Un Dia Sin Immigrantes (A Day Without Immigrants)


Posted by on Tue, May 2, 2006

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Kathy Niece
The march at 7:30am on Highway 92.

In the wee hours of the morning, a handful of people gathered on the southside of Highway 92.  Waving mostly American flags and holding signs with slogans such as "No Human Is Illegal", "Dignity For All" and "We Are America", the small sleepy crowd grew in number and enthusiasm as dawn gave way to an uncharacteristicly sun-drenched day on the Coast and the morning commute drug on.  It soon became apparent that the day would be no ordinary one.

Practically everyone heading over the hill from the Coast Monday morning saw it.  Perhaps traffic slowed a tiny bit because of it.  Yet few seemed to mind.  It was "Un Dia Sin Immigrantes", (A Day Without Immigrants), a national day of boycott and action to celebrate the contributions immigrants make to American society.  While thousands gathered in major metropolitan areas nationwide, immigrants and supporters in Half Moon Bay also served as a reminder that we are a nation of immigrants.  What the local gathering lacked in numbers compared with the events in big cities, it more than made up for in heart with a pleasant mix of love for their new country and pride in the culture from where they came.

"I love America," protestor Martin said, holding a flag from his adopted country.  "That’s why I raising my family here."  He and his young daughter were just two faces in the tapestry that made up the morning rally…young and old…men and women…Mexican and "gringo"...citizens, legal residents and undocumented.

It was a sight to behold!  A transformation was taking place.  In front of the entire coastside, thousands of whom expressed their support through smiles, honks, waves and enthusiastic thumbs up, a community walked out of the shadows in which they had been living and lifted their heads high into the sunlight.  The occasional obscene gesture or derogatory comment tossed their way only served to lift spirits higher.  "Grab onto that negative energy and turn it into positive," urged one woman.

The protest, organized over the weekend, was scheduled to take place only between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m.  As the morning passed, however, the crowd became energized and few wanted to walk away from the moment.  Up until 10:30, people were still arriving to lend their support.  Over 150 people took part in the organized rally between 6:30 and 10:30, coming and going as their work and family responsibilities dictated.  The rally then gave way to a march with several dozen making their way down Main Street to the mostly supportive honks of the downtown traffic.  Continuing on Kelly Avenue and then Highway 1, the march picked up more walkers and a police escort.

Isolated by geography, even more so with the recent closure of Devil’s Slide, few would argue that the economy of the San Mateo County coast is not affected by immigrant labor.  The local floraculture, agriculture and fishing industries rely on it as does the service industry.  If you eat out on the Coast, chances are that your meal was prepared and/or served by somebody from Latin America.

The day culminated in the evening with a 3-hour march with an estimated 500 people taking part.  (See story and video by Darin Boville: May Day march in Half Moon Bay)

Kudos to local law enforcement the entire day!  They responded to the unfolding events with calm and professionalism even though the marches were spontaneous and a bit unpredictable, making their way through Half Moon Bay with no formal plan or designated route.

Tuesday was business as usual on the Coast but, in the hearts of many local immigrants, the swelling of pride in finding their voice in their new country continues.  "My family…we love it here in Half Moon Bay," Jose said.  "This is our home."


While I sympathize with the plight of people who don’t have opportunities in their home countries and come to this wonderful place to make a living and support their families, I believe we should not start romanticizing an activity that is illegal after all and that also has many negative impacts on our communities.

As a legal immigrant who has done everything ‘by the book’ and gone through the system, I am offended by the attitude that something is ‘owed’ to people who have broken the law. A political solution needs to be found asap that allows people to be here legally to pursue their dreams, yet protects our security and resources.

Kirsten, El Granada

Kirsten, like you, I sympathize with these people. Also, like you, I am a ‘legal’ immigrant and will soon apply for my citizenship. America is a country founded on immigrants (mostly) and I’m very proud to be here living and working in this country and be part of it. But it’s a fact that Immigration must be controlled properly. Without control it becomes a free for all and our social structure would inevitably collapse. There is no easy solution and it’s a highly emotionally charged issue. I wish everyone luck in finding themselves a safe and happy home.

