Wednesday, October 05, 2005

American Sweatshop

Rio Grande Valley Politics

It seems that most of this nation opposes illegal immigration. Some Americans see it as a problem for our country, a problem that is perpetuated by right wing hysteria and fear. The opponents proclaim that illegal immigration attributes to the poverty crisis in this country; it’s the reason for the stagnation in wages; it causes hospital emergency rooms to shut its doors; it requires massively increased spending on schools, language emersion and remedial programs; blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

What I see is people from third-world countries coming to America to make a better life for themselves and for their families. However I do acknowledge the two sides to this issue. One is plain and simple - foreigners coming into this nation without the proper documentation or outside the proper channels are committing a crime; hence illegal immigration. On the flip side, our country has established a culture that not only allows illegal immigration to occur, it encourages it. So where lies the real problem?

Is the problem with Jose who's coming to do work as a construction hand for minimum wage, or is it Maria who's scrubbing toilets and changing bed sheets as a hotel cleaning lady? The debate has been focusing dramatically on the individuals who cross our borders illegally. Why is that? If the argument is going to focus on the individuals then it must address the "supply and demand" issue as well. Our corporations demand cheap labor, illegal immigrants supply it, and our government looks the other way.


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