Many Americans might think immigrants are “taking away our jobs.” This mantra unfortunately falls in line with the broad-stroke myth and prejudicial generalizations that these “illegals” are mostly thieves, drug dealers, murderers and rapists. Some Americans, including our president, want to build walls to keep them out.
Let’s not let the lynch mob headlines corrupt our thinking. These new immigrants for the most part not only represent new blood infused into a dying America, they represent new voters with fresh eyes and ideas.
There is a widespread immigration problem in this country, and many countries, but still, we can’t help feeling for them. The jobs these immigrants perform, however, are necessary — even critical — to our economy and lifestyle. There are immigration laws regarding visas, “green card” work permits and dependents, and the issue with the “Dreamers” has its own legal and emotional complexities, but while the bureaucrats, administrators and law enforcement count heads, heads of lettuce may be rotting in the ground not making it to our grocery stores.
It’s easy to get lost and become flummoxed by the crime ratio statistics regarding convictions of immigrants to U.S. citizens, and even easier to adjust the statistics to the preferential leanings of a favorite political news source, but the fact remains that the jobs these immigrants are “taking away” from us are jobs not many of us would want to, or even could do.
I’m not sure just how the new White House regulations are affecting the balance of employment regarding these jobs that are done mostly by immigrants, but here’s a typical want ad appearing in more U.S. newspapers these days:
Help Wanted: Full-time, seasonal, temporary produce workers needed. Requirements: a minimum of three (3) months experience in harvesting, planting and pruning. Workers must be able to perform manual as well as mechanized activities with accuracy and efficiency. Workers should be able to work on their feet in bent positions for long periods of time, work requires repetitive movements and extensive walking, temperatures can range from 10 degrees F to 100 degrees. Must be able to lift and carry up to 70 lbs. Will work 40 hrs/wk, Mon.-Fri., wage is $10.38/hr.
So, all the complainers out there assuming immigrants are taking our jobs, get your resumes in now, or be grateful for your good fortune to have these hardworking, appreciative folks do hard work.26 comments on this story
When Emma Lazarus wrote, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”, my grandfather probably had no idea that was written on a plate at the foot of the Statue of Liberty as he entered New York harbor that frozen January morning in 1918. But he knew what he had to do, and this was the place to do it. He felt welcome here, and he appreciated it. America had his back. And he worked his back, in a coal mine in Brier Hill, Pa., digging out coal, but he was an immigrant just like many other American grandparents, just like these new immigrants.
We would do well to imagine ourselves in our grandparents’ situation, and the situation and mindset of our new immigrants today. We should consider all this, and pass it forward when trying to wrap our intellect around the “immigration problem” and remember who we are and act accordingly.
It’s a matter of conscience.