Working-class voices absent in discussion on immigration reform

Letter date: 
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Letter publisher:
Letter author: 
Alex W. Sundberg
Letter body: 

It’s back: comprehensive immigration reform.We know what that means. It’s political-speak for amnesty and eventual citizenship for people in our country illegally.

Both parties are clamoring for Latinos’ favor. Corporatist Republicans love cheap illegal labor and its downward pressure on citizen wages. Elitist Democrats lust after millions of potential votes. Activists and the media have cleverly and successfully rebranded these uninvited guests as victims.

So the conversation begins. Rhetoric at the ready, conclusions foregone, epithets locked and loaded.

Absent are the voices of working-class citizens who suffer the negative effects of illegal immigration. If they speak up, they are branded racist. Absent also are the voices of those who wait patiently for years to enter our country legally.

A study by George Borjas, Harvard economist, shows that cheap immigrant labor has reduced the wages of American workers performing low-skilled jobs. These citizens pay dearly.

Who speaks for them?

Alex W. Sundberg