When keeping current on news and world affairs, it’s sometimes hard to know what is the truth and what is media hype carefully designed to elicit a specific mass response or encourage a change of collective thought. I’m definitely a skeptical consumer when it comes to media messages and I tend to believe that most media outlets have an agenda that they are trying to promote when it appears to be strictly informative. I often find that if I can determine the financial backer for a specific “news spot” (something that is not always easy to do), the slant on the issue becomes clear, although not always truthful.
With this healthy dose of media skepticism in mind, I internally tackle the issue of undocumented immigrants. For fairness, I must disclose that my husband is from Latin America, the source of most of the US undocumented labor force. My heart has always leaned towards the underdog, however I am the type that likes to explore all sides of an issue. The issue is so complex and widespread that I cannot fairly claim to be an expert in all possible consequences, however there are some facts that I keep forefront:
- Undocumented workers provide the majority of the labor force for many areas of the US economy- Agriculture, Manufacturing, Production and the Service Industry are all filled with hard-working, low-paid undocumented workers. The truth is, with so many welfare and unemployment programs available to US workers, many Americans simply won’t work that hard. I’ve recently been pondering the widely reported Picker Shortage, which seems to be national phenomenon (truth or hype?) and here is what I’ve determined…without drastically raising the price of food and goods, farmers and manufacturers simply cannot afford to pay labor prices that provide a living wage to laborers that are not quick and tireless workers.
- Here is something that the average American is unaware of- one of the first things an undocumented worker does upon arrival in the US is purchase a fake “mica” , or green card and social security number, which they can then present to employers who (knowingly or otherwise) claim that all the proper paperwork is in order. Undocumented workers are paying taxes and most importantly, they are contributing to the Social Security pool in a major way, considering the fact that they will never be able to collect that money.
Given those facts, I propose that the US Government/Big Business Complex has no real incentive to either stop the flow if undocumented workers or create a path for legalization of those that are here illegally. I will go as far as to say that maintaining such a large, undocumented labor pool is a form of slave labor. For more information, please read Wikipedia’s article on Illegal Immigration.
There are a few additional points that I would like to make.
- In order for undocumented workers to gain the respect they deserve and to stop the growing xenophobia against Latin American nationals, they need to learn English. This is not to say that they need to stop speaking their native language nor lose cultural traditions from their homeland, but a certain amount of acculturation and pride for the land that brings them tremendous opportunity would go along way towards combating the racist feelings of many Americans.
- Deuteronomy 10:17-19 provides:”For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality . . . He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.”