Streams

Deciding Who Belongs in America

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ted Genoways talks about about recent efforts to curb the illegal immigrant population in Fremont, Nebraska, home of Hormel Foods. His article “This Land Is Not Your Land” appears in the February issue of Harper’s Magazine.

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Ted Genoways
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Comments [5]

All issues about immigration should be evaluated based on one question only: how will this affect the citizens of the U.S. During a time of high unemployment and frozen wages, no immigration should be allowed except in circumstances in which the immigrant will not be working (i.e. they're the spouse of a citizen, who will be supported by the citizen).

The unfortunate truth is that all the sad stories about unauthorized migrants are being used by corporations to call for "comprehensive immigration reform," with liberals chiming in that our system is "broken." No it's not, and we don't need comprehensive reform. Even the U.S. Congressional Hispanic caucus is getting in on the corporate agenda, demanding immigration reform to allow more h1b visas for tech workers -- tech workers largely from India. Not a lot of hispanics in India.

Each immigrant with less than high school education costs the local and state communities $80,000 over their lifetime. They don't earn enough to pay much in taxes, yet they have children who use our schools, and the whole family uses all our community resources.

It's a shame that this entire issue is so cloaked in emotional nonsense that nobody will look at the underlying truth. More workers (imported) chasing the same or fewer jobs (U.S. recession) means lower wages and more unemployment for American workers. We should set up an amnesty program for long term (over 10 years) unauthorized migrants. But the likely "comprehensive" reform will include giving businesses the right to import more foreign labor, increasing unemployment. Once they're here, corporations will finalize their push to eliminate minimum wage and overtime pay. We should be smart enough to see what's coming. Just read the business lobby groups websites. It's all set out clearly.

Jan. 23 2013 02:09 PM
Christine from Westchester

Hispanic is not a race. Ethnicity yes. It always seems this turns "racial" when one disagrees with the law.

Jan. 23 2013 01:54 PM
tom from astoria

I lived and worked in Montreal, illegally, but when I was told that I had to obey the law, or I could't live there anymore, I RESPECTED CANADA for making me respect the law. Is it always that the new immigrants are the victims, how about the workers who sustained Hormel over generations?

Jan. 23 2013 01:46 PM
Christine from Westchester

I get tired of things being called "anti immigrant". No one I know is anti immigrant: this is a country of immigrants. What I think many of us have issue with is the population of illegal immigrants and the issues that come with. Perhaps Nebraska isn't having the same issues as Texas or NM.

Jan. 23 2013 01:43 PM
tom from astoria

It seems that the working heritage of the town is at risk. Its like a divorce where the dependent children suffer: The workers are dependent on the plant. We look down on "anti-immigrant" measures -- but what about the seeing it from the workers' perspective. The corporation and the new arrivals benefit, but the town's people who have made sacrifices for the company are what's threatened.

Jan. 23 2013 01:34 PM

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