SANTA BARBARA— Thousands of illegal immigrants and their supporters are expected to take to the streets again in cities across the country, marking the one-year anniversary of the drive to grant amnesty to as many as 25 million people who have violated our border and our laws.
The demonstrations that will stretch from Los Angeles to Chicago to New York will feverishly obsess about the plight of “people living in the shadows.”
But something else will be happening all across America today that will go unreported by those in the high-tech, six-figure salaried newsrooms and go unnoticed altogether in the rarified air of the marbled corridors inside Washington’s beltway.
As illegal immigrants pour into the streets demanding their “rights,” millions of America’s unemployed workers will continue to struggle through their daily lives, looking for work, and not finding it and looking to their government for relief which they will not get.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March of this year, nearly 7 million Americans were unemployed. Almost 1.5 million of those jobless workers were black. On the low end of the wage scale in this nation, competition for jobs, opportunities and a decent wage has always been fierce.
But now, Americans of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are watching as millions of impoverished immigrants pour into the nation and into their communities every year. The impact of this law breaking on working class Americans is immediate and overwhelming.
In Southern California, schools in many working class neighborhoods are jammed with three times as many students as they were meant to educate. Affordable housing is increasingly scarce and the network of social services designed to protect American citizens have been swamped with foreign nationals who, quite simply, walked into the country or came in with visitors visas and then refused to go home.
Black Americans have suffered twice the blow from this wave of illegal entry. Long struggling for a fair playing field, the political and economic gains that blacks built up over decades has been wiped out virtually overnight, as their communities, schools and businesses have been overwhelmed by the influx of illegal immigrants.
Working Americans of all ethnic backgrounds have watched the wages for skilled-labor go down, while a multitude of jobs have been packed up and shipped to foreign shores where greater profits can be milked from even cheaper labor.
As the skilled-wage manufacturing jobs have been exported, the low-wage unskilled labor market, which have become the jobs of last resort for Americans before they bottom out into abject poverty, has now been flooded with illegal immigrants with whom they have to compete—not only to get a job, but to keep one. Thus the seemingly endless pool of illegal immigrant labor ensures that Americans seeking better wages and better conditions at work can be replaced quickly at day labor sites all over the country.
It is happening everyday; but not in newsrooms and not in Washington, where the new adage might as well be “If an American worker is replaced by an illegal immigrant, and no one was there to hear it, was the worker really replaced?”
Various members of Congress, we can be sure, will use today’s marches and protests by illegal immigrants to voice their support for the most massive amnesty ever suggested in the history of any nation. They will draw no distinction between the flow of immigrants through Ellis Island at the dawn of the twentieth century and the millions of Mexican nationals pouring in through the southern border every year.
It’s a dark irony indeed that May first, the traditional day to celebrate and honor the American worker, is now synonymous with an epic betrayal that has left American workers signaling ‘Mayday! Mayday!’
We hope someone in government and in the newsrooms is listening.