Friday, April 28, 2006

Causing trouble elsewhere...Cinco De Mayo

With the primary election coming up I was busy this morning over on Glass City Jungle, then I happened to stop by a local message board and discovered a request that we boycott Cinco De Mayo to protest illegal immigration. Several posts went on discussing some of what we have here in the past and I almost didn't bother to respond until I saw one phrase.

So I responded, with:

While I do agree that illegal immigration is a problem and think there is not enough focus on punishing/dealing with employers who are the real issue and create the very reason illegal immigration exists...This comment:

take jobs away from Americans

I had to address. Where are the Americans lining up to work in the fields and the numerous fruit groves, the meat packing plants and the landscaping jobs that will work for no benefits, crappy wages and questionable working conditions? I have yet to see any Americans step forward interested in performing these jobs for that rate of pay. Which is why the businesses hire them in the first place.

Despite all of the chest beating about dealing with these illegal immigrants if the under lying issues which include who will do these jobs and are you willing to pay what it would take to attract legal Americans to do them for you will have to be addressed.

Then the logical nature of the numbers of those who are legal americans who are currently unemployed versus the number of illegal immigrants who are working in this country. If every illegal immigrant were removed, and every single unemployed American somehow relocated to be in their place, we would not have enough workers. Look at the numbers of how many Americans are unemployed, look at the various estimates of how many illegal immigrants are working in this country.

That is why this issue will never be addressed and why it will continue. No one is willing to make the very hard decisions or take more than fluffy type PR arrests in front of the camera from time to time. I highly recommend no matter which side of this issue you are on to watch the movie "A day without a Mexican". While parts of it are cheesy it does present something everyone should think about when discussing illegal immigration.

I don't support a boycott of Cinco De Mayo because it is not a day that has anything to do with illegal immigration. It to me is as silly as demanding a boycott of Christmas because I don't like what evangelicals are doing to religion or boycotting Thanksgiving because Indians were not treated fairly. Cinco De Mayo traditionally here is a day to embrace another heritage, just like St. Patrick's Day when everyone is "Irish", just like many of us attend the German American Festival or eat paczki on Fat Tuesday.

Now I realize I didn't cover the various other issues, such as living conditions in Mexico or the few industries that do pay illegal immigrants wages that are considered above the living wage standard. So, how do you feel about boycotting Cinco De Mayo?