Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is a state governor — not a federal lawmaker. Immigration law is protected under the Supremacy Clause of our United States Constitution, and God forbid 50 different governors presenting 50 different bureaucratic immigration plans across our Nation. Governor Bobby Jindal (who lives in a state that does not border Mexico) is criticizing Republicans like Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake (who do live in states bordering Mexico) along with the rest of the bipartisan Gang of Eight Legal Immigration Reform team.
In addition to Jindal criticizing the current Republican lawmakers in support of legal immigration reform, he is also essentially criticizing former President George W. Bush’s Secure Fence Act of 2006 when the Bush administration met 100% of the operational goals that were intended under the act. When President Bush signed the Act, he said, “This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.” [Some of us remember Jindal's early political career when he was nominated by President George W. Bush to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Planning and Evaluation in 2001.]
Bush’s Secure Fence Act was supposed to be a step toward immigration reform over 6 years ago, yet, Jindal wants us to go back two more steps despite his inability to appreciate the undocumented immigrants who helped rebuild Louisiana to begin with!
Jindal didn’t seem to have a problem with undocumented immigrants when they were being exploited in effort to rebuild his state in 2005 after the Hurricane, but now it appears supporters of the John Tanton network have discovered another brown-faced token to set legal immigration back a bit if they can. Indeed immigrants were the backbone of post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction: Workers who converge at dawn and wait to be picked up for 14-hour shifts of hauling debris, ripping out drywall and nailing walls.
Where was Gov. Jindal at when NBC News and the AP covered the exploitation of the immigrants in Louisiana?
“What is fundamentally unfair is these are workers who have responded to a national priority to rebuild this city and yet whose rights are being violated,” said Laurel Fletcher, director of Berkeley’s International Human Rights Law Clinic and one of the study’s co-authors. …I for one am sick of my people getting used after responding to national priorities during a crisis. In fact, many undocumented immigrants have enlisted in our Armed Forces to protect our Nation during war. Yet, I see the same mundane politicians like Jindal who use immigration as a political football. And it sickens me when that politician does not reside in a state that borders Mexico nor when he belongs to the United States Congress that has the authority in the first place to address legal immigration reform protected under the Supremacy Clause of our United States Constitution.
While 83 percent of documented workers interviewed by the researchers said had access to medicine when needed, only 38 percent of illegal immigrants did. Around one-third of illegal immigrants said they understood the hazards of removing asbestos or mold, compared with more than 65 percent of documented laborers. Thirty-three percent of legal workers received medical attention when needed for a reported problem, compared to 10 percent of undocumented workers.
Some of those waiting for work said they are afraid of complaining.
“It’s too dangerous for my body,” said 29-year-old Saul Linan, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. “But I don’t say anything. If I do, the boss says, ‘Hey, if you don’t work hard, I’ll take you to immigration.”’
Jindal is a first generation and son of immigrants who’s family came from far away and across the ocean, and he will never understand that those of Mexican descent are indigenous to this land even though he ought to know it was Abe Lincoln (the father of the GOP) who rebuked President Polk for the illegal Mexican-American war. Yet, my people will continue to love and die for this Nation, and they continue to respond to crisis situations and the call for rebuilding efforts (like in Louisiana) after being taken advantage of.
More importantly, as a veteran of the United States Air Force who supports strong national security, I want to underscore that the 2013 Legal immigration reform bill is a major step forward in securing our Nation because only after everyone is registered and documented will we know who is in our Nation and where we can find them. We know that once we fix the broken immigration system, and once we document all immigrants — then they can feel safe to help law enforcement agencies to target criminal activity without the fear of deportation when they report suspicious activity to the law enforcement authorities. Therefore, bringing the immigrants out of the shadows will only strengthen our Nation’s security.