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Old 07-16-2007, 10:07 PM   #1
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Default Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

Fresno, CALIFORNIA (CNN) -- There is nothing like coming home, and I got the chance to do that today thanks to an invitation to join in a lunch forum hosted by the Kenneth L. Maddy Institute at California State University, Fresno, which sets out to train new leaders.

I like the sound of that. We need new leaders. Just look at the recent shoving match over immigration reform, which happens to be the topic that we'll be discussing over lunch. I'm told that many in the audience will have some connection to agriculture.

Big surprise. Everyone in Fresno is connected to agriculture, whether they realize it or not. That's the whole point. While many Americans tell themselves that they don't benefit in the least from illegal immigration, my friends in the San Joaquin Valley don't have that luxury. They're up to their necks in benefit. Oh, there are costs, too -- to schools, hospitals, jails, etc. But, after it's all said and done, Fresno and other agri-cities come out way ahead.

How do I know? Because they're not exactly asking illegal immigrants to leave. In fact, farm groups were part of the chorus calling for comprehensive immigration reform, including a call for new shipments of guest workers. That's because they know that without immigrant labor -- legal if can be, illegal if must be -- my beloved hometown would shrivel up like a raisin in the sun.

While you're just as likely to find illegal immigrants working on construction sites, or making beds in hotels, or cooking up breakfast in the local diner, many of them still gravitate to farms and ranches. And it's a good thing they do, farmers and ranchers say, because these are not jobs that Americans want.

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Consider the strawberry farmer in Oxnard, California, who told CNN that not once in 25 years of planting and harvesting had an American citizen ever asked for a job picking strawberries.

Immigration restrictionists claim that Americans would line up for even the dirtiest and most distasteful jobs if only wages were higher. How much higher? A reader told me that he'd gladly go pick lettuce around Salinas, California -- for $1,000 a week.

I can't wait to share that story with the farmers. I hope they don't cough up their Caesar salads. It's not just that, at those wages, lettuce pickers would earn more than many cops and firefighters, nurses and teachers. Or that salads would cost as much as caviar.

What I find interesting is that the reader -- as a proud American worker -- didn't hesitate to make the demand and, in fact, he felt that earning any less would be beneath him. And we're surprised that many farmers and ranchers -- and countless other employers -- prefer to hire immigrants and rarely give those of us born in the country a second look.

It's not just the money. It's our sense of entitlement. And for what -- all the effort we put into being born on this side of the border?

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/07/16/navarrette/index.html
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

What should happen is that all of these jobs should be given to those on welfare. We have a lot of lazy people on welfare with no incentive to work. I say make them work these jobs and begin to turn their lives around. They may not like what they are doing, but the income and work should give them the incentive and means to better themselves, either via education or finding other work.

I don't think anyone is against immigration (we are all descended from immigrants from one time unless you are native American.) I think people are ticked off about "ILLEGAL" immigration. It's a slap in the face to those who paid their dues and came into the country legally. I say, stand in line like everyone else and sign the guestbook on the way in. Pay taxes into the system and make an effort to learn the language. And, at the very least, don't protest and fly a flag other then the American flag if you want any sympathy!

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Old 07-17-2007, 05:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

My son's best friend came here legally, with his parents, who were considered middle class in Mexico. It took them five years to finally get through the corrupt system in Mexico, along with the red tape from the US Government. His parents went totally bankrupt in their efforts to get the whole family to the US legally. There are only the three of them, parents & son. Paying attorneys, immigration officials, and waiting in line for the US to approve their legal entry was quite costly.

Unfortunately, not every Mexican family can afford to pay the powers that be, nor afford to feed their families during that costly wait. I can truly feel for the people who only want something better to provide their family. Somewhere they can make enough money to feed their children, and possibly have a dream of progressing, so their children can live a better life.

I know for a fact that I would do anything in my power to make it here to the US, if I was born into poverty somewhere in Mexico. This is the place to be! The United States of America, the greatest country on earth! Why wouldn't everyone want to be here?

