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It’s True: Immigration is costing Amerians their jobs.

April 17, 2008

It’s just not costing them jobs in the way most think it is. In my last post, I linked the tanking economy to the war in Iraq. No doubt spending trillions to tear down a country is making it a tad hard for the U.S. to meet the needs of its citizens at home. But it seems there is another culprit– immigration.

Unless you’re paying attention, you probably don’t know that for the past year the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been exacting its revenge upon immigrant communities across the country. Raid after raid, measure by measure. Immigrant communities are in crisis. Folks are returning to their country of origin, telling their families not to come — life is hard in the U.S. and getting harder.

What does this mean for the U.S. economy? Well, as predicted last year by the Secretary of Homeland Security himself, cracking down on immigration without providing people with legal pathways to work is BAD for the economy. When he announced the crackdown last August, Chertoff noted that stricter work-site enforcement, more border agents and harsher penalties for employers could wreck havoc in immigrant-dependent industries like agriculture, hospitality and healthcare (minor industries indeed). He acknowledged to the LA Times, “There will be some unhappy consequences for the economy out of doing this.” But by the twisted logic of the Bush administration, shooting down the economy would bring about comprehensive immigration reform. According to oh-so-genius Chertoff, it wouldn’t take long before corporate conglomerates would be banging on Congress’ door for relief and voila, comprehensive reform would appear.

But what has the real result been? In Chicago, Polish native Andrezj “Peter” Derezinski is being deported back to Poland after 18 years in the U.S. Nevermind that the 41-year-old father of three (U.S. citizens) owns two homes, some commercial property and a thriving heating and cooling business here. And the raids continue. So if you’re wondering why the price of groceries has gone up, you might look to the food rotting in the fields because there aren’t enough laborers for harvest. If you’re wondering why unemployment is jumping higher and higher, you might look at the boarded up shops in Latino neighborhoods and the absurd deportation of successful, hard-working folks.

Or you can blame it on Iraq, either way, it’s time for change.

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