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Illegal immigration: A jobs issue for those here legally | NumbersUSA - For Lower Immigration Levels

Home > Hot Topics > Foreign Worker Timeout > Illegal immigration: A jobs issue for those here legally

Illegal immigration: A jobs issue for those here legally


Arizona's new law, Senate Bill 1070, aimed at removing illegal immigrants from that state is being called all the wrong things by the mainstream media and those portraying themselves as the champions of "immigrant rights."

This law is not "racist," nor does it encourage "racial profiling," the terms used by those bent on throwing open our borders and ending American sovereignty. Nor is it "misguided," in the words of President Barack Obama, whose only priority these days seems to be doing whatever it takes to make Democrats the major political party for the foreseeable future. Rule of law? Protecting American jobs? Not on this president's radar.

Arizona's crackdown reflects the recommendations of President Bill Clinton's U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, chaired by Barbara Jordan, now deceased. In short, SB 1070 has "credibility," something missing from a federal immigration policy long ago disavowed by Washington and the many of members of Congress who for years have ignored their own oath of office that requires them to uphold our laws.

For Jordan, the nation's first African-American to become a Texas congresswoman, deportations were key to any immigration policy worthy of the name. During her 1995 testimony before Congress, Jordan said:

"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in get in; those who should be kept out are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

What's lost in the howling over enforcement of our immigration laws is that these laws were designed primarily to protect American workers. When it comes to this part of the debate, the illegal immigrant advocates and mainstream media are nowhere to be found. Where is the outrage and threats of "civil disobedience" from Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and others over American workers having to compete with an unending wave of foreign workers for jobs they once did but for wages that allowed them to support their families?

Where is the compassion so generously doled out to illegal immigrants by editorial writers, clerics and those seeking "social justice" for our native-born working poor of every race, creed and color?

The unemployment rate among black Americans, for example, hovers around 17%. While the media recently noted the economic hardship in the black community wrought by the Great Recession, there was no mention of the role immigration plays.

Writing in the March 22 edition of The Washington Times, Frank L. Morris Sr., a former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation said, "The CBC also should be the vanguard of the effort to reduce overall levels of immigration to the United States. During the 2000s, the growth of our labor force - fueled by the highest levels of legal and illegal immigration in our nation's history - outpaced the growth of jobs in our economy. As often has been the case throughout history, it is black workers who have suffered the most."

If the Obama administration is serious when it says jobs are a "top priority," why is the White House remaining silent about the 7 million illegal immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, who hold non-agricultural jobs in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and service industries, while 15 million Americans are looking for full-time work? Why is our federal government each month issuing work permits to 125,000 foreigners?

Last year, this nation lost 3 million jobs, but the government still issued 1.1 million green cards. Why?

Arizona's law will be battered by lawsuits because its opponents see it as a roadblock to an agenda that conflicts with Jordan's view of a democratic society that has the "right and responsibility to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest."

Coddling illegal immigrants who demand respect but show none for our immigration laws does not serve the national interest. We hope other states soon follow Arizona's example because 15 million of our citizens, who also are entitled to a search for a better life, are growing increasingly frustrated with a federal government - and political parties - that prefer foreign workers over them.

DAVE GORAK is a retired career journalist and has been executive director of the Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration since 2001

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