Monday, November 03, 2008

A little pre-election propaganda

Today's Arizona Republic has a thinly disguised editorial piece by "immigration reporter" Daniel Gonzalez in their Arizona Living lifestyle section. Gonzalez interviewed an anonymous illegal immigrant whose husband, also here illegally, was fired from his job last year due to Arizona's new law, enacted last January, that punishes businesses that hire illegals by yanking their business licenses.

In the introduction, the (unnamed) editor of the article states that no Arizona business to date has lost their license over illegal hiring, and opines that "the law has only inflicted pain on workers". Well, that's as it should be, since the law was designed specifically to discourage the hiring of illegal workers. Companies that clean up their act, discharge workers with false or no documents and refuse to hire similar others are complying with the law, and shouldn't face sanctions.

In the course of the interview with the woman, Gonzalez inadvertently uncovers some of the major reasons for enacting the law in the first place. To wit:

"But one day they told him the new employer-sanctions law was going to take effect in January, and they were going to check the Social Security numbers of all the workers to make sure they were good. They came back later and told him there was a problem with his number and that he would need to fix it, and if he couldn't fix it, he couldn't work."

The woman (We don't know her name because it isn't provided, a strong indicator that she knows she is breaking the law) has admitted that her husband was using a fake Social Security number, which is a Federal crime, and is somehow surprised when his employer declines to take the fall for his lawbreaking? They told him that he could continue working if he cleared up his document situation, and he couldn't. Why is that the business's fault?

"Why didn't they give him more time so that he could get another job before January, before the new law started?"

I can answer that for them. Her husband didn't receive more time because no amount of temporal leeway was going to fix the problem, which was that he didn't have valid papers and no hope of getting them in the foreseeable future. Why would a sane company not discharge anyone in that position as soon as possible, in order to avoid the coming legal jeopardy?

The couple also have two "anchor babies", which they shamelessly use to generate enough cash to avoid having to move back home:

"For the children, we receive food stamps. We can get food stamps for them, because they are U.S. citizens. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be able to afford food."

They openly admit that they use the presence of their children to fund their continued illegal stay in this country. Of course, there's also the obligatory health issue for one of the children that only remaining here will fix, at taxpayer expense, of course:

"The older has a medical problem: He was born with his left ear completely closed. He can't hear at all on that side. He needs to have an operation, but he's still too small. The doctor said we have to wait until he's about 7 years old. That's one of the reasons we don't want to return to Mexico. . . . He needs reconstructive and plastic surgery. We wouldn't be able to afford it. Here, he's on AHCCCS. They are going to cover it."

Translation: We, who pay no taxes, are going to force those who do to fund medical care for our kid. When you think about it, it's actually quite noble that we fight to stay here.

Of course, I would never wish harm or ill will on an innocent child. That doesn't mean, however, that I wish to pay to correct the health challenges of every kid in the world, especially those who shouldn't be in this country in the first place due to the illegal actions of their parents.

The worst part, to me, is the portion of the article where she explains why she came here in the first place. To escape poverty or political oppression, or to improve her life in some fashion? Nope, her decision to immigrate illegally was basically on a lark:

"In Mexico City, I had two careers. I designed clothing for young women, and before that, I was a veterinarian assistant. I even studied to be a veterinarian. I went to veterinarian school for six years. I was only missing my thesis.

I came to the United States in January 2004. I left Mexico for personal reasons involving a man. I was going to marry him but found out he was with another woman. I needed to get away for a while."

Sounds like a great reason for us to let you stay here and forgive your lawbreaking - because your boyfriend was cheating on you. You're right, ma'am, that should absolutely top the list of qualifiers for immigration approval, way ahead of torture victims and refugees.

The piece ends with a plea for Presidential change, as a national amnesty would allow the couple to do an end run around the Arizona law:

"Maybe the laws will change and give us an opportunity. Maybe it will happen with the change in the presidency. If, at least, we could get a work permit."

How convenient that this article appears the day before a Presidential election in which immigration is such a hot topic. The Republic editors should be ashamed of themselves for green-lighting such a one-sided advocacy paper to appear in their supposed "lifestyle" section.

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