Here are some facts:

1. 40% of all workers in L.A. County (L.A. County has 10 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This was because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.

2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.

4. Over 2/3’s of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers.

5. Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.

6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.

7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.

8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.

9. 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.

10. In L.A.County 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish (10.2 million people in L.A.County).

(All 10 above from the Los Angeles Times)

Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops but 29% are on welfare. http://www.cis.org/


Over 70% of the United States annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration.

The cost of illegal immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 was a NET (after subtracting taxes immigrants pay) $70 BILLION a year, [Professor Donald Huddle, Rice University].

The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a NEGATIVE

29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

YOU LIKE THE WAY YOUR TAXES ARE BEING SPENT? MABYE THESE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS SHOULD SPEND A COUPLE OF YEARS REPLACING THOSE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN FIGHTING FOR OUR COUNTRY BEFORE THEY GET THEIR LEGAL STATUS.

Jim (HMB)

 

Jim,

Could you please explain how the following relates to ILLEGAL immigration?

“9. 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.

10. In L.A.County 5.1 million people speak English. 3.9 million speak Spanish (10.2 million people in L.A.County).”

As well as:

“Over 70% of the United States annual population growth (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York) results from immigration.”

Are you looking to close the borders to everyone, or just the illegal ones?

 

 

This list has been circulated on the net with different claims about where it comes from, including the Los Angeles Times.  As usual, snopes.com has done a great job of uncovering the truth behind these ten claims.

From Snopes: The various figures quoted above were not taken from a 2002 Los Angeles Times article. They appear to have been gleaned from a variety of sources and vary in accuracy as noted below.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/taxes.asp

PART TWO - MYTH vs. FACT


Myth: IMMIGRANTS DONT WANT TO LEARN ENGLISH OR BECOME AMERICANS

FACT: Within ten years of arrival, more than 75% of immigrants speak English well; moreover, demand for English classes at the adult level far exceeds supply. Greater than 33% of immigrants are naturalized citizens; given increased immigration in the 1990s, this figure will rise as more legal permanent residents become eligible for naturalization in the coming years. The number of immigrants naturalizing spiked sharply after two events: enactment of immigration and welfare reform laws in 1996, and the terrorist attacks in 2001.

(Source: American Immigration Lawyers Association, Myths & Facts in he Immigration Debate, 8/14/03. http://www.aila.org/contentViewer.aspx?bc=17,142..section4)

(Source: Simon Romero and Janet Elder, Hispanics in the US Report Optimism New York Times, (Aug. 6, 2003).


Myth: TODAY’S IMMIGRANTS ARE DIFFERENT THAN THOSE 100 YEARS AGO

FACT: The percentage of the U.S. population that is foreign-born now stands at 11.5%; in the early 20th century it was approximately 15%. Similar to accusations about today’s immigrants, those of 100 years ago initially often settled in mono-ethnic neighborhoods, spoke their native languages and built up newspapers and businesses that catered to their fellow migrantas. They also experienced the same types of discrimination that today’s immigrants face, and integrated within American culture at a similar rate. If we view history objectively, we remember that every new wave of immigrants has been met with suspicion and doubt and yet, ultimately, every past wave of immigrants has been vindicated and saluted.

(Source: Census Data:
http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/c2kprof00-us.pdf,http:// [url=http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/censr-4.pdf]http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/censr-4.pdf)[/url]


Myth: MOST IMMIGRANTS CROSS THE BORDER ILLEGALLY

FACT: Around 75% of today’s immigrants have legal permanent (immigrant) visas; of the 25% that are undocumented, 40% overstayed temporary (non-immigrant) visas. Undocumented immigrants estimated to be less than 2%  of the US population.

