraged that so many American jobs are being staffed by illegal immigrants. We should be outraged that the millions of jobs being outsourced actually hurt Americans. And if you are one of the Americans who has lost or been passed over for a job due to illegal immigration, you should be especially outraged.

The reason we should be outraged is very simple. We as Americans often brag about America being the greatest country on Earth. We go on and on about the hardworking American workforce. We laud our technological advancements and industrial achievements as a society. But the hard truth is, illegal immigration is not what put the jobs of most Americans in danger. Illegal immigration is not what has ravaged our economy. The real problem is we as Americans have failed when it comes to equipping ourselves.

Consider this. When you blame illegal immigration for the loss of American jobs, you are actually saying something utterly ridiculous. You are affirming that a random guy from a third world country with little to no skills or education…is capable of doing the same work as an average American. Basically, we are begging for jobs which only require “human” as the primary qualification. As much as hard work is an honorable value, the quality of the worker truly determines how replaceable they are.

How about we get real for a moment. The people whose jobs are endangered by illegal immigration are not engineers, medical professionals, lawyers, writers, executives, teachers, social workers or IT technicians. The jobs illegal immigrants tend to fill are more along the lines of crop pickers, line cooks, cleaners, gardeners and factory workers. If their English is decent, maybe they can be a telemarketer. And if they are particularly unlucky, they can be forced to work in sweat shops or the sex trade. Are these really the jobs average Americans should be scrambling for?

If we as the American workforce truly want to make ourselves safe from the threat of illegal immigration, we must improve ourselves. We must become more educated than most other people in the world. We must acquire skills random people cannot easily perform. We must stop believing simply being American makes us a world class commodity. We must demand that our quality of education no longer be based on our parent’s zip code. We must demand that a college education no longer mean a lifetime of debt. We must demand that our nation equip us to once again be the world’s premier workforce. In short, we must demand that America actually do more than coast on past glory which may soon be overshadowed by larger developing nations.

That is of course, unless your problem with immigration is less about jobs and laws and more about racial prejudice. In that case, everything I have said is meaningless. Feel free to continue with business as usual.

By Corey Dorsey

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2 thoughts on “Illegal immigration & America’s failures”

  1. Corey,
    There are so many items that I’d like to comment on with regard to illegal immigrants, much of which digs deeper into the issue of job loss that extends beyond immigration reform. However, I’ll do my best to stay on point.
    First, we as an American Workforce will not even consider settling with doing unskilled labor such as working in many manufacturing jobs for minimum wages.
    We expect that employers be forced to consider people with a criminal record, all the while, forcing employers to only hire people with proper clearances. Employment on the public level, all require clearances and sadly our current administration has offered financial benefits for those private sector employers to high illegal immigrant and run afoul of federal laws and regulations. The private sector has to be competitive to stay fiscally solvent and with many private sector dependent on Public Contracts or subcontracts, to supplement their and maintain enough of employee, they find themselves finding it hard to even find “unskilled” personnel who hasn’t run afoul of the law.
    We also need to speak to management of illegal immigrants and how much of a tax burden it places on the taxpayer. As the ever widening abyss between the wealthy (1%) and the middle and lower income classes continues, the 99% are being stretched thinner and expect to do more with less.
    We must address labor/management issues. we see organized labor complaining about workable wages and how much it is unfair that management makes such outlandish salaries, yet fail to consider that their management practice the same salary benefits. I believe in a working wage for everyone who choose to work 40 hrs. per week (or whatever we consider full time). We must also rethink NAFTA and how it has impacted on jobs being shift south of the boarder. Many Americans struggle with Congress and then President Clinton shifting jobs overseas and then to be slapped in the face with having to increased taxes to pay for those who chose to not follow the path to naturalization. It smacks as much as affluenza as it does of entitlement at the same time. What is the reason for the influx of illegal immigrants? Why does it take so long to gain citizenship? Since 9/11 and the spike in terrorism (domestic and international), when do we stop trying to protect ourselves and others in the world, by not following commonsense?
    So I would argue, in short, there appears to be much more to consider than whether or not jobs are being filled by illegal immigrants than just seasonal and low income employment. What I believe that Americans expect is that the laws by followed by everyone, without exception.

  2. Thanks for commenting Bill and contributing to the discussion. I guess this article/rant was actually a lot less about illegal immigration and more about training and education for most Americans. There is a general sentiment in our country regarding our greatness, yet we have allowed ourselves to fall behind in the areas necessary for us to remain on top; namely education. After WW2 it was easy for us to be a manufacturing powerhouse since the rest of the modern world needed several decades to recoup from what took place on their soil.

    As for the 99/1% issue, I believe this is a major part of the problem. I believe there is class warfare that has been waged by the very wealthy and powerful and the continually widening gap of wealth is by no means an accident. Much of America has been dumbed down via a dilapitated educational system, media propoganda, political talking points, celebrity worship and so many other things which prevent most from really seeing the way in which the powers that be operate.

    As long as we keep chasing after the political bones of racial, religious, gender and every other kind of prejudice meant to divide us, we will continue to remain in such a state. We remain too busy scapegoating other groups for our societal problems instead of noticing who’s really behind the curtain. I believe there are people who prefer a dumbed down American populous because it makes it so much easier to manipulate us.

    I think most of those in high political places who claim to be so worried about illegal immigrants, could actually care less. Once people in America get to a certain height of super-wealth and/or political power, the effects don’t really apply to them. For one, they could care less about tax dollars because there are so many loopholes for them to get around contributing their share of taxes anyway; especially since they can basically purchase politicians to put those loopholes into law. And between hiring practices and outsourcing, they are clearly seeing cheap, unskilled labor as an effective way to cut costs. I’m sure some of us would be surprised to learn who’s working in the homes and business of those who claim to be so outraged so we keep chasing those bones instead of turning our finger back to them.

    I feel the more time we spend on immigrants and other “hot button” issues, the more the 99% will continue to lose a class war most of us are unaware is even happening.

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