Jobs Americans won’t do? Hardly
Mid December was a bad time for the advocates of amnesty for illegal immigrants and a guest worker program. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the Bush administration finally cracked down, 20 years late, on a few thousand of the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens illegally employed in the United States. This crackdown on employers was promised by the Reagan amnesty of 1986 and now, 20 years later, the government is getting around to enforcing the law. The feds arrested thousands of illegal workers at Swift & Co. meatprocessing plants under false Social Security numbers. Swift announced it might have to shut down for lack of workers.
The media immediately opened the TV channels to pro-immigration activists who claimed these arrests “prove” the need for “comprehensive” immigration legislation with a guest-worker plan. Au contraire. The news of Wednesday Dec. 13 proved just the opposite.
Within hours of the news 261 illegals had been removed from the Swift plant in Greeley, Colo., American citizens lined up to fill the vacated jobs. The county employment agency received 230 job applications, of which 157 were specifically for Swift.
That blows the argument for the need of a guest-worker program to fill unpleasant jobs it is said Americans don’t want to do. Let’s also take the example of Wal-Mart, the store liberals love to hate because it pays lower wages and benefits.
Last January, a new Wal-Mart store in suburban Chicago announced the availability of 325 positions for which the average pay would be $10.99 an hour. Wal- Mart received an astonishing 25,000 applications.
Another Wal-Mart in Oakland Calif., received 11,000 applications last year when it made known it had several hundred jobs open.
In response to complaints about the dislocations caused by the action against Swift & Co., ICE Chairman Julie Myers explained that most of the arrests involved identity theft in addition to illegal employment. Many of those arrested were working under Social Security numbers they had stolen from real Americans, and in some cases this caused significant credit damage to the victims of the stolen numbers.
Then on Thursday of the same week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) lowered the boom on the Bush administration by releasing a new report stating the government has given up on plans to systematically track the entry and exit of foreign visitors. Congress ordered the creation of an entry-exit system called US-VISIT (excluding Canadians and Mexicans) back in 1996, and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, made this system imperative.
Some of the September 11 hijackers entered the United States legally on visas, and then just never departed when their visas expired. It’s now 2006, and we are told an entry-exit system doesn’t exist and the government has abandoned plans to create it.
The government had $1.7 billion to develop this program, but now tells us that is not nearly enough money, so all plans are being scrapped. There’s no such thing as border security without an entryexit system since at least 30 percent of illegal aliens in the U.S. came in as legal visitors and then disap- peared into our population.
Student visas (many given to Third World applicants) are a major cause of fraud since we know that September 11 Pentagon pilot Hani Hanjour came in on a student visa. About 1 million foreign students are in the U.S. at any given time.
Last August, 17 Egyptian students entered the U.S. on legal visas supposedly to study at Montana State University, but 11 had no intention of doing so and simply disappeared when they arrived in the United States. After a national manhunt, two were arrested in Richmond, one in Minneapolis, two in Manville, N.J., two in Dundalk, Md., one at O’Hare Airport in Chicago, and three in Des Moines, Iowa.
Tracking people who come into the United States and requiring them to leave when their visas expire is an essential component of national security. Failure to carry out such a system means our government doesn’t care about protecting our borders.
The same week as the Swift & Co. arrests and the sensational GAO report came the revelation, now widely reported, that the Bush administration has no intention of building an actual fence on our southern border. This even though the Secure Fence Act was passed this fall by the Senate 80-17 and by the House 283-138, and President Bush starred in a photo-op just before the November election so we could all see him sign it into law.
Now we hear it’s all a sham. We hear vague rumbles that we might get a “virtual” fence, but what we really got is a virtual law.
Border fencing is not a total solution any more than employee verification or entry-exit tracking, but they are all necessities. President Bush must carry out his constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Phyllis Schlafly is a nationally syndicated columnist and a lawyer.