(Source: Department of Homeland Security http://uscis.gov/graphics/shared/statistics/index.htm

FACT: From 1986 to 1998, the Border Patrols budget increased six-fold and the number of agents stationed on our southwest border doubled to 8,500. The Border Patrol also toughened its enforcement strategy, heavily fortifying typical urban entry points and pushing migrants into dangerous desert areas, in hopes of deterring crossings. Instead, the undocumented immigrant population doubled in that timeframe, to 8 million despite the legalization of nearly 3 million immigrants after the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. Insufficient legal avenues for immigrants to enter the U.S., compared with the number of jobs in need of workers, has significantly contributed to this current conundrum.

Source: Immigration and Naturalization website:

http://www.ncjrs.org/ondcppubs/publications/enforce/border/ins_3.html


Myth: THE WAR ON TERRORISM CAN BE WON WITH IMMIGRANT RESTRICTIONS

FACT: No security expert since September 11th, 2001 has said that restrictive immigration measures would have prevented the terrorist attack instead, the key is effective use of good intelligence. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were here on legal visas. Since 9/11, the myriad of measures targeting immigrants in the name of national security have netted no terrorism prosecutions. In fact, several of these measures could have the opposite effect and actually make us less safe, as targeted communities of immigrants are afraid to come forward with information.

(Source: Associated Press/Dow Jones Newswires, US Senate Subcommittee Hears Immigration Testimony, Oct. 17, 2001.)

(Source: Cato Institute: Don’t Blame Immigrants for Terrorism, Daniel Griswold, Assoc. Director of Cato Institutes Center for Trade Policy Studies (see: http://www.cato.org/dailys/10-23-01.html)

Information provided by: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org

 

Say Jim, after posting a list like that, you may want to check with Napoleon Dynamite to see if he can get Pedro to offer you some protection. You may need it. ;-)

Here are some facts:

1. 100% of those born in and still living in the United States have 0% of an idea of what it’s like to live as an illegal immigrant.

2. Nearly almost entirely of a large percentage all of studies misrepresent data according to the point of view of who they receive funding from.

3. Roughly 70% of all commercials on Spanish speaking radio stations are just as loud and obnoxious as those on English speaking radio stations.

4. 9 out of 10 white people living within 30 miles of the US-Mexico border will incorrectly identify a Guatamalen as a Mexican.

5. 60% of illegal immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America to clean toilets and pick strawberries are shockingly ignorant of the fact that it would be much easier to get Visas if they were just Java programmers from India instead.

6. Less than 1% of all gang members cross paths with me on a regular basis and, of that percentage, less than half of those have Pelican Bay tattoos.

Oh, and Vote For Pedro!

As someone who works, every day, with the immigrant population, I’d like to offer some educational links on this topic.  While it is not my job to decide the legal issues, I do take seriously the issue of educating the community about the facts vs. the myths that are circulating.  The Coastside Opportunity Center just filed taxes for over 300 low-income individuals, many of them from the immigrant community, so I can personally attest to that myth being untrue here on the coast.  I am touched and blessed every day by the work ethic, community support and desire to contribute in very real, sustainable ways to the coast that I see from our clients at the center, and I am proud to give voice to “the other coastside”.

Myths vs. Facts: Commonly used attacks against immigrants


Myth: IMMIGRANTS DON’T PAY TAXES

FACT: Immigrants pay taxes, in the form of income, property, sales,
And taxes at the federal and state level. As far as income tax payments
go, sources vary in their accounts, but a range of studies find that immigrants pay between $90 and $140 billion a year in federal, state, and local
taxes. Undocumented immigrants pay income taxes as well, as evidenced by the Social Security Administrations suspense file 〈taxes that cannot be matched
to workers names and social security numbers〉, which grew by $20 billion between 1990 and 1998.

(Source: http://www.immigrationforum.org/about/articles/tax_study.htm)


FACT: Immigrants come to work and reunite with family members.
Immigrant labor force participation is consistently higher than native-born, and
immigrant workers make up a larger share of the U.S. labor force
(12.4%) than they do the U.S. population (11.5%). Moreover, the ratio between
immigrant use of public benefits and the amount of taxes they pay is consistently favorable to the U.S. In one estimate, immigrants earn about $240 billion a year, pay about $90 billion a year in taxes, and use about $5 billion in public benefits. In another cut of the data, immigrant tax payments total $20 to $30 billion more than the amount of government services they use.

