There is a major employer in Dayton that hires thousands of people from India to come here and work and untold thousands more in India to do high-level coding for its information-services business. When it comes to immigration status, they have the best lawyers around on retainer to work though the issues.
There are local hotels, construction companies, restaurants and manufacturing companies that hire “illegal immigrants” to clean their rooms, do the dirtiest of demolition, wash dishes, and do menial labor.
Rich friends of mine brag about their Mexican electrician, groundskeeper, housekeeper.
Our farm economy still depends on illegals (we like to call them “migrant farm workers”) to pick tomatoes, mushrooms, oranges, lettuce- etc.
Our poor people complain that these immigrants take their jobs- yet, I had a two-time ex-con tell me that doing data entry “wasn’t in his job description” (which is odd because I don’t have written job descriptions) as “office manager.”
For a year, I had the luxury of having a coder from Nigeria who was here on a student visa while getting a master’s degree at Wright State. His work ethic was excellent, his enunciation a bit difficult, but upon graduation he was on a countdown to get his visa sponsored and my small company couldn’t compete with bigger businesses.
Our manufacturing base has moved off-shore because they say they can’t compete with cheap overseas labor- yet, others (including Congressmen and Supreme Court justices) have been caught hiring these affordable “illegal immigrants” in “nanny-gates” while still passing laws against paths to immigration, not raising the minimum wage and continuing to support laws that create “illegal underground economies” with the “war on drugs,” bipolar gambling laws; it’s legal on Wall Street and the Lottery- but online poker or a home game for money is illegal.
A friend went to Siberia to build a waste-water treatment plant for Pepsi a good 15 years ago- he went over a 40-year-old, overweight, cynical, not-by-choice bachelor- he came back with a beautiful 25-year-old pregnant wife- with a master’s degree in economics. Her family came to visit- and thought his 4-room shotgun cottage was a mansion. Because he owned a car, a “band van” and 2 motorcycles- they believed him to be rich.
In Dayton, we’ve got a growing population of Mexicans, Nigerians, Armenian Turks, and Indians to add to a bunch of Koreans (we’re home to an Air Force base where airmen meet Korean women and bring them back).
Ohio is losing population, Dayton is spending millions to tear down homes, and lamenting the loss of income-tax revenue- yet there are probably thousands of workers working in Dayton, who would be happy to pay taxes, if it would not come with a knock on the door from immigration.
What could happen in America if we just integrated the “illegal immigrant” underground economy into the legitimate one? Would we stop seeing the budget crisis? Would the economy bounce back almost overnight? I’m not advocating instant citizen status, but a path to citizenship with a legal work status.
Those who’ve been convicted of crimes would not be eligible, but, the honest hardworking people who clean your hotel room, wash your dishes, pick your vegetables would.
Immigration is one of the “hot button” issues that is used to divide voters, to rile them up, to take them out of rational discussions of the real issue in America today: the economic divide.
While 13% of us continue to be out of work, while our city “leaders” are about to raise our income tax again while we hand over a $30-million dollar building to a California “developer” with no money down- the divide continues to grow. Our political system has devolved into an auction to the highest bidder- with no end in sight.
What kind of country do you want to live in? One that has “Freedom and justice for all”- or only those who make the laws (hint- it’s not the people anymore).