Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Woe is me?" I Don't Think So...

Steel Workers Spend Emotional Last Day at Plant

I found the above article while doing my daily perusal of the local news.  From the title and accompanying photos, I thought that gosh darn it here goes another company going under leaving former employees to fend for themselves.  Upon closer inspection, the title leaves much left unsaid.  In actuality, after an I-9 audit conducted by ICE, this man, David Herrera, along with many others are being laid off because they are illegal immigrants.  The I-9 audits check workers' legal status through the records they submit to their employers.

Pacific Steel had no choice but to lay off an estimated 200 employees because they couldn't prove their legal status.  What do I say to that?  I say there are 200 job openings available for unemployed, legal residents.  Come and get 'em!!  I'm sorry (Eh I'm really not) that you may find this a bit harsh.  As the daughter of legal immigrants who are now U.S. Citizens, I don't have any words of comfort for them.  While yes, I do sympathize and pity their situation, on the otherhand Mr. Herrera "always knew this could happen" and I'm sure he wasn't the only one!  This is what you risk when you come to the U.S. illegally. He wouldn't be in this situation if he had started the legal process for coming to the U.S.  He came to this country in 1991.  Do you mean to tell me that in the 20+ years he was here he never got around to fixing his status, trying to legalize his stay?  Of course not, because he doesn't have the intention of ever doing that.  Not when he can just wait till his daughter, who was born here and therefore automatically became a U.S. citizen, comes of age and petitions the government to give her parents citizenship.

I'm sick of seeing articles that wrongly draw on our sympathies.  Wrongly?  Yes.  Illegal immigrants come into this country illegally and in order to function in our society, have to forge documents and or steal identities.  They take jobs that can go to someone else who is here legally.  More importantly, they dismiss the immigration process that many others are trudging slowly through in order to get the chance to come to this country.  It isn't fair for them to "jump the line" and have no consequences for their behavior.  These are the consequences and rightly so.

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