Melissafrei’s Weblog

An Evolving Consciousness

The Candidates on Immigragtion

Hola Miguel, Que pasa.  Each evening I greet the young man who cleans my area at work with whatever new spanish phrase I have been working on.  He helps me with my Spanish and I, in turn assist him with his English.   Most of the people who come to clean my building at night are probably not documented. They are always pleasant and friendly and they work very long hours. Most are working two and three jobs.  My company is not the employer of these individuals because they have hired a contract service. As with most companies and law enforcement, everyone looks the other way.  They expect that the contractors they have hired have performed the necessary due diligence, as long as the cost for the services they are being provided stays as low as possible. 

While politicians and anti immigrationist yell and scream about illegals entering the country, nothing is done about the people who hire them.  That is the main draw for entering this country.  People are seeking opportunity and upward mobility.   

These workers, however, have no protections, they work long hours for little or no money.  They perform task that are labor intensive and even dangerous at times.  We could deport Miguel tomorrow……Do you need a job cleaning our building?   

I bring this up because I am intensely disgusted with the scape-goating.  Since we did away with slavery in this country, the demand for low wage or no wage workers still exist.  This is a complex problem and we must stop offering up simplistic and extreme solutions.   

If all of these people vanished tomorrow, who would keep our children, clean our houses and buildings, build our homes and buildings, drive our taxicabs, ect.  And the biggest question is, are we against all undocumented workers or just the ones who speak Spanish and originate south of the border.  Let’s not be hypocritical and hysterical.   We have done this to every group of people that have ever come here and even those that were here and simply migrated to a different part of the country.  We are better than this.  We have a problem, now let’s work together to come up with a solution. 

Obviously, we need to know who is coming into the country and what they are doing when they get inside.  We need to have better tracking of people that we allow inside the country legally.  After all, the 9-11 terrorist all came in with all of the necessary documentation. We definitely need to hold employers more accountable for hiring and providing benefits for these workers so that you and I do not have to.   We have done this to every group of people that have ever come here and even those that were here and simply migrated to a different part of the country. 

Where are the candidates on this issue?   

  1. Bill Richcardson 

  2. Fred Thompson 

  3. Barack Obama 

  4. Mike Huckabee 

  5. John McCain



  sroperator wrote @

You kind of contradict yourself here. Where would we all be without the document workers? Implying that we need them, but yet you want to punish the employers that hire them?

  melissafrei wrote @

There is a method to my madness here. I made an attempt at taking a realistic though somewhat pragmatic approach. If employers are in need of temporary or immigrant workers, we should have a temporary work program and the employer should report this. If something should happen to the employee while they are working, the employer should be responsible. If they would like to keep the employee as a permanent worker, then they should supply the employee with the necessary information needed to obtain that, I don’t believe the employers should not have to treat these people as they would every other worker in this country. That is the problem.

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