Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

We need strong medicine, not a guest worker program

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2006 10:00 pm

In September 2003, when I was a candidate for California governor in the Recall Gray Davis special election, El Concilio of Stockton invited me to speak at its weekly luncheon.

I was happy to have the chance to address a group of working-class Hispanics about immigration, an important aspect of my platform. I believed then, and believe even more greatly today, that immigration is the nation's most pressing social issue.

Toward the end of my talk, I asked the audience of about 50 people to explain to me in what specific way they as individuals benefit from continued, unregulated immigration.

Most had jobs; did they want more people coming into the country who would perform those jobs for lower wages?

The majority had children in public school; did they want more children competing with their own for precious teacher time?

Some were social service recipients recipients; did they think those services would be available indefinitely and as abundantly if more people kept tapping into them?

No one answered my question. But I think they all knew the obvious: no one individually gains.

If you own a business in the service sector or construction, you want more immigration.

But the average person loses from unchecked immigration.

Now that the Senate is considering a massive amnesty and a huge increase in guest worker programs and special work visas, I'll ask my question again: does the proposed Senate legislation work to the collective good of the

American people? Or is it tailored for special business interests who will profit handsomely from more cheap labor.

As Lodians engage in their own personal debates about the highly charged immigration bills before Congress, they should keep in mind what is generally referred to as "the high cost of cheap labor."

I recommend two sources to anyone who wants to understand what is really at stake.

The first is an August 2004 Center for Immigration Studies report titled "The High Cost of Cheap Labor: Illegal Immigration and the Federal Budget."

The second, the Washington Post's column by Robert Samuelson, "We Don't Need Guest Workers."

According to the CIS report, since most of the illegal aliens currently in the workforce do not have a high school diploma, they only qualify for low paying jobs. That translates into low federal tax payments.

If however those same illegal aliens were granted amnesty, their salaries would remain low but, as citizens, they would qualify for many more government services.

CIS estimates that the current federal cost of illegal immigration is $10 billion annually. This total represents a net deficit -taxes paid vs. services used - of $2,700 per immigrant family.

An amnesty would triple the federal costs to $7,700 per household or $10 billion aggregate. The report does not include the fiscal burden to state and local governments.

Samuelson makes the same argument. His main premise is that all the guest worker proposals are bad ideas because they result in importing poverty.

To support his theory, Samuelson points to the increase in the number of Hispanic families with income below the poverty line ($19,300 in 2004 for a family of four) that has risen 162 percent. Non-Hispanic whites and blacks in poverty increased only 3 percent and 9.5 percent respectively.

Admitting hundreds of thousands of guest workers annually would add 30 million residents in a decade, worsen poverty and create greater inequality.

A couple of closing thoughts are worth your consideration, too.

First, the federal government has never been able to effectively administer any kind of immigration or non-immigration work program. Previous guest worker programs were rampant with fraud. No one ever went home; illegal immigration increased. The current Senate proposals guarantee more of the same.

Second, the three thousand illegal aliens who cross into the U.S. daily will keep coming until our borders are secure.

We've tried amnesty and guest worker programs; they failed to do what they promised.

The only thing the U.S has never seriously attempted is to secure our borders and enforce employer sanctions against businesses that hire illegal aliens.

Those are two ideas whose times have come.

Joe Guzzardi, an instructor at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly column since 1988. He can be reached by e-mail at joaquin@lodinet.com.

First published: Saturday, April 1, 2006

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

6 comments:

  • posted at 5:59 am on Thu, Apr 6, 2006.

    Posts:

    What do you mean who cares. These people are tyaking our jobs. I say we round up anyone who has been here for less than 3 generations and give them the boot back to Ciudad Whatever.

     
  • posted at 5:46 am on Thu, Apr 6, 2006.

    Posts:

    Who cares? Looks like the laws are about to change anyway.

     
  • posted at 9:22 pm on Tue, Apr 4, 2006.

    Posts:

    Aimee: I am still waiting to hear who, specifically, is proposing "civil war" against the whites. You say these crazy things but you don't seem to have any facts to back them up.

     
  • posted at 5:55 pm on Tue, Apr 4, 2006.

    Posts:

    ..."you and your Mexican bashing friends..." yes, you kinda called me a racist there...

     
  • posted at 4:08 am on Tue, Apr 4, 2006.

    Posts:

    We were discussing Rosa Parks, you brought up the Jews, I never answered you. Due to religious reasons, no i would not have hurt the Jews, and i no what you will say next. off to work, be back tomorrow

     
  • posted at 9:37 pm on Sat, Apr 1, 2006.

    Posts:

    Not sure how good those stats are, but illegals, pay taxes and do not get benefits out of it. How is that money accounted for?? There are two sides to every story. What about the human nature of it all. Illegals have needs just like us "Americans".

     

Recent Comments

Posted 15 hours ago by Ed Walters.

article: Letter: Do you pick and choose which le…

Things I didn`t know, Fox being one of the Clinton's largest donors, and both of those two phonies claim they were broke. Rodham`s book …

More...

Posted 16 hours ago by Kevin Paglia.

article: Cyclefest success sparks hope for Tour …

Lodi may be a cycle loving area, but many of the drivers out there aren't. I routinely have cars pull out in front of me, forcing me to sl…

More...

Posted 17 hours ago by Dean Tiernan.

article: Lodi City Council seeks solutions to fl…

Dogs have been effective at moving geese along, temporarily. I know of a border collie that was employed in the Alameda area for twice dail…

More...

Posted 18 hours ago by John Kindseth.

article: Letter: Do you pick and choose which le…

Your comments would convey a better tone of accuracy if you had taken a tally of the comments over a 1-2 or 3 week period and included that…

More...

Posted 18 hours ago by Eric Barrow.

article: Letter: Do you pick and choose which le…

Sounds to me like he's seen enough Fox news to know what's up.

More...

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists