Monday, April 24, 2006

Immigration and Puzzling Evidence

I thought I would weigh in on the immigration issue:

As "human beings," if it was MY government's position that the best job I could get in my mexican city was welding exhaust pipes on american cars (see my past blog about Guillermo) for $40 per week then I AM CERTAIN that I would seek work elsewhere (over the border, if that's where the money was) and I would no longer heed any financial advice from my government nor pay any mind to any beauracratic crap they may throw my way regarding how I may "legally" go elsewhere to make that money. That government obviously DOESN'T CARE, so neither would I.

At my job, the "illegals" work just as hard as I do. They do the least desirable work for about $3 less per hour and work until the middle of the night. In this case, if the "illegals" were NOT there, the company would not pay ME anymore than I already make to do that same work. And essentially, anyone who answers these questions correctly can get my job (they're hiring right now and have been for months):

EVERYBODY deliberately steals from their employer. True or false?
My past employer would describe me as A)Hard working and reliable or B)An abrasive, lazy piece of crap.

I'm sure there are situations where having the cheap labor might affect the pay of americans but it probably isn't as much as you think. If you haven't noticed, businesses DO NOT seem to share their wealth with their common workers. Just like at the furniture store, they hold on to every penny until it is wrenched from their fingers. If I made $1 for every couch or refrigerator I moved, my paychecks would be 4 times bigger than they are now. What is $1 out of the price of a couch or refrigerator? Not much.

Is it only the jobs we care about? Some people say that illegal "boarding" houses ruin neighborhoods. I would say that it is probably the situation of POVERTY that these people live in that is at the root of that problem. It's not the people, it's the tension of the struggle.

If americans don't like the "illegal" workforce then american businesses should not be hiring them. But what an opportunity for business in america. It allows american businesses to skirt all those pesky labor laws that have been put into place. What are the workers going to do? Complain?

I have a belief that american companies should be held to american labor laws, regardless of where they go to make their merchandise. Has the price of one pair of "Nike Air Jordans" dipped below $100 because the company is able to go to China and pay some 10 year old $0.10 per hour to glue together a couple dollars worth of leather and make those beloved shoes? And it is the same case with Ford Motor Company going to Mexico and paying $40 per week. If OUR governments (ours and theirs) addressed this, then there shouldn't be a migration of workers wandering around looking for a living wage. Talking about Mass Deportation is to focus on the mess rather than the CAUSE of the mess. And it's a waste of resources anyway. Send the police out to gather 11 million illegal immigrants hiding in every town across the United States? Get real.

In Utah, they talk on the news about how our local "Crystal Meth houses" are being run out of business by large supplies of imported Crystal Meth from super-labs in Mexico (again, if mexicans had opportunities for better work at home, they probably wouldn't be hanging around in super-meth labs). If we don't have the ability to stop large supplies of Crystal Meth from reaching Utah then what are the odds that we can stop Jose from showing up on our doorstep asking if he can paint our fence? And, do we care that Jose is here relative to the drugs?

In the movie "True Stories," made by the singer of THE TALKING HEADS, there is a scene titled "Puzzling Evidence" that takes place at a church revival. Like the rest of the movie, it comes off as retarded and nonsensical, but I think they are describing how business and government have combined in America. Business CEO's become president and CIA agents and politicians step down to take high paying jobs at major corporations. The immigration issue is not an issue for "the people." The people don't have the power as everyone likes to say we do. MONEY IS THE POWER. Duh. And it will be until we die. Some people drink Pepsi, some people drink Coke. The wacky morning DJ says democracy's a joke.

When we vote in November, if they ask:

Should we deport anyone determined to be inside of our country illegally?

I will vote NO.

Should our governments get their economic shit together to create a system where people can work in their native countries and earn a wage high enough to obtain food, housing and health services, all while american businesses treat workers worldwide with comparable wages, hours and overtime laws set by labor laws for american workers?

I will vote HELL YES.

