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Travel Ban Wakes Ghosts of Christmas Past

It’s no surprise Trump’s third travel
ban attempt was upheld.  Americans know
three’s a charm.  It’s not who’s coming
to America that we must worry over, it’s protecting those already here.  Sanctuary cities are faced with a new onslaught-immigration
raids. The rise of America was and is dependent on immigrants. The ghosts of Christmas past can teach us a
new lesson in immigration civility.

American Ghosts

Over
100 years ago Teddy Roosevelt, the newly established Labor Movement and
thousands of immigrants were fighting for Labor Rights.  The Hay Market Riots were still cutting fresh
wounds as the Union Stock Yards dug a new niche in the food industry. Upton
Sinclair’s, The Jungle, hit the
shelves and influenced Congress to create safety guidelines for workers.  At the time, workers in Chicago and in cities
across the nation were immigrants from Eastern Europe, Italy and Ireland.  Before Chicago’s Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods
became ethnic Latino enclaves, they were Slavic territories with Pilsen named
after a city in Croatia.  The point
being, these “ForeLaborers” were immigrants and created the greatest safety
nets for all workers by carrying the banner and burden to expand the melting
pot. From the Red Scare to the invention of the iPhone, immigrants are the
backbone of this country’s Labor Movement.
Cities across America are majority Latino and immigrant.  These people pay taxes that fund our schools,
patronize our businesses and become our extended family.

Deporting More Than Workers

Mass deportation of our labor
industry is a top priority for the Washington administration.  Yes, it’s a well-known fact that America’s
labor industry, manufacturing, is engineered by immigrants, especially in low
paying jobs. Recently, a Chicago bakery
lost 800 employees
in an immigration raid.
That raid will cost the company approximately $21 million dollars during
their most profitable time.  It’s an
American company, paying American taxes.
If the company shutters due to high legal and production costs, there’s
one more American company that will off-shore.   This is
a typical scenario for US companies employing immigrants.

Taxpayers Pay, Pay, Pay

It’s not just a company that pays
for deportation.  The average cost to
deport one person from investigation to apprehension to detention and finally the
actual deportation is over $11,000
per person
.  The Trump
administration
is requesting $2.7 billion to increase border patrols and
expand immigration.  If these laborers
leave, who will take the jobs?  Are
Americans willing to work for minimum wage?
Pew
research
found the nations minimum wage workers are 77% percent Caucasian,
nearly half are women and it disproportionately embodies teens and early
twentysomethings.  If it’s teens and
twentysomethings how do they work at factories during educational hours?  Are grown people going to work these jobs
that would normally go to immigrants when poor Americans don’t apply?  There are many more questions when defining
American workers than just throwing some back across borders.  The bakery mentioned earlier is discussing
wage increases.  Even if it were to
increase wages, how do young workers create shifts to attend school and
work?  How much does retraining cost per
new teen applicant?  Immigration is more
than “citizenship” and “ethnicity”, it’s about an economy that has always been
oiled by the arduous work of immigrants.

Travel bans won’t create new jobs that
were depleted from off shoring.  Those
companies and buildings are long gone and in disrepair.  The jobs Trump campaigned on saving have
already begun mass moves to other nations.
What do we do with the few jobs left?
The Trump administration should focus on increasing wages and benefits,
re-mobilizing abandoned warehouses and manufacturing plants and training
millions of American workers.  If he
really wants to stop foreign workers, he needs to focus on his American workers
first. Besides, sending workers back to
war torn countries depletes us of our moral standards America insisted upon in
several United Nations documents.  Unfortunately, our government sings a new
Christmas song, tis the season to be folly, la la la la la.  Quit worrying about them and take care of
us.

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