(Source: Questioning Immigration Policy Can We Afford to Open Our Arms?,
Friends Committee on National Legislation Document ..G-606-DOM, January
25,1996. http:www.fas.org/pub/gen/fcnl/immigra.html)


Myth: IMMIGRANTS SEND ALL THEIR MONEY BACK HOME

FACT: In addition to the consumer spending of immigrant households, immigrants and their businesses contribute $162 billion in tax revenue to U.S. federal, state, and local governments. While it is true that immigrants remit billions of dollars a year to their home countries, this is one of the most targeted and effective forms of direct foreign investment.

(Source: http://www.cato.org/research/articles/griswold-020218.html.)


Myth: IMMIGRANTS TAKE JOBS AWAY FROM AMERICANS…

FACT: The largest wave of immigration to the U.S. since the early 1900s
coincided with our lowest national unemployment rate and fastest economic
growth. Immigrant entrepreneurs create jobs for U.S. and foreign workers, and foreign-born students allow many U.S. graduate programs to keep
their doors open. While there has been no comprehensive study done of immigrant-owned businesses, we have countless examples: in Silicon Valley, companies begun by Chinese and Indian immigrants generated more than $19.5 billion in sales and nearly 73,000 jobs in 2000.

(Source: Richard Vedder, Lowell Gallaway, and Stephen Moore,
Immigration and Unemployment: New Evidence, Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, Arlington, VA (Mar. 1994), p. 13.


Myth: IMMIGRANTS ARE A DRAIN ON THE ECONOMY

FACT: During the 1990s, half of all new workers were foreign-born, filling
gaps left by native-born workers in both the high- and low-skill ends of the spectrum. Immigrants fill jobs in key sectors, start their own businesses, and contribute to a thriving economy. The net benefit of immigration to the U.S. is nearly $10 billion annually. As Alan Greenspan points out, 70% of immigrants arrive in prime working age. That means we haven’t spent a penny on their education, yet they are transplanted into our workforce and will contribute $500 billion toward our social security system over the next 20 years

(Source: Andrew Sum, Mykhaylo Trubskyy, Ishwar Khatiwada, et al., Immigrant Workers in the New England Labor Market: Implications for Workforce Development Policy, Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University, Boston, Prepared for the New England Regional Office, the Employment and Training Administration, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Boston, Massachusetts, October 2002.

<a href=“http://www.nupr.neu.edu/1102/immigration.PDF..search=‘center for%”>http://www.nupr.neu.edu/1102/immigration.PDF..search=‘center%20for%</a>
20labor%20market%20studies%20at%20Northeastern%20University%20studies’

This has caught my interest. 

Is there any data out there to explain why people do not do not come into the country legally?  I am sure most people are nice and doing it for their families, but why not go through legal channels?  I will claim some ignorance here – and I am sure I am not the only one. 

In the end, the issue is not about immigrants, it is about illegal immigration.  Understanding why people feel so compelled to do this illegally, rather than legally, would help us understand the importance of this issue.  Although gathering on the street to protest shows passion, it does not help their “target market” (voters) to understand what is going on and why.

Hi Stephanie,

Very interesting discussion

I really don’t have answer for you, but here is what I envision.  Is it accurate?  I don’t know.  It’s just my naive view of the world perhaps…

I picture someone in a little village outside Ensenada, living with his family in a house (really a shack), with one wall rotted away and replaced with a large sign someone left on the ground.  This guy looks for work, but can’t find work that would cover the basic necessities for his family.  His town is plagued by crime.  So he comes, legally or illegally, to America where he knows he can work, have adequate housing, feed his family, and maybe have a couple of bucks for himself at the end of the day.  The decision for him, whether or not he will wait for the legal process to run its course, is based on whether or not his family is fed and has adequate shelter and medical care.

I ask myself… What would I do if I were in his shoes?

