There are simply not enough capable bodies.
I’m not an economist, but I play one in the newspaper, and it seems to me that matching volunteer workers with job offers is a good solution. Every day, thousands of immigrants are gathered at the border. Some of them, I presume, are good workers.
For decades, I have advocated immigration as a solution to disinterested fifth generation immigrants whose ancestors were greeted with a quarter of land and a blow to the American dream. However, these beneficiaries of this policy see immigration as a threat. I recalled those fruitless conversations from columnist Mike Jacobs’ recent summary of the matter: “The way to fill American jobs is to welcome immigrants and train them for jobs here.”
Instead, the Dakotas are sending National Guard troops south to continue shooting us in the foot. We could help ourselves and others at the same time. Instead, we get political buffoonery.
No one denies that the situation is difficult. We lack the manpower and judges to deal with and control the people who are desperate to improve themselves and, in many cases, save their lives from corrupt and dysfunctional governments. America has its fingerprints all over the crime scene with a history of supporting dictators, organizing coups and walking away when it gets too complicated.
The United Fruit Company made Honduras the original banana republic through de facto corporate governance. It remains among the most corrupt and violent countries in the world. America occupied Nicaragua from 1912 to 1933 and continued to intervene when the Reagan administration sold arms to Iran to fund the bloody right-wing Contras. Now the Socialist Sandinistas have become as brutal as those they opposed. In famine-stricken Guatemala, where many refugees have come from, the CIA orchestrated a 1954 coup by a democratically elected government, resulting in insurgencies and mass murder.
The refugees return home to roost.
There are still growing pains. The immigrants bring with them families who may not speak English, which was the case with German, Norwegian and Swedish immigrants. Many of us remember great-grandparents who barely spoke English. It was not insurmountable. We have adapted, they have adapted. They have contributed to their communities. They paid taxes.
We are all beneficiaries of immigration. This generation of immigrants pick our produce, clean our homes and hotels, build our homes and roads, and milk our cows. Have milk? Thank an immigrant. Many of them will create businesses and more jobs in the United States, just like previous generations of immigrants.
However, largely because of the political rhetoric fueled by racism – they come for our jobs. and our well-being (free land?), and seriously, how can they do both – many Americans have lost sight of our history and our heritage. Ironically, when ICE kicks out “illegals,” they often remove them from their jobs at a packing plant.
The great American melting pot is melting because we have forgotten who we were and always promised to be. We can blame the government, but politics and politicians will not change until our national mindset changes. Until we open our minds and arms again. Until we make them change.
Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of this publication, nor the property of Forum Communications.