As the TV cameras and Reporters Leave

I got some sad news to share this morning. This last Friday these brave workers were let go by the Mission Valley Hilton. It is not surprising, or shocking. It is what it is.

We all rely on this underground economy, and indeed it has helped to keep salaries down in the United States. This is why we sorely need immigration reform and to bring these workers out of the shadows. They have asked for dignity at work. They have dared to organize and demand better pay.

It is time to stop the charade. It is time to stop this second class of worker that is abused and taken advantage off. It matters little if this happens in the fields where they pick our lettuce and apples and other agricultural goods, or hotels where they make beds, clean bathrooms and otherwise serve the rest of us. It matters little if this is at restaurants where they prepare food, serve it and wash plates.

These people, not just Spanish speakers, but Chinese, South Koreans, Irish, Serbian and Russian, are not going anywhere. They are here to stay.

I speak as a legal immigrant. I did this the “right way” and I had no choice on this, my parents applied for legal residency in 1973, after President Luis Echeverria was sworn into office in Mexico, leading a dirty war of which little is known outside Mexico. We got those precious Green Cards in 1984, I became a Citizen in 1998. I did this legally, and I have no problem in opening the door to these eleven million people who are already contributing to this country.

Read this again, they are already contributing to the country.

Qui bono? Who benefits?

Companies such as Evolution who rely on cheap labor, and they have no problem with this cheap labor until, that is, this cheap labor dares to demand better pay and humane treatment. They rely on these workers to maximize profits, and in effect it is a form of cheap labor that depresses salaries across the board. This is why we need this immigration reform, one of many reasons.

But they broke the law!!!!

Yes, and…they also are trying to raise families and live with pay that none of us would dare to consider. That is the rank truth. And we have had experiments in this. Georgia, for example, passed laws forbidding the use of workers such as these, only to see the crop rot in the trees.

Let’s call it by it’s proper name. Since these workers are afraid, as well as other who are here legally, this has become a form of indentured servitude.

In reality we cannot deport one million people, let alone eleven. That is the truth. So we’d better figure out this and fast, how to bring them into the light. This, hopefully, will slow down the abuses in the shadow economy, since it should bring that shadow economy to a screeching halt.

And with that, let me leave you with this thought, the time is now, the dream needs them. They are the future, not the past.



Categories: labor, poverty

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