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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Slaves Who Can Die 


Previously I've talked (well, typed) about how illegal alien hiring, or even legal "guest worker" programs, pretty much amount to slave labor, or at least getting work done for less than the prevailing wage. Here's an example of how this influx lowers wages, just like Adam Smith said it would:

"They are taking jobs that Americans will not take at that wage. Let me give you an example. Janitors in Century City and Beverly Hills, 10 years ago, were all making $11 an hour," says [Los Angeles talk show host Terry] Anderson. "All of those companies got rid of the Americans, broke the union, brought in illegal aliens from Mexico and El Salvador. Paid them five bucks an hour. You gonna tell me those black janitors don’t still want those $11 jobs? Sure they do. They would probably be $15 jobs now. But guess what happened? They weren’t gonna take ‘em at $4 and $5 an hour."

Hence Byron Dorgan:

We also have another influence in this country, and the other influence is that larger corporations are now made much larger because of mergers and are wanting to export good American jobs to China and import cheap, substandard labor, particularly from the South, and pay even less than minimum wage, and because they are hiring someone illegal, they are highly unlikely to be critical of them if they don't pay the minimum wage. They feel they don't have the right to criticize.

We have a circumstance where at least some enterprises in this country want to export good American jobs and import cheap labor on the bottom. That is, in my judgment, the circumstance that will pull apart the middle class in our country. That is why we have to be concerned about all that is happening....

But all of this didn't touch on a more cruel aspect to this problem.

Let me say at the outset that I don't have a problem with legal immigrants serving in our armed forces, nor do I have a problem with requiring legal immigrants to serve in our armed forces in the same way that citizens serve. In other words, in a time of draft, legal immigrants have been obligated to serve. Just ask Howard Stringer.

But I do have a problem when a government supposedly committed to national security doesn't bother to check on the status of its employees. Even Michelle Malkin went on the attack in this 2004 post:

Last week's issue of People magazine has a brief article about Liliana Plata, an illegal alien from Mexico who allegedly entered the Air Force by pretending to be Cristina Alaniz, a student at Texas State University. According to news reports, Plata was able to join the Air Force using identity documents she had purchased on the black market in Los Angeles for about $2,000....

[T]he more important issue here is the national security lapse on the part of the military. How the hell did they let Plata in with her bogus ID? Is anybody being held accountable? The last we heard on this was back in May, when the Austin American-Statesman reported on the case:

"Airman Alaniz's ability to use false documents -- a Social Security card and a birth certificate -- to join the Air Force raises a troubling question: Could terrorists or other U.S. enemies use the same method to infiltrate the military?
"I was concerned this was an espionage case," said Austin police Detective Andrew Perkel. "If someone is in the military under an assumed identity, it raises the question why."

Air Force and Pentagon officials did not comment on that question Thursday. An Air Force spokesman said recruits go through extensive background checks, performed by the military and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and must show a Social Security card, driver's license and a birth certificate..."

And the Village Voice ran this in 2005:

This week, a general court martial is to begin at Parris Island, South Carolina, for a U.S. Marine recruiter accused of selling and delivering counterfeit documents to illegal aliens in order for them to join the service.

Gunnery Sergeant Hubert A. Lucas, 35, is one of four suspects named in a report by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service....

The report says an investigation began on August 11, 2004, after an intelligence report by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency revealed that a Marine at Camp Pendleton in California, who had admitted to entering the United States illegally and enlisting with a counterfeit green card and stolen Social Security number, identified Lucas as the individual who charged her $250 for the documents for the purpose of effecting her fraudulent enlistment in the Marine Corps....

According to the report, investigators found 23 recruits who may have fraudulently entered the Marine Corps. Twenty suspect alien registration numbers, along with Social Security numbers for all 23 recruits, were queried through federal databases. It turned out that every single one was “either completely fraudulent or assigned to a different person.” The investigation later identified three more alien recruits suspected of fraudulently enlisting.

Jennifer points out why this may be happening:

As public support for the war in Iraq continues to dwindle, so do the recruiting numbers. It doesn’t take a genius to see that our government is preying on kids in desperate economic situations to fight the war for us.

Including ones who broke the law to get into the military in the first place.

Some would argue that serving in the military should give everyone, including illegal aliens, an automatic path to citizenship. (Legal aliens have an easier time of getting citizenship after serving in the military.) But think of the ramifications of this. We're already exploiting illegal aliens by low-paying work as janitors, crop pickers, and the like. Do we truly want to incentivize them to take jobs at which they may die? The mind boggles.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

I still feel so stupid that I didn’t know this was going on. These individuals going to extremes to get into the military are doing so for the same reasons poor, marginalized citizens do: (1) good pay; (2) health benefits; (3) funding for college; (4) great retirement plan if they stay in… plus the added incentive of guaranteed citizenship. Who can blame them? The government has created this situation, they know what’s going on, and they have no intention of stopping it.

Yes, it truly does boggle the mind.
Don't feel stupid about not knowing about this. To find out what's going on regarding any given issue, you have to do some digging. When the news consists of a half hour chunk of 30 second sound bites, you're not going to get into any great detail about any given issue. For example, your blog on the Gospel of Judas probably goes into MUCH more detail about the issue than anything Brian Williams ever said on the "news."

We're getting shorter attention spans as time goes on, and I admit that my own attention span is shortening in some instances (I rarely if ever watch a movie, for example). Yet it appears that there will still be ways to delve into issues more deeply - whether it be through more traditional newspapers (such as the Los Angeles Times), selected blogs, or some future technology that we can only imagine.
Yea, as a former journalist, I am really sick of the "sound byte" news we have today. I never even watch the evening network news anymore. I watch CNN, and read Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, etc.
Very provocative title for a blog entry Ontario! The military is not such a dangerous place you know! I read a stat somewhere that during the 2 years leading up to the gulf war, dozens of soldiers are alive because they didn't have cars or binge drinking garrison bars, and didn't go visit their old friends in "the hood".
I can't quite see the point though....if the recruiter offers a great job in the military to some poor bozo who got picked up by the border patrol, why is this a bad thing? I met a tech sergeant a few years ago (a couple of decades ago? Hmmmm....) who came from a very poor, very black part of Philadelphia, and he told me the military was the best thing that ever happened to him. Including all the time he spent in combat zones!

What bothers me to no end are the bean counters who decide to sub-contract out jobs to civilian firms who hire minimum wage workers. You know at one point, my beloved Canadian Armed Forces nearly got rid of all the cooks in garrison and put in MacDonalds and Burger King to run the mess halls? Twits!!!

Anyway, fun reading! The world is unfolding pretty much as usual!

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