Immigration Reform: An Excuse for Reaction
The author of this essay is against immigration reform. It is simply an excuse for reactionary elements to exploit and drive down wages for a class of people who otherwise would not be in such a position except that they are in a legal vacuum. The absolute best clearing house of information regarding this controversial topic is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This great organization champions the rights of the downtrodden and the poor and is especially concerned for the less fortunate, including immigrants who are exploited for cheap labor.
Unfortunately, the present regime of reaction has been given energy by laws to "reform" immigration law. A typical example of what immigrants, documented and undocumented face is going in not below the Mason Dixon Line, but in Suffolk County New York. This happed with the murder of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero who was murdered in the town of Patchogue, N.Y. Police say the killing was carried out by a gang of teenagers calling themselves the Caucasian Crew and specifically targeted Latino residents for sport that they called "beaner-hopping."
Statistics in Suffolk County New York are prescient. FBI statistics suggest a 40% rise in anti-Latino hate crimes between 2003 and 2007. The number of hate groups in the U.S. has also been rising, with a climb of more that 50% since 2002. These groups mainly exploited the issue of undocumented non-white immigration.
Hispanic residents of Suffolk County are regularly violently harassed. Politicians and local law enforcement and politicians are the advocates of violence against immigrants, often blaming the victim. The article states that "local politicians should halt their angry demagoguery on the issue of immigration. There is abundant evidence that Suffolk County officials have contributed substantially to an atmosphere conducive to racial violence ("Climate of Fear" 5)." The immigrant's worst enemy is their politician's big mouth.
In "Close to Slavery," the report basically exposes guest worker programs as shams and exploitive of immigrant labor. What President George W. Bush had never said was that the U.S. already had a guest worker type program. About the current H-2 program, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said that "This guest worker program's the closest thing I've ever seen to slavery ("Close to Slavery" 2)." Under the program, the workers have no write to appeal their status and when they run out on their visa, they are sent back to their countries of origin. Due to the abuses of the program, SLPC does not advocate expanding the program.
In the "Nativist Lobby," the SLPC traces the renewed energy that nativist groups are getting out of the immigration reform movement. "The sad fact is that efforts to reform our immigration system are being sabotaged by organizations fueled by hate.'" This was claimed by Henry Fernandez at the Center for American Progress. " Many anti-immigrant leaders have backgrounds that should disqualify them from even participating in mainstream debate, yet the American press quotes them without ever noting their bizarre and often racist beliefs ("Nativist Lobby 9).'"
The abuse of Latinos is not surprisingly becoming the most intense in the South. Immigrant workers there are regular victims of discrimination…