Ivan Guerrero CH S 098 Nancy Cheeks 11/29/2007 Immigration and Amnesty

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When you wake up on a Tuesday morning what do you usually wake up and see that you never really notice? Is there a fresh fruit bowl on the counter perhaps? Maybe there might be a morning newspaper at your front porch? Why is your lawn always presentable like maybe someone probably has been cutting it once a week? Who might be the one who is out there doing all of these jobs that Americans pay for others to do? Who is the one who is doing these jobs that not even unemployed workers will do? Well it s obvious because for a couple of years these workers have been seen as an issue. They are the immigrants who come to the USA because to their knowledge they have heard that it is were anybody can accomplish the American dream. They have basically played the role of America’s little helpers. Although, these immigrants did not come America to cause us any problems, but rather to boos t their economic situation. What they make in their country is basically nothing compared to what they can make in the USA. For example, Mexico, the workers over there can barely manage to make about five dollars in a whole day. Were as in the USA even though they earn below minimum wage, seven fifty an hour, they can make those same five dollars in a hour. Whether they came here illegally or not should be put aside, but the fact that they do so much for us should be kept in mind. Immigrants have roamed the USA working low income jobs for quite some time now and they do not ask for anything in return except perhaps legal freedom.

Guerrero 2 Immigrants should be granted amnesty or at least some type of legal to be able to work and live peacefully with no fear of law enforcement were ever they go. Immigrants are the low income labor force of America whether anyone recognizes them or not. The laborers that are waiting for someone to pick them up at Home Depot parking lots are there just with the hope that somebody who needs them will pass by and pick them up. Unfortunately, it is not that easy the immigrants have to worry about the police giving them a fine and immigration passing by undercover employers and taking them away. “‘A proposed amnesty for more than 3 million undocumented Mexican workers and their families might help all Latinos in the United States, particularly those in rural communities, where they are often viewed with suspicion,’ says Jorge Chapa, IU professor and director of Latino Studies, and Ann Millard, a Michigan State University professor who recently surveyed Latino immigrants. They found that 55% of the immigrants interviewed felt they were viewed with suspicion, 18% have experienced hostility and 5% have been victims of violence.”(New Voice Newspaper) Immigrants are seen with a suspicion as if at any moment they will take off their coat and reveal a bomb. Referring to the quote, how will an American fell if they were always being watched oddly, if they were insulted because of race, or even beaten up because they look “white”? It would not feel nice and most likely they would do something about it to stop such actions from occurring. Although, many immigrant lives with fear of deportation in the United States, therefore they keep silent. They suppress all anger and

Guerrero 3 hold it in as much as possible to accomplish a dream. They hold it in order to evade problems that might end up being their deportation. These immigrants might be here for a good cause, although they are seen as delinquents. Illegal immigration has been around for awhile and since been looked at and handled with deportation. Although, there is now a bill that makes illegal immigration a felony, so basically now immigrants can fall into the three strikes law. “The provision making illegal immigration a felony was part of a bill pushed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican. It passed the House in December by a vote of 239-182 with only 36 Democrats supporting the final version of the measure.”(Sentinel News). Now with this bill that has been introduced immigrants will face prison time before they are deported. The point of this might be destroying any kind of work employment or housing that the so called criminal can go back to immediately. Allowing time in prison will most likely scare off immigrants so they will stop coming back again. If crossing the border was not hard enough as it is, the bill also proposes to form a blockade to make it harder at the crossing. “Sensenbrenner's bill also calls for building 700 miles of security fence along the Mexican border.”(Sentinel News). Why are we playing such a childish game with the whole immigration deal? Obviously, immigrants are still finding there way around every obstacle. There has to be some type of legal documentation process to solve this problem because all other attempts to solve immigration issues have seemed to fail. Amnesty is such a large step and to do such a thing will cause problems all around with topics such as economics and population.

Guerrero 4 A solution to this problem may possibly be some type of permanent work permit that can be offered to our immigrants. The work permit idea has been introduced before in countless occasions. Although, whether the permit will be permanent or temporary is still an issue. “Bush said on Tuesday, March 21, that he was opposed to amnesty or automatic citizenship for the more than 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.”(Filipino Express). The idea of amnesty is overwhelmingly harsh and just the concept of giving illegal immigrants amnesty is unwise. Basically, it is almost the same thing as rewarding them for crossing the border illegally. A better idea would be to provide a work permit for immigrants who seek jobs in the USA. “Amid an intense debate over the issue among US lawmakers, Bush ruled out amnesty for illegal immigrants but said he favored a "guest worker" program that would provide legal status for workers for a limited time period.”(Filipino Express). Bush seems to have a good idea of possibly a very good solution to illegal immigration. Although, immigrants do not, coming from an immigrant family background my family always says, “What good is temporary for if you can not establish a balanced life with it.” What really needs to be looked at is finding a way to grant permanent work permit to those immigrants that have been in the USA for a long period of time. They deserve a permanent work permit that will grant them benefits that they have never received. They need something that will protect them from law enforcement and immigration services. That is the least we can do for the immigrant workers who have helped run our country for so long with nothing in return.

Guerrero 5 Why is a work permit such a big deal? Why do immigrants even need one? All they are going to do is work, right? Well, immigrant workers don’t exactly have appropriate working conditions. They have to deal with what they get if you do not like it then you do not work there. “‘ The proposed amnesty would benefit both the United States and Mexico economically and provide basic human rights protection to a group of people who often live in danger and secrecy,’ said Chappa. ‘Undocumented workers often are placed in dangerous jobs and must live without the benefits of even the poorest Americans.’ Chappa observed that illegal immigrants are helping to hold the U.S. economy together because of their willingness to work in jobs that often are unpleasant, dirty and dangerous, with no prospects for upward mobility. This fuels a strong desire by U.S. employers to hire them as workers.”(New Voice Newspaper). Immigrant workers get taken advantage of by there employers because they can not defend themselves. They have no basic human rights in the work zone. They are there because they want to be there and if they oppose the rules then they are put out. Safety conditions are horrible people get hurt and they keep working because they are afraid that if they complain they get put out. All they want is work, most of there earnings are sent to Mexico in order to support the family. They are the perfect target for unfair employment and they are the ones who employers take advantage of. Many employers would hire

Guerrero 6 immigrants and when pay day came they would call immigration so they would not even have to pay them. In the USA there has been a “guest worker” program in play that has not really been emphasized. “Under the current system, called the H-2 program, employers brought about 121,000 guest workers into the United States in 2005” (close to slavery pt. 1). This might seem like a good program but how are these workers treated? What rights do they exactly have?
“Bound to a single employer and without access to legal resources, guest workers

are: routinely cheated out of wages; forced to mortgage their futures to obtain low-wage, temporary jobs; held virtually captive by employers or labor brokers who seize their documents; forced to live in squalid conditions; and, denied medical benefits for on-the-job injuries.”(Close to slavery pt. 1). Basically, it sounds like slavery is being brought upon by this H-2 guest worker program. It almost sounds like if this were slavery in the making. After all is it not 2005? Are we not supposed to be educated? Unfortunately, the guest worker program seems more like a big scam to take advantage of the needy. In Conclusion, Immigration has been an issue for many years. Many immigrants currently want amnesty, but that would bring along other issues. Guest worker programs are taking advantage of immigrants and bringing them into an unsafe work area. The only resolution that I have is providing permanent work permits for immigrants that have been in the USA for a long period of time.

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