Column: Talk of the Town - Hiring illegals drains services, job opportunities
Courier columnist Al Herron must think that hiring an "undocumented day laborer" is OK.
What does he not understand about "illegal?" Marcos has broken the law and continues to break the law by being in the United States. Marcos is an "illegal alien."
Do you suppose Mr. Herron knowingly would hire a thief to help get his work done? I don't think so, but he did hire a person living in a country he has no right to be in.
The $10 an hour Mr. Herron paid Marcos probably doesn't mean much in the big scheme of things; however, if you multiply that by 12 million or more illegals at $10 an hour, it becomes more of an issue of national importance. We need to look at how this is affecting our economy.
Reports estimate that that one-third of Mexico's National income is from tax-free American dollars that people such as Marcos send home.
For every untaxed American dollar that leaves our country, our tax-supported infrastructure suffers. This affects our government, Social Security, Medicare, welfare, schools, health care, etc., some of the very same services that these illegal aliens use. This has caused many hospitals to reduce services and in some cases to close, it has overburdened our school systems and it is draining our assistance programs.
At the pick up spot where Mr. Herron hired Marcos, illegals will tell you they are from Mexico, San Salvador, Ecuador, Columbia, El Salvador, Bolivia, etc. What Mr. Herron might not know is that people are flooding our borders from Egypt, China, Iraq, Russia, Japan ... almost every country in the world.
Some of these illegals are terrorists, some are just people who don't want to have to go through the necessary channels. They may be criminals and cannot apply for citizenship, some are here for the money they can make selling drugs, and yes, some have assimilated into our culture and even have started businesses.
Mr. Herron might not have realized that many of the illegals who enter our country are drug dealers, smugglers, gun runners, human traffickers and law breakers not just poor people who are here looking for a better life. Authorities believe that individuals such as these are largely responsible for marketing and producing crystal meth, a serious problem in our community that is affecting our innocent children.
The $10 an hour that Mr. Herron paid Marcos could have gone a long way to help an American citizen living in Prescott that no longer can find employment because an illegal alien is filling his job at a local restaurant, landscaping company, construction company, or hotel. That illegal also sends tax-free American dollars home. These illegal aliens are breaking the law! The companies and people who employ them are breaking the law! I work and pay taxes to support our country and to help my fellow citizens who may need it from time to time - Marcos does not.
Did Marcos talk of his desire to become an American? No, he talked about making money to start his own business in Mexico. A majority of these illegals don't care about citizenship, they want cash flow. If you become a citizen you have to pay taxes, learn English and obey laws.
If Marcos had applied to be a U.S. citizen and followed established procedures I would welcome him with open arms. We citizens embrace diversity. Almost every U.S. citizen comes from immigrant forefathers who came to this country to make the United States their new country.
They learned English, got jobs, started businesses, and raised the next generation of U.S. citizens.
Most of us will agree we need to fix our borders and immigration laws. I recently met with Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from Phoenix who told me we currently have more than 5,000 illegal aliens in our tri-city area. We recently saw the United States Senate try to enact a bill that would have made citizens of more than 12 million illegal aliens.
Pressure on senators and representatives from American citizens blocked the bill, but this issue will surface again.
We Americans need to make sure any bills are good for the country. In this age of e-mail, we can and should tell elected officials our thoughts and concerns.
I have emailed our governor about illegal immigration personally and am pleased with the brave and daring step she has taken. We need to make sure that we enforce this employer sanctions law in its present form for years to come.
Mr. Herron, and anyone else looking for a worker, should ask around for help in finding a local, "legal" worker. Check the Yellow Pages under "Handy Person Services," check at your church, ask your neighbors, or stop by an employment agency.
Teenagers in my neighborhood have shown up at my door with rakes and shovels asking for summer work. I have friends who have difficulty finding employment because their jobs are going to illegals. Workers are out there. Ask around.
I'm sure Marcos and his country appreciate Mr. Herron's support. I and thousands of American citizens like me, do not.
Barbara Anderson is a local real estate broker and business owner. She has lived in Prescott since 1997.