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View Diary: Immigration: The Big Fizzle (77 comments)

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  •  Listening to local redstate (SC) radio this AM (0+ / 0-)

    I was amazed at how certain people are just waaaaaay off the reservation on this issue.  The radio host was losing her composure over the fact that callers didn't care that much about immigration.  The caller, with a thick southern accent, was just laying waste to the whole "but OMG they're illeeeeegal (and Mexican!)" meme by saying "hey, if they want to do jobs we don't want to do, I say let 'em in!"  And to repeat:  I'm in Charleston, SC, and we're pretty redstate down here, and that caller was no treehugging lattesipping liberal.  It's just not a big deal to anyone but the bigots.

    The supreme irony:  when the host tried to say those scary brown people are "taking jobs away from reeeeaaal Americans", the caller admitted that she herself at one time had a job out in the fields picking fruit....and HATED it and quit!  It was pretty funny listening to this idiot radio host just getting more and more agitated by it all.

    Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

    by cfaller96 on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 02:30:22 PM PST

    •  I think... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, cfaller96, crystalboy

      Most folks like the idea of stopping illegal immigration. But they're also not anti-immigrant and would like to see the laws reformed so they're not as much of a nightmare.

      I also think most of us wouldn't mind some sort of path to citizenship being made available to hard-working otherwise law-abiding folks who have families and roots here.

      But there is a very rabid sect of nativist that doesn't care for foreigners or immigrants and there is a sect of statist in the GOP that views all laws as holy writ who get apoplectic at the idea.  

      •  The rabid sector (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe there are those, yes, I've heard them, I think, on CNN and Faux Noise.

        But they are not the growing major voice on this issue.  It's those of us who are being directly affected, and if you, yourself, aren't being economically affected now, it's certain that at some point soon, you will be.  Unless you are in the comfortably, independently wealthy economic class (who will definitely benefit from an oligarchic economic rule).

    •  Fruit pickers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philly Quaker

      Yeah, maybe that meme that the illegal immigrant workforce is "only doing jobs that Americans won't do" applies to the fruit-pickers and the seasonal crop harvesters, and maybe the "housekeeping" forces at our hotels and resorts.  And maybe to the dishwashing workforce in all of our restaurants.

      But what most of white-collar working America doesn't seem to realize is that the increasing glut of cheap, illegal labor pool is rapidly encroaching on much more of the employment opportunities in the U.S.  Such as in the construction trades, of which I am one.   Many of us are working for the wages we made in the early 1990's, now, because of the influx of the cheap, illegal labor force.

      We're talking flooring, tiling, plumbing, electrical, painting, stone masonry, trim carpentry.  Many of the trades that were comfortably employed at a middle-class income all during the 1990's (and previous).  Now it's getting harder to obtain and keep these jobs at the wages we need to sustain our homes, our families, our middle-class lifestyles, because other labor is now abundantly available, at much cheaper rates.

      This is my direct experience as a residential remodeling contractor.  And it's a major concern.   Other contractors like me, and our trade teams, are having more difficulty competitively bidding for the increasingly shrinking building projects, because of those who either are illegal contracting teams, or employ the illegal labor at cheap prices.

      Just to give you a heads-up about not falling for the persistent meme about "jobs Americans won't do."  Your friends and neighbors are possibly goin' down economically because of this illegal immigration issue being so ignored and distorted, across the party lines.

      •  You're right, sockpuppet . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet

        and it's pervasise here in Northern VA where I live.  So much so that even when I, as a homeowner/customer, intentionally choose an established company that's 'bonded' and licensed, I get a work crew that consists of one guy who speaks English (usually Anglo) and two or three guys who are Latino and speak little to no English and who usually aren't the same guys from day to day.  This holds true for home repairs and painting and for any landscaping projects we've hired out in the last 4 years.

        "Going to church does not make us Christians any more than stepping into our garage makes us a car." --Rev R. Neville

        by catleigh on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 04:02:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the input (0+ / 0-)

          We need to know this is happening across the country now, not just in border states.

          And truthfully, it's very heartbreaking for those in the trades who've spent decades building up their businesses, their skills and their reputations.  These middle-class blue-collar workers are having a very hard time of it, now, because the work projects are shrinking (due to the mortgage crisis), and it's harder to bid competitively with the cheap-labor crews.

          For homeowners who are using these cheaper contractors and subcontractors, with the situation as you describe, of one English-speaking foreman and a different non-English-speaking crew every day, for these homeowners, they are indeed saving money on their repairs and remodeling.  Or maybe not, if the sub/contractor charges the same as the higher-end crew who stay within all the laws, this unscrupulous contractor can take more money and still pay the illegal-immigrant work crew very low wages.

          Either way, the blue-collar middle-class is sinking.  Everyone should be aware of this effect on our economy, of the unrestricted influx of illegal immigrants, of any nationality.

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