Someone should mention it to the guys with money. I still have to get my kids dressed, put the baby down for a nap, feed them lunch, clean around the house, get the yard in order per new city codes and then go to work all night. But as soon as I get the chance I will be sure to march on Washington and reform society. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow.

For people who are so bent on deportation, I was thinking that we could vote to deport ALL IMMIGRANTS who have come to America in search of opportunity within the past 500 years as well as their children. That would clear things up around here. I would miss you.


Native Minnow said...

You're absolutely right. Too often people want to focus on the result of the problem rather than the cause. I don't know if this is because we're all just stupid, or if it results from politicians being afraid to touch the risky issues for fear of not being reelected. I think it's probably the latter.

Anonymous said...

Until your friends family all gets killed by an uninsured illegal... all he got was sent back to Mexico, he'll be back...but she won't. I think they need to make laws so illegals can come over and work, but they need documentation, and if they're going to drive they need insurance just like everyone else. Illegals can't get car insurance because they get driver's licenses.

flieswithoutwings said...

My brother, my wife and I were actually sideswiped by an uninsured illegal in San Francisco. He drove off and we chased him but he got off the highway and started speeding through red-lights so instead we found a cop, gave him the license plate # and filed a report. The end result was that my brother had to pay the deductible and his insurance rates went up. The insurance company told my brother it was his problem to reclaim the loss from the illegal. But that really just speaks poorly of insurance companies if you ask me. Insurance doesn't bring people back to life. Dead is dead.

I still think issues like this are part of the resulting mess and not a part of the core problem. Even if you made it easy for illegals to get documentation the same problems would exist, just with more paper work.

Anonymous said...

I'm not pretending to have the answer, I just know there are more issues besides people walking across the border and picking up sad jobs for cheaper than we would pay legals. We do need to know who is in our country, we do need documentation on people, and people do need to have insurance if they are going to be driving cars around the country regardless of if they are illegal or not. If he was documented and allowed to be here, he probably would have had a driver's license and insurance. Dead IS dead, but do you need hundreds of thousands of dollars debt AND losing a loved one? I think there will be a solution, and I think the Mexican government needs to care more about their people so they don't have to sneak over here to survive. Most send money home to Grandmother's, aunts, etc... that is admirable. If they are willing to work this hard for money ie: working in meat factories and such, surely if they had opportunity they could work just as hard there, and not have to leave families behind. It's sad.

flieswithoutwings said...

Maybe we could set up some kind of perimeter like in that movie "The Running Man" and everyone in Mexico can wear one of those electronic collars and when they pass sensors on the US/Mexico border their heads will simply explode.

There are endless amounts of things that SHOULD exist but fewer things that WILL exist. I recently saw a small article saying that in 2009 Television will switch to some digital signal which will require people to have cable or satellite (or at least get a special new TV) if they want to watch. The article questioned if the government should be responsible for offsetting the cost of television for people who don't want to pay for cable or satellite to watch television.

It would be nice if the government WOULD pay to give free or cheap access to television but if you look at the long list of ALL the things our government CAN'T pay for, television doesn't really seem like much of a priority.

PsychoIntern said...

I agreed with certain parts of your blog, but then started thinking of consequences of US companies paying US wages in other would jack up the cost of living for everyone, and then the poor people who didn't work for an American company would not have the money to survive. I read in Time magazine that this is starting to happen in some of the small villages in Mexico where all the men go to the USA and send money home. The cost of living has gone up and it has been detrimental. I wish their were easy solutions to the problems we face in this world, and I wish our politicians were all smart enough to figure those answers out. :)

flieswithoutwings said...

U.S. businesses being required to pay U.S. wages worldwide may have the horrible side-effect of U.S. jobs staying in America. I see the point. Who needs that?

If certain villages in Mexico raise their prices because some villagers are receiving money from outside sources, then local prices seem like an issue to be addressed by local city or county government. They are the ones who need to watch out for their people.