Myth Busting: Jobs Americans Won't Do

Published on August 26th, 2013

For many years, advocates for immigration anarchy, a/k/a “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” have pushed a fallacious statement about “jobs Americans won't do” to convince Americans that illegal aliens are not taking American jobs because they do the work Americans won't do.

The reality is that each and every day American workers of every race, religion and ethnicity trudge off to jobs that are filthy, arduous and, in fact, dangerous. Americans work as coal miners, construction workers, firefighters and garbage collectors. They work in steel foundries and shipyards, and they serve our nation and their communities as law enforcement officers. And well more than 2 million serve as active or reserve personnel in the five branches of the U.S. military.

On August 18, 2013, CBS News in NYC reported that hundreds of hopeful carpenter apprentices had camped – some for more than a week – outside the offices of the carpenters' union hoping that they might become apprentices. This was no “reality show,” but reality!

My dad was a construction worker – a plumber – and I grew up on construction sites. My role models were my dad and his buddies in the construction trades, for whom no job was too tough or challenging. They worked in the bitter cold of winter and the sweltering heat of summer and suffered more injuries than law enforcement officers. My dad will always be my biggest hero!

Their determination, talent and grit not only enabled them to support their families but helped build America. Today's American workers are no different, if given the opportunities.

The only thing exceptional about foreign workers is that they are willing to work for exceptionally low wages. Day laborers often do jobs that should be done by skilled tradesmen, but their employers know that they can slash labor costs by hiring illegal alien workers who lack the skills but are easy to exploit.

The quality of the work that these workers deliver does not compare with the work of tradesmen, but the unscrupulous employers who hire them don't care about quality of work, only what their profit margin will be.

These employers will whine about how they cannot find hardworking Americans, leaving them with no choice but to hire illegal aliens, they say. Of course what they leave out of the conversation is that they want to pay their workers minimal salaries “off the books” and know that not only will illegal aliens acquiesce and accept substandard wages, but that these workers will also ignore safety violations and labor laws enacted to protect American workers.

Homer Hickam, author of the book, “Rocket Boys,” that became the basis for the excellent film, “October Sky,” was the son of a coal miner in Coalwood, West Virginia. The book and film were autobiographical and told the story of Hickam's childhood in the 1950s when the launch of Sputnik motivated him to become involved with rocketry.

Hickam went on to become a NASA engineer. Because of his background and eloquence as a writer, he was called upon to address the memorial service for the miners who perished at the Sago Mine disaster in 2006. In the eulogy, he said, “There is no water holier than the sweat off a man’s brow!”

Contrast Hickam's reverence for hardworking Americans that his eloquent statement reflected with the contempt of those who derisively claim that Americans apparently won’t do hard work.

Nearly every candidate for political office promises to create jobs. The time has come for the government to liberate millions of jobs by enforcing America's immigration laws to get Americans and America working.

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