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Does USA Today support illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs?

USA Today offers a very strange column from Raul A. Reyes entitled Katrina's next expose: Immigration woes (link). Reyes is "an attorney in New York and a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors", and his article reads like a hasty, amalgamated summary of recent pro-illegal immigration essays from other professional Hispanics. It's almost like they're all reading from the same script. (And, needless to say, the titular expose is not that illegal aliens are taking jobs that should go to those Americans who were affected by the storm.)

Reyes' editorial starts with this:
I predictably didn't see many Latinos amid the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina. After all, New Orleans has never had a large Hispanic population. Not only might this soon change, Katrina's aftermath might also become an immigration issue.
How very similar to something Linda Chavez recently said in her racial-cheerleading column.

Then, Reyes provides some backstory on Bush's backstabbing of American workers:
To stimulate relief efforts, President Bush suspended portions of the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that construction workers on federal projects be paid the prevailing local wage. Then the Department of Homeland Security said it would not penalize employers who hired illegal workers. While the idea behind these actions is to lower costs, cut red tape and accelerate rebuilding, the reality is that contractors will have free rein to hire undocumented workers.
Upon reading the last sentence, I (foolishly) briefly thought he might end up supporting rebuilding jobs going to our own citizens. As we shall see, I was quite gullible to consider that even for a millisecond. And, compare his backstory with that in the S.F. Chronicle's "As locals struggle, migrants find work in New Orleans" (link):
Recognizing the demand for migrant labor, and to help speed reconstruction in the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended rules mandating employers to prove that workers they hire are citizens or have a legal right to work in the United States. In addition, President Bush suspended application in the Katrina-affected region of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, under which employers must pay prevailing wage rates on federally financed construction projects -- in order, Bush said, to "permit the employment of thousands of additional individuals."
Returning to USA Today:
The construction industry already relies on Latino immigrant labor...
In fact, President Fox pointed this out a few weeks ago:
"If there is anything Mexicans are good at, it is construction."
Switching from President Fox back to the USA Today editorialist:
The USA has always relied on immigrant workers. Irish laborers built the Erie Canal. Chinese ones laid the transcontinental railway.
How odd! That's just about the same thing the Los Angeles Times' Gregory Rodriquez said in his essay "La Nueva Orleans". Imagine - two pundits using the Chinese Coolie system as a paradigm within days of each other. Seriously now: what are the chances of that?

But, it doesn't stop there. Reyes ends with the same call for "reform" as the LAT contributing editor did in his version:
...it is time for Congress and the president to move toward meaningful reform.

Otherwise, just as Katrina exposed a black-white economic divide, the reconstruction effort might ultimately highlight another disaster: our broken immigration system.
Isn't it odd how all these people come to the same conclusions and even use the same examples? Why, it's almost like there's some racial mothership feeding them lines.

Perhaps America's Newspaper might want to raise their standards a bit and only print people who are able to put their country before their race. Please contact them through this form and suggest a change.
Other tags: raul reyes

Mon, 10/17/2005 - 00:48 · Importance: 4

Wed, 10/19/2005 - 02:27
D Flinchum

"Nobody wants me to say this because it's not politically correct, but they are calling them `Texans.' What they are really using is a lot of illegal labor," Warren said.

Something similar happened a while back when a chemical plant was being built here in SW VA. The contractor, who was from Texas, brought in a group of "Texans" to work with some local construction workers.

It became obvious to a couple of the experienced local guys that the "Texans" were not exactly adhering to good building standards. When they brought this to the attention of the head honcho in charge, they were fired and replaced with - more "Texans"! They had brought this to the boss's attention not to get the "Texans" fired, just to get the plant built correctly. They were willing to show the "Texans" how to do the work correctly.

Don't be surprised if the newly rebuilt New Orleans is suddenly discovered to have all sorts of problems within a few years of its completion.

Mon, 10/17/2005 - 19:21
perroazul del norte

From the Duluth News-Tribune:
http://tinyurl.com/cfc9h
(...)
In one public case last week, 75 union electricians held a news conference to show off their termination letters from a job site at the Louisiana National Guard's Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse, south of downtown New Orleans. They said a contractor had sent 120 immigrant workers from Houston to replace them. A spokesman for the Louisiana National Guard, Neal Martin, said he hadn't heard of any such incident.

Gary Warren, the political director for the Louisiana Regional Carpenters Council, said his group had begun receiving regular complaints from union members who'd been laid off by contractors and replaced with immigrant workers.

"Nobody wants me to say this because it's not politically correct, but they are calling them `Texans.' What they are really using is a lot of illegal labor," Warren said. "It's an issue of people who lost everything being laid off in favor of people from out of state."
Is the Louisiana NG spokeshole implying that the electricians fabricated the termination letters? Seems rather unlikely.

Mon, 10/17/2005 - 18:58
perroazul del norte

From the SF Chronicle article:
"New Orleans -- Two weeks ago, Geremias Lopez was picking grapes near Bakersfield, but when he saw an advertisement on Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language television network, for work on the Gulf Coast, he and a friend called the 1-800 number flashing on the screen and were soon aboard a Greyhound bus headed east."
Have these ads appeared on English-language television? Anyone know? I live outside the US.

Mon, 10/17/2005 - 11:03
D Flinchum

It's obvious that what's going on is big businesses using illegal aliens to make big bucks while depressing wages for US workers. The employment rate for young men, especially young black men, is the lowest that it has been in decades. What is happening, of course, is that young limited skilled US workers are not getting those all important first-rung-of-the-ladder jobs that will enable them to support families and progress up the ladder because it is cheaper to hire illegal immigrants. We are importing workers from abroad to take these jobs. It's the new slavery.

Mon, 10/17/2005 - 03:14
Ralph
ralphanswers.blogspot.com

They certainly seem to come to the same conclusions. It's good to see so many intelligent people out there.