Filed Under:  OpEd, Opinion

The lies about ‘illegal immigration’

23rd June 2014   ·   0 Comments

By A. Peter Bailey Columnist

In a recent conversation with a colleague, she expressed great indignation about “illegal immigration” and how all those Latinos smuggling themselves into the United States “are taking jobs away from Black folks.” She thus joined many other people in this country who refuse to recognize one basic fact: There is absolutely no way that millions of people can be smuggled into this country. If that many people are entering this country “illegally” someone is letting them in.

That is a fact known to every reporter and correspondent from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, MSNBC and to every politician ranting about “illegal aliens.” Yet, not a single one of them will focus on and report on the role that significant sections of American industry play in this ongoing drama, most notably, agriculture, construction and “fast foods”.

Those industries benefit greatly from exploiting the cheap labor provided by the so-called “illegal” immigrants. They have a captive labor force that can’t complain about wages or working conditions because of the threat of deportation. If an industry can’t have free labor, the next best thing is a captive one that can’t give it any trouble at any time.

What those industries also have are journalists and politicians who almost unanimously ignore their pivotal role in the immigration debate. Instead, they go on and on about how terrible it is that the United States can’t close its borders. The most strident opponents of this situation never even mention the beneficiaries of cheap, hapless labor. Instead, they focus all their fake anger at the poor people who are being exploited.

By the way, most of the people in this country go along with this “game” because the industries’ exploitation of cheap labor allows them to buy fruit, vegetables, and homes at lower prices. Thus, the entire country benefits from a 21st-century version of peonage, just as it built its original wealth on the enslavement of African people and the theft of the land from the indigenous peoples who lived in what is now called the United States of America.

This article originally published in the June 23, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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