Cheri, would you say this is fairly accurate portrayal having worked with so many immigrants?  Or perhaps I’m wrong and everyone is crossing the border in order to join gangs??

Sorry about the sexist nature of this post.  It could have just as well been a lady as well. :)

Mike

We all know what the answer is if you were in the shoes of the person outside a little village in Ensenada, that’s a rhetorical question and charged with the same emotion that fuels the current debate. But Stephanie brings up a valid point - the difference between people, who come to the US legally and illegally. When you come here legally you are an open book to this country – I had to show that I was able to support myself financially, I needed a sponsor who was liable, a thorough background check was done and I had to undergo health exams. I also had to go through interviews and I do have to report to the authorities about changes in my status or location.

None of that is applied to millions and millions of people who come to the US illegally. I don’t doubt that the majority of them has good intentions and just wants to support their families but how do you know that if you don’t know who they are, where they are and what they have been up to in their past? That’s why I don’t understand the significance of the numbers that Cheri posted. How could anyone establish these numbers if it is not even known whether 7 or 12 million people are in the US illegally?

I believe it is fair to lead this debate because it directly relates to the quality of life in our communities and to national security. It should be done though without the racist undertones and the singling out one particular group of immigrants.

Kirsten

Kirsten,

Stephanie stated: 

“Understanding why people feel so compelled to do this illegally, rather than legally, would help us understand the importance of this issue.”

It’s great the you followed the process.  Others don’t, and that’s the reality of the situation currently. The question is WHY?

My point was simply that economic factors and other critical quality of life issues are the main drivers.

Would you dispute that? 

Regards,
Mike

Thanks, Cheri, for providing the facts vs. myths education and links.  I wanted to comment on what we often hear: that immigrants don’t want to learn English or become US citizens.  My husband Mike and I have worked intimately with the Mexican population for the past 6 years at Magdalene House and the Coastside Catholic Worker.  In all that time and interacting with hundreds from the Mexican community here on the Coast, only one person told me that she had no interest in learning English.  And guess what?  I now teach her English in her home one day a week with her friends (and they keep asking for more but we don’t have the time to give more).

As Cheri pointed out, demand for English classes at the adult level far exceeds supply.  A common problem we see is the low literacy levels in their native language, Spanish.  Many in the rural areas have dropped out of school in the first or second grade, and most by sixth grade.  When people don’t have a concept of letters in their own language, different sounds are really difficult to learn.  Until I started teaching English, I never realized what a difficult language it is to learn.  (I’m not making excuses for anybody.  Just filling you in on the reality.)

Another thing to throw into this friendly discussion is the corrupt government of Mexico.  What we gather from our conversations with many people is that it is practically impossible to immigrate to the United States from Mexico unless you have money AND know someone in government. I don’t have any data on this, Stephanie.  I can say that we are going through the process for a woman who came here on an emergency medical visa because her son was dying.  Five years later, she still has not obtained her green card (though she is getting closer!) and it has cost several thousand dollars in attorney fees.  (I was trying to do the paperwork for her because it is all in English but, even though I am educated and proficient in English, I couldn’t understand all of it.)

One recommendation I can make to everyone who is interested in this topic is to reach out personally to someone in our local immigrant population and open a dialog.  I can tell you that my first six months with this organization have been an eye-opener for me as I was personally touched by stories of abject poverty, starvation, and government oppression suffered by people I “know” on the coast, but sadly, never really knew.  A 20-minute conversation over coffee will give you more usable information that all the research reports listed in this post, and all theoretical discussion among well meaning non-immigrants.  Take a moment this week to open the conversation and listen.  I’d love to hear what you learn, and how we, as a community, can bring that discussion to a community level.

Mike, Kathy and Cheri,

I completely agree with you that economic issues and oppression are drivers for people to leave their countries and come here.  Since my daughter goes to school with children of migrant workers I have heard their stories personally and know their hardships and since my husband goes to a Central American country every year on his own money to help build infrastructure, to clothe and feed children and support the local hospitals with medication, we know the living conditions.

