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My view: The immigration debate's hoax

By Chris Herrod

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, March 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

The great hoax of the illegal immigration debate is that "advocates" care equally about all immigrants or equally about the American worker.

Nick Ut, Associated Press

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The media recently ignored what should have been front page news — Utah Senate testimony about the harm Utah's Guest Worker Bill has caused especially to illegal aliens who were taken advantage of because of false hope. No apologies to the victims were offered by legislative leaders or by community leaders who pushed the bill despite being warned this would happen.

Legal immigrants from over two dozen countries have expressed their frustrations to me about the bias in the media which consistently ignores their voices — it is not their pictures or their struggles that are strung across the front pages of our newspapers.

The great hoax of the illegal immigration debate is that "advocates" care equally about all immigrants or equally about the American worker. Groups like the Salt Lake City Council and the Utah Compact pass resolutions "valuing" immigrants but what's really meant is that they value illegal aliens not legal immigrants. If so, they would reimburse legal immigrants the costs associated with legal immigration and recognize the harm caused to those trying to honestly bring their families. Utah leaders continue to offend legal immigrants by encouraging illegal immigration and by lumping illegal aliens and legal immigrants into the same category.

In the name of compassion, state and community crush the middle class and the working poor. A hundred years ago, 98 percent of jobs were considered "unskilled" and so when immigration became too great, everyone felt the pressure equally. Today, only 24 percent of jobs are considered unskilled. Since the typical illegal alien has an eighth grade education, the working and even middle-class primarily feel the downward wage pressure.

While trying to appear less elite, some Republicans now support amnesty and even removing the plank against illegal immigration, but this will only further hurt the working class. In reality, the elite of both political parties care little about the middle and working classes — Democrats simply do a better job of covering it up. Mitt Romney did not lose because of his "harsh" stance on illegal immigration. Polls showed that 69 percent of Hispanics supported Obamacare. Hispanics voters simply voted in line with their political values.

For those of us who have seen socialism up close, it frightens us to see what is happening and how so few see how their actions and illegal immigration contribute to it. Political correctness keeps us from even discussing the resulting problems. The out-of-wedlock birth rate for Hispanics is 45 percent — the highest of any ethnic/racial group in Utah — three and a half times that of Asian/Pacific islanders and Caucasians.

This is different than Hispanics of the past and is unsustainable since a child born out-of-wedlock is seven times more likely to be on government assistance. In 2010, more than half of the Hispanic births in Utah were to illegal aliens and the Utah taxpayer statistically paid for every illegal alien birth in Utah. A former teacher of my children who is Hispanic and from California states calls Utahns "na?e" about what is coming and about the problems caused in schools by illegal aliens.

Incredulously, groups like the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce who undermined any enforcement now clamor for more money for education saying that our schools are in disrepair, yet many warned this would happen. I worry for our melting pot when Mexico has six times the next nearest country for immigrants (by far the highest discrepancy in U.S. history), especially when La Raza gave its highest award to Jose Gutierrez who stated: "We have to eliminate the gringo, and what I mean by that is if the worst comes to worst, we have to kill him." He later added, "We are the future of America. Unlike any prior generation, we now have critical mass. We're going to Latinize this country."

Yet for some reason, the media considers La Raza mainstream and those opposed to illegal immigration as radical. "Latinizing" America does not equate to "immigratizing" America — other ethnic groups had better wake up to this reality. I will never understand why Utah seems so willing to discriminate against honest immigrants waiting in line or cause harm to my friends' children around the world. But I guess I am supposed to take some solace and relax because "It can't happen here."

Chris Herrod is a former representative of Utah House District 62.

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