Pixel Tracker

Monday, December 17 , 2018, 12:15 am | Fair 50º

 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Sensible Immigration Reform

Mark Cromer’s article makes the point that I and many other U.S. citizens are tired of being labeled “racist” for favoring a real solution to illegal immigration. I am not anti-immigrant or a racist.

After many years of traveling in Santa Barbara and the greater Los Angeles area by boat, bus and bicycle, I am convinced that illegal immigrants are our best citizens. The buses in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange County are usually majority Hispanic and, I think, majority illegal immigrant (there I go racially profiling, huh?). In most cases, there are more bicyclists who are probably illegal immigrants, and when I ride or walk in school zones, I see more folks that I would give this profile to walking their kids to school.

Since this is the behavior that can give us a future, they are my choice as citizens, but the irony is that if we legalize them, they will no longer be good citizens because they will get cars, get off the bus and bicycles, and drive their kids to school like most of us.

As someone who has worked in maintenance landscaping, restaurants and construction, I also understand that employers have used illegal immigrants to hold wages down in these trades and others. Millions of illegal immigrants hold jobs in these trades, and in meat packing and hotel trades as well. In fact, employers have all but ruined the meat-cutters/butchers union this way.

It is not true that these are jobs U.S. citizens do not want. Have you seen Thom Hartmann on this? It is the frozen wages that U.S. workers don’t want, not the jobs.

Construction framers and laborers make little more than I did 30 years ago in this work because employers can take advantage of illegal immigrants. The plan to allow illegal immigrants to keep the jobs will do little to restore the wages since supply and demand will still have about 12 million immigrants competing for the work.

In addition to having worked in most of the trades most impacted by illegal immigrants, I have spent a lot of time in the their homelands — Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador. I was an international election observer last year in El Salvador, a country with more than a quarter of its citizens in the United States.

In a meeting with President Barack Obama, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes replied to Obama’s pledge of immigration reform by asking for restoration of opportunity in El Salvador. He is aware that U.S. trade and aid policies have destroyed that opportunity and that immigration has been destructive to the social fabric of El Salvador, taking its most ambitious citizens, breaking up families and communities, depriving citizens of the right to vote in their homeland elections and leading to gangs because of the broken families.

I continue to think the only reform that will work for U.S., Mexican and Central American workers is reform that rebuilds the small enterprise and farming in the homelands of the immigrants. Obama promised to renegotiate NAFTA. He should do so and include CAFTA and examine foreign aid as well. We should use microloans to assist in this! A microloan equivalent to one visit to the emergency room, the only health-care option they have, would do it.

Lane Anderson
Santa Barbara

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >