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Chicago Delegation To Stand In Solidarity With Our Latino Brothers And Sisters In Postville Iowa

July 18, 2008
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A Chicago delgation is getting ready for a march on July 27, 2008. This is going to be a peaceful demonstration that is calling for comprehensive immigration reform, no more raids, workers rights and family unity.  The partnering organizations that are hosting this demonstration are Jewish Community Action in Minnesota, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago and St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Postville.

In order to not overwhelm the community with demonstrators the organizations are asking that anyone wanting to attend register with one of the organizations.  The Jewish Council on Urban Affair’s has a registration page here.

The New York Times has an article “An Interpreter Speaking up for Migrants” – the NYT’s article links to a 14 page essay written by an interpretor that has broken the code of confidentiality with this essay.  Citizen Orange makes a great point in discussing the NYT’s article:

Though I don’t know where these migrants will be jailed given the 262 migrants to be jailed for 5 months that adds up to 2.5M in revenue for some lucky penitentiary. This is the culture being created here – one which desires to build up prison populations.

If the goal of this present administration is to strip away rights of all that live within the United States we are certainly seeing them do a wonderful job. For those that happen to “fit the description” this country is soon to be a very unwelcome place – and it doesn’t matter if you’re legal or not.

It’s definately time for immigration reform folks!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2008 7:36 am

    It’s such a shame that folks around the globe feel that it will be more beneficial to them and their families if they come to the United States at whatever the cost.

    To solve this problem we need to get rid of the minimum wage. This will allow Americans to compete with each other freely and it will make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to undercut American citizens.

  2. July 19, 2008 5:36 pm

    Get rid of as in – you can pay someone whatever you would like to pay them – like less than what minimum wage is now?

  3. July 19, 2008 7:36 pm

    Thanks again for the link samaha. Email me at kyle at citizenorange dot com. Would really like to get in touch with you. Hope all is well.

  4. July 19, 2008 9:22 pm

    Get rid of as in – you can pay someone whatever you would like to pay them

    Yes, as long as the agreement is mutual.

    I’d rather see high-school kids working for $3 an hour doing unskilled labor on the weekends or after school instead of providing them with no employment opportunities because the minimum wage is too high for employers to officially hire folks. Instead the employers try to find loop-holes or hire illegal immigrants who will happily work for $3 an hour.

    As long as both the employee and the employer agree on a fair wage, there’s nothing wrong with hiring people for the amount you want to pay and there is nothing wrong with working for the amount you agree to receive.

    Minimum wage laws put people out of work and make production less efficient. The minimum wage encourages illegal immigration by giving employers an incentive to hire people off the books.

  5. July 20, 2008 4:51 pm

    Except that the strict employment laws keep companies from hiring illegal immigrants – even in the case of postville the workers were using social security cards. The company did not find loop holes in this case but willfully commited social security fraud and it’s terrible that the company itself has not been charged with anything.

    Lowering the minimum wage is only going to create more of the same situation. In this case – the company benefited from illegal immigrants because they did not know their rights, they did not know that the company was not complying by safety laws – so on and so forth. The benefit of having illegal immigrants is not because they provide cheaper labor but because they can be exploited.

    Hiring people off the books is not as common.

  6. arturo fernandez permalink
    July 20, 2008 7:45 pm

    konservo,

    Why is it desirable for Americans to compete for unskilled work? That illegal immigrants have filled less-skilled work has enabled our natives to go after skilled work and to improve their skills and education. High school kids are not going after $3.00/hr work, for the same reason that their parents hire illegal immigrants to mow the laws instead of having their kids do it. Because their education is important. Instead of mowing the lawn, they can study for the SAT. Get rid of illegal immigrants, lower Americans’ expectations into less-skilled jobs, and we’ll see what happens.

    10 million illegal immigrants working, with no rise in unemployment, has meant that our economy is 10 million jobs stronger than it was. Illegal immigrants have been good for our economy.

  7. July 20, 2008 9:22 pm

    Exploiting illegal immigrants by not providing the benefits of compliance with safety laws is the same thing as cheap labor. The company knew that they’d have to spend more and it would cost them time if they brought things up to code.

    Also, I don’t think that we should lower the minimum wage, I think we should get rid of it altogether. This means that workers will have to be more informed and unions will actually have a legitimate purpose: they will gather information about the market price for wages in their particular area, field of work etc. In non-union fields it will be up to the buyer (worker) and seller (employer) to educate themselves (essentially, the employee sells his services to the employer who buys those services). This will automatically correct the problem with exploitation because the workers will have to be educated.

  8. July 21, 2008 1:13 am

    Konservo – you’re talking about making ALL employees outside service in which case there are tremendous implications and more exploitation of workers will take place. Considering that one of the side-affects would be a decrease in federal tax income for the government – it’s just not going to happen.

    Besides, getting rid of it altogether will only encourage more illegal immigration. Immigrants can provide cheaper labor because they tend to network well and the nuclear family is quite strong within these communities.

    I agree with Arturo – kids these days just aren’t working these days – they still have the McDonald’s jobs, retail jobs, – hey when’s the last time you saw a lemonade stand, I know I could have used one on today’s bike ride. It’s different from my generation – we were expected to work but now we have different expectations of our children and work isn’t on our list of must do’s. Sad in a way.

    Arturo – As immigrants become natives and have the same expectations – do you think it is possible that the US would become over saturated by a continuing influx of illegal immigrants?

  9. arturo fernandez permalink
    July 21, 2008 3:57 am

    samaha, I don’t think so. Illegal immigrants will come when and where needed. That was pretty much the case before barriers started going up on the border. They were coming and going, only the ones securing a good job with good future prospects would stay. Now no one dares leave, being almost impossible to come back. So if we tear down the wall, no, we won’t become over saturated with illegal immigrants.

    One very important statistic that no one talks about is that today the average Mexican woman has two kids, 30 years ago it was six kids. With a stable population and an expanding free-market economy, Mexico is well on its own to solving its problems:

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mexgdp23-2008may23,0,6944412.story

    Soon, Mexicans will have no need to come. We’re going to have to find our immigrants elsewhere. The fence is a big waste of money. In twenty years, we’re going to be looking at it with embarrassment.

  10. July 22, 2008 1:18 am

    Arturo – We are already importing people for certain jobs because we do not have enough Americans that can fill these positions.

    There still needs to be controls in place so that people are here legally – work permits, more lenient immigration laws. Otherwise, we’re looking at more exploitation of illegal immigrants.

  11. July 22, 2008 8:32 am

    Why is it desirable for Americans to compete for unskilled work?

    So that unskilled Americans can find employment.

    kids these days just aren’t working these days – they still have the McDonald’s jobs, retail jobs

    Check out this “free preview” of a Wall Street Journal article:

    WASHINGTON — The job market for teenagers is the worst it has been in decades, and if lawmakers don’t address the issue it could lead to long-term problems for the U.S. economy, experts say.

    A weaker summer employment market, stemming from an anemic economy and higher age requirements for many jobs, has resulted in a idle summer for many teens. Almost one in four 16- and 17-year-olds can’t find work, and the Northeastern University Center for Labor Market Studies found this summer’s teen employment rate could reach a postwar low. That decline could have implications far into the future.

    This means that kids do want to work and of those who try to find jobs, a quarter of them can not.

    Now, the $3 an hour example was just a random number, it’s probably not the market wage for most jobs that teens could fill. However, neither is any other arbitrary minimum wage. Let employers hire these kids and others who want to work, that’s what I say.

  12. arturo fernandez permalink
    July 22, 2008 11:42 pm

    “So that unskilled Americans can find employment.”

    Yet when illegal immigration was going up, unemployment was low and actually reaching historic low levels. Illegal immigrants are not taking Americans’ jobs, Americans are taking better jobs.

    I don’t get why three-quarter of 16-17 years olds working is a crisis. Could it be that one-quarter just wants to take the summer off, maybe go to summer school, camping, go to Europe? 40 years ago half of US natives didn’t finish high school, so yeah, compared to that it would seem a crisis. I’m not sure it is now.

    samaha, I agree with you that no one should be exploited (the “exploited” can be a tricky concept) even if it means we should interfere with economic growth.

  13. arturo fernandez permalink
    July 22, 2008 11:50 pm

    I must now recommend the book by Jason Riley called “Let Them In.” I recommend it to everyone, everywhere I get involved in debates, because it is the most important book to come out this year. Jason Riley is on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. It’s a good read. Highly recommended.

  14. July 23, 2008 4:56 am

    Yet when illegal immigration was going up, unemployment was low and actually reaching historic low levels.

    But, we must be careful here not to commit the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. If unemployment was low then it’s pretty safe to say that the economy was doing well and business was growing. This means that there would have been even more opportunities for immigrants, teens, and unskilled workers, and hence, more incentive for illegal immigration. It makes more sense, economically, for immigrants to migrate to a prosperous nation that is growing than to a nation in economic crisis, this applies for legal and illegal immigrants both.

    It’s not 1/4 of all 16-17y/o’s, it’s 1/4 of those who are actively seeking employment.

  15. arturo fernandez permalink
    July 24, 2008 1:40 am

    Konservo, you have just contradicted yourself. Above you had said,

    “It’s such a shame that folks around the globe feel that it will be more beneficial to them and their families if they come to the United States at whatever the cost.”

    Your last statement makes more sense.

    I don’t know how the WSJ piece got their numbers. While “can’t find work” would suggest what you said, a writer who sees the importance in the distinction would have made sure to explicitly state how s/he got the numbers. So I’m not convinced.

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