by Andy Porras
What’s next, Rudy? Selling us the Brooklyn Bridge?
GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has promised a Southern group that he will end “illegal immigration.”
We have news for him and anyone else who thinks “illegal immigration” can be stopped.
Could this land afford the consequences? Hey, remember that the business of the United States is business. And the business of U.S. business is profit. By whatever means necessary.
Tack on disparity in global living standards. The chief cause of immigration is economic. Where are you gonna go when our worker-well runs dry? Anywhere, baby, and everywhere.
“Disgusting.” That’s the word white folk use to describe the tasks immigrants perform daily at a typical chicken processing plant in Southern states.
Is anybody out there in white America interested in taking a calf apart after it has been slaughtered in a typical beef processing plant? Or how about mixing assorted animal manure in huge outdoor tanks for feeding the fruited plains.
Don’t throw up, not yet. Aha, but can you do without a fried chicken dinner or a tender T-bone steak? Ask Rudy or any of his former wives if they’d do the tasks President Bush describes as “jobs Americans don’t wish to perform.”
The majority of us don’t approve of tsunamis, either, but can we stop them?
When U.S. residents (of all colors) talk about immigrants stealing jobs away from citizens, you can bet your last peso they’re not referring to jobs at Tyson’s or Swift’s. Almost everything we ingest on a daily basis will have an immigrant imprint on it – from fruits and veggies to meats and dairy products.
There is mucho dinero to be made in hiring immigrants, legal or otherwise – and from several countries, not just the Spanish-speaking ones.
Immigrants have become the perfect work models for many U.S. corporations. They seldom complain, they are extremely reliable and honest, too. The fear of being deported is so great that they force themselves to brandish an unusually strong work ethic.
Frequent and lucrative best describes illegal immigration. Coming herewithout an offi cial invitation will not end.
Go to your favorite video outlet, Rudy, and check out “A Day Without Mexicans.”
The message of this simple flick is clear: End immigration today and mañana you ain’t got most of the stuff you need to make it through the day. No breakfast burritos, no Marías to take care of junior or iron your favorite button-down oxford shirt, no fresh OJ.
Oh heck, you know what we mean. Stealing our jobs?
If there’s honor among thieves, imagine the deference among immigrants?
But don’t forget the problem of magnet “illegal employers” who continue to hire unauthorized workers. In 2005, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million to settle a federal investigation that found hundreds of illegal immigrants cleaning its stores.
Wal-Mart used subcontractors and claimed it was “unaware that they were employing illegal immigrants” as janitors.
In December 2006, in the largest such crackdown in U.S. history, federal immigration authorities raided Swift & Co. meat-processing plants in six states, arresting about 1,300 immigrant employees.
Because Swift uses a government Basic Pilot program to confi rm whether Social Security numbers are valid, no charges were filed against it. Company officials questioned the program’s ability to detect when two people are using the same number.
Tyson Foods has also been accused of actively importing illegal labor for its chicken-packing plants.
A jury acquitted the company after evidence was presented that Tyson went beyond mandated government requirements in demanding documentation for its employees. Tyson also used its enrollment in the Basic Pilot and EVP programs (voluntary employment eligibility screening programs) as part of its defense.
Then there is the dishonor among those hired to protect our borders, especially the Mexican frontier.
Corruption thrives along the cactus curtain.
Wikipedia notes that in September 2005, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service reported 2,500 cases of its employees facing misconduct charges involving exchanging immigration benefi ts for sex, bribery and infl uences by foreign governments, with another 50 such cases re-ported weekly.
Any way you look at it, Rudy, curbing illegal immigration is a tough row to hoe. The bridge deal is probably more doable.
(Andy Porras is pub-lisher of the Sacramento area bilingual monthly Califas. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org). -c 2007