All that still does not negate that illegal immigration and the lack of transparency into who comes into this country is a security issue and that communities that have a large illegal immigrant population do suffer consequences. I personally don’t think that protests and ‘demands’ to be recognized for an illegal activity advance the cause of illegal immigrants in this country, on the contrary, in my opinion it could be hindering to finding a generous political solution to the problem. But, that’s just my opinion 

As for Green Card applications, Katy, that is a nightmare for everybody, no matter where you are from. There a many ‘privileged’ (white) people who have had the same struggles for years and who were deported or turned away at the airport on minor technicalities. Even having the support of an employer and lawyers does not guarantee you that you will ever obtain your Green Card or that you won’t wait for it for years. An overhaul of the immigration procedures is definitely required.

Kirsten, El Granada

Another disturbing migration:


http://tinyurl.com/h64zt  [The Onion]

And routes to other facts:
http://www.fairus.org
http://www.npg.org
http://www.capsweb.org

Carl May

Good onion article. Maybe we should have a chinese immersion class for the spanish speaking kids so they can get good jobs working the bourgoning trade between china and all the Americas.  wierd but true that we have a spanish immersion class for the white kids to learn spanish and not much for the slower learning of the spanish kids who endure immersion as a sink or swim lesson in american politics.

There is some great rhetoric here, but much of what is highlighted is indicative of this “not being on the same page” I see across all mediums regarding the issue… or at least I THOUGHT I knew what the original issue is/was. I noticed the ‘reactionary’ posts are about ILLEGAL immigration, yet the counter posts are all about immigration in general. Huh?

Let’s re-focus that the issue is about illegal immigration. All these data points, some legit, and some from agencies with clear agendas and paybacks, are in support for immigration in general. Fine, but last I knew there wasn’t a significant outcry to SHUT the borders down altogether.

Once again, we see “A Day Without Immigrants”, odd… given what legislation is trying to push, it should of read “A Day Without Illegal Immigrants”. So let’s look at some myth/fact on that, to see if there is substantial issue around that. I’m not going to fill this thread with stats from the “Univ. of _______ study” on the $10B tax deficit illegals create, prison populations, crime rates and so forth.

Personally, I don’t think the government needs sweeping reform replete with congressional grandstanding of some Rep representing a border district with media-in-tow, with their chests puffing out belting out their either ‘for’ or ‘against’ reform position…

...how about just enforcing the LAW that is ALREADY in place? It pretty clear, just casually start funding and enforcing the law and supporting agencies thereof. Trying to sweep out millions of illegal citizens with one fell swoop of legislation and then the setting up some governement special agency to carry it out… is laughable at best. Just turn the heat up a bit on what we have in place now, and slowly, but deftly clean things up.

The LA Times has posted their own debunking of what they describe as a “hoax”. Here’s the introduction, following by a link to the complete story on their LAT editorial blog:

Just the Facts—UPDATED

According to the search service Technorati, at least 130 weblogs have recently posted 10 “facts” about immigration, allegedly coming from the L.A. Times. As Readers’ Representative Jamie Gold has pointed out, this list, which is being forwarded around the world at lightning speed, is a hoax.

We combed our archives to see whether the paper has indeed written anything like these facts, and found just one Op-ed column — by leading anti-immigration figure Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Col.) — that comes close to stating what the e-mail hoax claims. Meanwhile, we’ve tried to assess the veracity of the various statistics from online sources as well as representatives of federal, state, county, and city officials. We’ll continue to post more details as we receive them. Here are the results:


http://opinion.latimes.com/immigration/2006/05/according_to_th.html

Regarding Mike Ferreira,s article about the new foothill bypass revival i agree with him it,s a lost cause. Also that the improvements to 92 Main St. although better than nothing are going to cause traffic problems going East on 92 with 4 lanes dumping into 2, traffic is going to back up while drivers merge into 1 lane, road rage & the finger will prevail. I believe the improvements will help going west on 92 as we will be going from 2 to 4 lanes.
To use infrastructure as a tool to stop growth is criminal, keeping people in bumper to bumper traffic spewing toxins in the air at these gas prices too. Just dont understand the reasoning against road improvements for the people that are here & emergencys so fire & police can get to the problem. Dont we have more than enough on the books to stop growth without using the same scare tactics & intimidation that bought us our costly, later, dangerous tunnel. Am a Resident in HMB since 6/69.

