4.18.2007

Undocumented Workers are a Gift to America

I hear a lot of complaining these days about undocumented workers. But frankly, I'd trade the complainers for the undocumented any day.

Undocumented workers in the U.S. are a phenomenal people. Consider the following:

1) Undocumented workers are our hardest working people--and that by itself should be given some measure of respect in "free market" America.

2) Undocumented workers contribute disproportionately to America's economic success. Reports from California and Texas confirms this truth--although basic economic sense should have made that crystal clear.

3) Nativist propaganda aside, undocumented workers demand and receive less in governmental services. It's always been a myth that the poor in America receive a disproportionate share of government spending--the well-situated are the biggest beneficiaries. Undocumented workers are the lightest users of government services--and what they use is more paid for through the economic benefit of their labor.

4) Undocumented workers are bolstering the U.S. Social Security coffers--and while their U.S. citizen employers seek to avoid paying payroll taxes, many of the immigrants are actually making tax payments on their own.

5) Most admirably, while receiving a fraction of what typical Americans make, undocumented workers still find ways to send upwards of 50% of their pay to their impoverised families back home.

The truth is that some Americans resent people that are as hardworking and as self-less as are so many of the undocumented workers. It makes them look bad. However, if we were fair we'd be honoring these phenomenal workers and looking for ways to protect them from the exploiters and harassers.