In response to Mr. Murray's letter, I can't believe an immigration attorney could paint such a villified
portrait of illegal aliens. At least I have always assumed that Mr.
Murry was an immigration attorney. And, why is someone with the
intellect and historical perspective to see both sides of the coin,
still talking as if the concessions made to illegal immigrants are made
solely in their interests, out of charity, if you will, when in fact
they are made largely to placate the corporate interests who employ them
and to benefit our society as a whole. To be fair, Mr. Murray does
advocate sanctioning employers as well, but in the end, he proposes
sending all the illegal workers back, and substituting them with new
ones from abroad. Not only does that make no business or economic
sense, it makes no common sense either to take people who are doing a
terrific job and have gained the trust of their employers and replace
them sight unseen with a new, legal crop of workers - legal only by
virtue of a law change called a guest worker program, which could just
as easily have been a law change called an amnesty program. At least with amnesty, employers would know what they are getting.
Whatever happened to the American love affair with manifest destiny and
the pioneer spirit? Clearly, part of the reason why the illegals appeal
to US employers is because they had the chutzpah to risk everything to
make it a new world. They have the same enterprising spirit, work ethic
and perseverance that has been the cornerstone of American westward
expansion and American industry throughout our history. And yet Mr.
Murray wants employers to fire the workers who have already proven
themselves and are providing high quality service only to turn around
and hire some new workers sitting comfortably abroad waiting for an
opportunity to immigrate legally. This flies in the face of
everything this country has ever stood for. Furthermore, since many of
these jobs the illegals are holding are not highly skilled positions
requiring any experience at all, by what criteria would the prospective
replacement crews be judged - if not their grit and determination to
make it in a new land against tremendous odds.
And, then there's the small matter of our own illegal beginnings. Did
white settlers have the legal rights to the land they wrested from the
Native Americans as they moved west? They did not. And, yet, they were
rewarded for their enterprise because it was thought that it served the
greater good of human progress, not to mention the pocketbooks of
certain tycoons. In fact, in many cases, laws were passed after the
fact to legitimize the transgression. Were not we all then, every one of us in this country "legally" today, the beneficiaries of a colossal amnesty when, instead of being prosecuted for decimating
millions of Indians in violation of signed treaties, we were awarded
title to their land? Employing Mr. Murray's logic, our ancestors (well
not mine because I'm a second generation Italian immigrant from this
century) were not law abiding either and neither they, nor their
descendants deserve to be happy. And what about slavery, that legal, yet undisputably immoral institution without which our country would never have become the economic power it is today? Let us not forget who we are and where we came from, nor the blood on our hands.
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