I know that my response to the article regarding the May1,2006 “Immigrants Rights” march is late, but I think there are some serious questions regarding the ramifications of one of the many facets of the debate.  For instance, the proposed Guest Worker Program.  Before such a program is approved, we should be asking ourselves some very serious questions.  Here are 27 questions for your consideration, which, if we want to make a responsible decision, we will ask ourselves and our elected officials:

    1   Will spouses and children be able to accompany
the guest worker?  Just minor children, or adult ones
as well?

  2   Will any or all of the above be able to demand
government services in the language of their choice,
per President Clinton’s Executive Order 13166?  Will
the workers be required to have at least a minimal
working knowledge of English?

  3   Will the children be eligible to attend school,
and if so, at whose expense?  In what language(s)
will they be educated?

  4   How will health care services be provided?  Who
will pay for these services?

  5   Will any children born in the United States,
automatically become U.S. citizens?

  6   Will the workers be eligible for the Earned
Income Tax Credit?  Will children remaining in the
home country count as deductions when calculating the
EITC benefit?  How will the number of dependents
claimed be verified?

  7   Will IRS and Social Security charges be deducted
from their wages?  Will they be eligible for Social
Security benefits, either here, or later in their home
country?  Will they be required to work the 40
quarters required of U.S. citizens before attaining
eligibility?

  8   Will workers be covered by Worker’s Compensation
laws?  Will they be covered by unemployment
insurance?

  9   If the job for which the worker came to the
United States disappears, will workers be required to
take a different job, or be returned home?  If
relocation is required, who will pay the expense? 
Will they receive unemployment compensation after they
have returned?

  10 Will child labor laws apply, especially in
agricultural fields?  Will they be enforced?  How?

  11 Will workers be permitted to marry during their
stay here?  Will those who marry a U.S. citizen, or
have a child while here, be able to stay beyond the
six-year period?  Would a man who fathers an
out-of-wedlock child qualify for citizenship on
petition by the child when he or she reaches legal
majority?

  12 Will the workers be able to pruchase a car and
obtain a local driver’s license?  If so, will they be
required to purchase automobile insurance, and will
this be available to them at a cost they can likely
afford? 

  13 Will children be eligible to attend college? 
If so, will these foreign citizens be eligible for the
in-state tuition rate that is not available to U.S.
citizens from other states?

  14 Will minimum wage laws apply?  Will the
Davis-Bacon Act that requires the payment of
prevailing wages on public works projects cover these
workers?

  15 Will there be requirements for immunizations and
periodic health examinations?  Who will pay for these
services?

  16 If conditions have not improved in the home
country after six years, what are the chances that the
guest worker will go home?  (Did the guest workers
imported into Europe after World War II go home when
they were no longer needed, of did they stay and send
for their families to join them?)

  17 What requirements are there that jobs first be
offered and advertised to U.S. citizens and permanent
resident aliens?  How will this be monitored?

  18 If the foreign worker program leads to lower
wages for less-skilled American workers, will they be
entitled to compensation?

  19 What system of identification documents for
guest workers will be required? 

  20 Will workers be covered by any contract?  If
so, in which courts is this contract enforceable? 
Will legal aid be provided?  At whose expense?

  21 Will workers and their adult spouses be able to
vote in local elections?

  22 How will the workers (and families) be housed
and fed?

  23 Will the workers be free to unionize and demand
improved wages and conditions?

  24 Will workers be permitted to travel home at
will?

  25 How does this program differ from the classical
definition of Indentured Servitude?

  26 Will employers be required to post a bond to
cover expenses associated with any of the costs
mentioned above?

  27 Finally, given these difficulties, won’t most
employers of illegal aliens still prefer to hire
people who came here illegally?