Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Mr. Bacon seems to respect those who entered illegally more than those whose Social Security numbers were stolen and used illegally.

As one who has been a victim of identify theft and having my Social Security number stolen, I feel no remorse for weeding out those who know full well that entering this country illegally is... well, illegal. The employers need to be fined also for their participation in this scheme of relying on cheap labor.

We have over nine visa programs already on the books for hiring workers in industries in need. Only problem is, employers do not want to take the time to abide by the visa rules, and then at the last minute go out and hire illegals at slave labor wages.

Georgia has passed tough immigration laws, and the illegals have left by the droves for other states. And when the Swift company did fire the illegals, American workers lined up for those jobs after the pay was raised. Yes, they will leave on their own accord, once we as a nation stop rewarding illegal behavior with benefits like free education for their children, and free emergency room medical for the family as a whole.

So what if they pay into Social Security and receive none back? Maybe those extra funds will go to pay for the closed hospitals, overcrowded schools having to hire bilinqual teachers, stolen identity fraud, proliferation of MS13 gangs, drug trafficing and expanded welfare programs.

Mike Coley

Houston, TX

Sep 12 2007 - 7:58pm

Web Letter

So it "causes no harm to others" when immigrants who sneak into this country "borrow existing [Social Security] numbers"? Would it be OK with Mr. Bacon if one of them "borrowed" his? I highly doubt it. SSNs are not just for contributing to payments for retirees; they're the primary means of uniquely identifying citizens for employment, medical and financial records. If we create a culture where a blind eye is turned when a group of people abuse that system, it causes harm to everyone.

Brett MacAlpine

Chicago, IL

Aug 27 2007 - 7:04pm

Web Letter

Mr. Kelly calls the article "totally biased, misleading, and fraught with errors, omissions and incorrect conclusions." To support this he states how his opinion about many matters are different from Mr. Bacon, but provides not one fact. Example: "We are talking about illegal aliens, not immigrants or workers." I would say these characterizations by Mr. Kelly are definitely more emotional, prejudicial and emotionally weighted than Mr. Bacon's.

Example: "His claim that the SSA wasn't created to punish illegals is hogwash. It is akin to saying that a citizen should not report a crime in progress, as it may put the criminal at risk." Social Security was created to create security for the worker in a day when now document checks were required to work for wages. The possible illegal status of a worker provides no justification for robbing him or her of the fruits of his or her labor.

Mr. Kelly goes on and on in this vein, and comes to the conclusion that somehow if we kick out undocumented workers and find a new documented (or why don't we say pedigreed) batch that is tied to their families in their homelands, that this will be economical, and work out well for all concerned. It's amazing to me that Mr. Kelly, apparently believes that calling a workers "guests" "forces the employer to recognize their grievances." These "guests" will stay at the pleasure of the employer, and will be subject to immediate deportation for a "felony," supposedly--but let's face it, would risk retribution in the form of deportation for any perceived insubordination whatsoever. Perhaps this is how guests are treated in Los Altos. In many parts of the world it would probably be called indenture.

John Cunningham

Junction City, OR

Aug 25 2007 - 11:34pm

Web Letter

We already have nine guest worker programs. How many do we need? I do not think employers want "legal" workers. I think they prefer illegal workers, because they can be exploited.

The construction of new houses has fallen off, and many skilled workers have returned to their home countries because of a lack of employment.

Many American businesses have gone just over the border to Mexico for cheap labor, and employment is available there. With NAFTA and open borders, cheap goods from Mexico and China can flow freely into the US. American workers may eventually be going south of the border for jobs. With "Free Trade," we will all be wage slaves.

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Aug 25 2007 - 6:09pm

Web Letter

Mr. Bacon's article is totally biased, misleading and fraught with errors, omissions and incorrect conclusions.

Firstly, we are talking about illegal aliens, not immigrants or workers as he so graciously calls them.

Secondly, his claim that the SSA wasn't created to punish illegals is hogwash. It is akin to saying that a citizen should not report a crime in progress, as it may put the criminal at risk.

Finally, Bacon's reality checks bear absolutely no relation to the real world.
#1 - If illegal aliens cannot find employment, they will go home.
#2 - NAFTA and CAFTA are creating many, many jobs in the participating countries.
#3 - It is not about creating jobs or increasing wages. It's about creating a guest worker program that legalizes the alien and forces the employer to recognize their grievances.
#4 - This is a non-issue. Do #3 and #4 disappears.

While I firmly believe that our nation needs many guest workers in order to keep the economy growing, we should not condone illegal entry nor should we offer them amnesty.

We need a comprehensive guest worker program established in some of our embassies and consulates so that aliens can apply and come to our shores for a limited period of time, which would be renewable so long as no felony is committed during their stay. However, they should not be allowed to bring their families. Most nations that have a guest worker program do not accept families, and there is a good reason for this. It encourages the aliens to maintain their ties to their homeland, and it is always cheaper to maintain the family in the home country. Obviously, it will cost money to fund the guest worker program and the costs should be borne by the employers by charging them a fee for each guest worker.

Edward Kelley

Los Altos, CA

Aug 24 2007 - 4:42pm

Web Letter

I just want to thank The Nation for publishing David Bacon's recent article. Migrants are suffering more than ever before in the US and progressives have largely been silent on the issue. This while conservatives send millions of faxes, and e-mails and make millions of calls. This is no longer about a struggle for civil rights, this is about a struggle for freedom. More than one person has made the comparison between the migrants of the present and the slaves of the past. They are coming North for "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" and are left to fight with very few allies against the brutal tactics of the federal government. During these hard economic and political times migrants have become punching bags, and progressives need to do something about it.

I am a freelance journalist and I run one of the most popular progressive blogs on Immigration. In 2006 I took a trip retracing the route of a migrant from Guatemala into the United States.

Kyle de Beausset

Guatemala City, Guatemala

Aug 23 2007 - 1:34pm

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