Sunday, February 19


Even as recently as this past week, President Bush was out on the political stump making the case for a Guest Worker Program in order that there be sufficient workers available to do the jobs that, according to him, Americans refuse to do. That's been his careworn refrain throughout his porous-borders' presidency and that's the hand-picked canard he's sticking with no matter how disingenuous.

Do take the time here (PLEASE) to read all of the president's words on immigration and border security and Guest Workers to get the flavor of the man who bends to the will of Mexico's Vicente Fox:

Let me answer immigration first, and then talk about the unfunded liabilities inherent in Medicare and Social Security as a result of baby boomers like me and you retiring with not enough people to pay it, to pay the bill.

First, immigration. There are a lot of people working here in America doing jobs Americans will not do. And that is a fact. And it's a -- as I told you, we deal with the way the world -- the way it is, not the way we hope that it is, and therefore, how to deal with that issue, what do you do? You got people working here, doing jobs Americans won't do.

My attitude is, you recognize it for what it is, and you say, you can do this on a temporary basis. You say, if there's a willing employer and a willing worker on a job an American won't do, then it's okay to fill that job, so long as you're not here permanently, so long as this is not -- (applause.) And so I believe there ought to be a temporary worker program. We've tried this in America before -- pretty successful, at least in my own home state of Texas. You got people -- Red Putnam over there, he's got people -- probably have been bringing people in to pick oranges, I don't know. Agriculture relies upon a lot of people willing to do the work that others won't do. And it seems like to me that there ought to be a legal way to make this happen without creating a sense of amnesty or permanency.

And so, one, I have to deal with immigration rationally. Now, we've got an obligation to enforce our borders and our coastlines, and we're spending a lot of money to do so. The Texas border is long and it's hard to enforce. I mean, it's a lot of miles, a lot of empty country. And so we're using new technologies -- drones, infrared, some mounds, some fencing in cities, to try to make it harder for people to cross. But the truth of the matter is, a lot of our Border Patrol agents are chasing people who are coming here to work, see. And it seems like to me that if we could have a rational system that would enable people to do this on a temporary basis, it would take the pressures off the borders. People would be able to come in here in a rational, legal way.

Now, as I told you, I'm not for amnesty. You got about 8 million-plus people here illegally. My worry is if the -- all of a sudden legal citizens, then another 8 million comes. And I don't think that makes any sense. So in terms of immigration, I'm for border enforcement, and strong border enforcement, with a rational guest worker program that's temporary in nature, where it's understood that you're working here for a period of time, then you're going back on home.

Now, I want to talk to you about what's happened as a result of the current program. When you make something illegal, and there's a -- you know, people coming here to work, people figure out ways around it. I'm not old enough to remember the old whisky days of Prohibition, but I remember reading about it -- people still made whisky, because people wanted to drink it.

And so guess what's happening today. We've got people getting stuffed in the back of 18-wheelers, driving across hot desert to find jobs that most often or not Americans won't do. There's a whole smuggling industry as a result of making temporary work -- not making it legal. A whole smuggling industry -- coyotes they're called -- and it's inhumane, it just is, any way you look at it.

You know, family values don't stop at the Rio Grande River. If you've got starving children and there's a job over here in America that pays you more than it does in Mexico that an American won't do, you come and do that job and get that money back to your family.

Secondly, one way to make immigration policy work is you've got to enforce the law. And so you've got to go to employers. I'm not going to come to your home building site -- but anyway. (Laughter.) You come to enforce the law, right? And so you're a home builder out here in the Tampa area; a bunch of people show up, roofers show up, and say, you know, we're legal, here's my card. You're not in the business of telling me whether or not that's a forged document, or not. You don't know. It looks real. And that's all you're expected -- but I'm telling you, they're forging these documents. There's a whole underground industry. They're smuggling people and they're forging documents. And our borders are being over -- it makes it much harder to enforce. And so I think by having a rational plan, temporary worker, no amnesty, will expose these people runners and drug -- document forgers for what they are. So that's my answer on immigration.

So the President of the United States wants us to recognize the situation for what it is -- namely, that Americans' patent refusal to do certain types of work that Mexicans are more than willing to perform is the bona fide engine of illegal immigration, not American industry's desire for cheap, taxpayer-subsidized, slave labor, or the federal government's manifest failure to secure our borders and enforce current immigration laws.

How convenient. And that's it in a nutshell. George W. Bush has decreed that the laziness of American workers is the genesis of 11 - 20 million illegal aliens being in this country. And in rationalizing his failure he insists only belatedly on a "rational, legal way" for foreigners to emigrate here on a "tempoary basis" to do the work that would otherwise not get done if left exclusively to American citizens to do.

I've written about this canard before -- this propaganda that fruits and vegetables must be harvested, as if cut-rate paying jobs in farm fields and orchards are the only jobs that illegals ever end up doing in this country. No matter that illegal aliens have turned up working in power plants, petrochemical plants and refineries, military bases, airports and nuclear facilities, and even a chemical and biological weapons testing center for the Department of Defense! No, this sort of information isn't well-known and well-circulated.

But isn't it interesting that in the same space of days that the president is out on the hustings promoting his Guest Worker Program, the Houston Chronicle is running the following story of how, in the wake of the coal mining disasters that have gripped Appalachia, the president of Sidney Coal Company, Charlie Bearse, is decrying the falling productivity of American coal miners and looking to replace them with Mexicans.

U.S. companies are constantly complaining they need migrant workers to do the low-paying, menial tasks Americans just won't do. But at $18 an hour and up, plus benefits, these are some of Appalachia's best jobs.

Here in Hatfield-McCoy country — where Hispanics make up less than 1 percent of most counties' populations — Bearse's comments were fighting words.

"They bring Mexicans in here, they'll get 'em killed," disabled miner Homer Black said over the rumble at the company's coal preparation plant. Added 23-year-old Shannon Gibson, who recently took the state test for the green card that would allow him to work underground: "They're just looking for more workers who'll work cheaper and work longer."

And, as the story continues, there's the ruse that not only are Americans unproductive, but there are insufficient numbers of them to get the coal mined:

Miller, one of the mining board's seven members, said 1,400 laid-off union miners in western Kentucky alone could go to work today. He echoed the sentiments of many who believe the industry is simply hoping to exploit Hispanics and drive down wages.

"They want people who don't have the ability to protect themselves," Miller said.

"If they can flood the market with Hispanic workers, if they can get away with paying a guy $8 and hour, the next guy will be willing to work for $7."

Remember this, folks: the same president who committed to rebuilding the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast is steadfastly assuring through his administration's purposeful neglect in enforcing immigration law and in securing our borders that most of those taxpayer-funded federal dollars will go into the pockets of illegal immigrants and eventually be routed back to Mexico in the form of untaxed remittances! Their discretionary income is indeed the money you dole out to Washington each year in personal income taxes.

So don't abide this notion that illegal immigration is about filling jobs Americans refuse to do. Americans are losing good paying jobs to undocumented Mexican immigrants and that's the plain and simple truth of it despite what you hear out of Washington and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Just ask the coal miners in Kentucky and West Virginia about it in a few years' time.

FOLLOW-UP (02/20/06): John Hawkins of Right Wing News enumerates the issues involving a Guest Worker Program and in the context of this development in the coal mining industry in Appalachia; and, Brenda Walker at the speaks to the "exploitation strategy," as I did. I can tell you this, as I've done business in that part of the country: Kentucky and West Virginia coal miners are not going to roll over and play dead if the mining companies choose to exploit illegal aliens, as other industries have. There are places in Appalachia where sheriffs are reluctant to serve warrants.