I love the US! It's where I was born, my parents too. My grandparents were born in Mexico, all except my 99 year-old grandmother. Her uncle used to drive a stage coach through California. My grandfather, on my fathers side, walked across the border to live in the US. He made a life for his family in Santa Barbara. He never had any papers to show his citiszenship. Out of his 9 sons, my uncles, 7 proudly served in the US Military, including my father who was a crazy Marine!

My point, not all illegals are bad people. Some are tax paying people who just want a better life. They are not on welfare, and are too proud to go to the doctor if they cannot afford it. They make their children go to school and learn English as a way to better themselves in this great country. Just as my parents made us speak English only, in our house, my grandparents spoke Spanish. They did not want me to forget the culture and traditions of being a proud Mexican family. I wish there was an easy solution to this issue, but unfortunately there is not. I wish there were a proper system to legally enter the US from Mexico. Maybe that's where our politicians should spend more time, resolving the legal system, and working with their neighbor, rather than just building a fence and creating anymosity among human beings just because of their ethnicity. It is very hurtful to hear some comments that people make out of their anger and ignorance, not specifically on this forum, but in our free society. I really want to believe that if we knew each story, and had the opportunity to communicate person to person, that we might feel different. While I truly do not have the answer, I can hope for some understanding and compassion from my fellow Americans.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

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I don't think anyone is against immigration (we are all descended from immigrants from one time unless you are native American.) I think people are ticked off about "ILLEGAL" immigration. It's a slap in the face to those who paid their dues and came into the country legally. I say, stand in line like everyone else and sign the guestbook on the way in. Pay taxes into the system and make an effort to learn the language. And, at the very least, don't protest and fly a flag other then the American flag if you want any sympathy!

Thank You.

You know what would really be nice? Many of these pro-come-on-in-no-matter-what groups make the USA look like the bad guys in this situation. It's a shame they don't put their time and effort into trying to make the Mexican goverment change.

Eitherway, as always we will come out looking like the big, bad mean USA and the Mexican goverment will continue to drive that country straight into the ground. Business as usual.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

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What should happen is that all of these jobs should be given to those on welfare
hammer makes a good point but really, how many farms do they have in the inner city? will the government pay to transport hundereds of thousands of welfare recipients a hundered or so miles everyday to the nearest farm?
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

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hammer makes a good point but really, how many farms do they have in the inner city? will the government pay to transport hundereds of thousands of welfare recipients a hundred or so miles everyday to the nearest farm?
Well, I had to move twice to find a decent job in my industry. Anything can be done if you truly want it to be. Plus, they aren't all farm jobs. Many illegals from mexico work in construction. The guys who did the tile in my bathroom didn't speak a lick of English. And, I am looking out my window now at the landscapers working in my plan and they sure look Mexican to me. Landscaping and construction jobs are everywhere. My brother in law is a Journeyman electrician and they are CONSTANTLY looking for good help and they pay well. He says they tried a work program with welfare recipients and found that many of them just wouldn't show up or were lazy. But, what are you gonna do?

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Old 07-18-2007, 09:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

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My son's best friend came here legally, with his parents, who were considered middle class in Mexico. It took them five years to finally get through the corrupt system in Mexico, along with the red tape from the US Government. His parents went totally bankrupt in their efforts to get the whole family to the US legally. There are only the three of them, parents & son. Paying attorneys, immigration officials, and waiting in line for the US to approve their legal entry was quite costly.

Unfortunately, not every Mexican family can afford to pay the powers that be, nor afford to feed their families during that costly wait. I can truly feel for the people who only want something better to provide their family. Somewhere they can make enough money to feed their children, and possibly have a dream of progressing, so their children can live a better life.

I know for a fact that I would do anything in my power to make it here to the US, if I was born into poverty somewhere in Mexico. This is the place to be! The United States of America, the greatest country on earth! Why wouldn't everyone want to be here?

I love the US! It's where I was born, my parents too. My grandparents were born in Mexico, all except my 99 year-old grandmother. Her uncle used to drive a stage coach through California. My grandfather, on my fathers side, walked across the border to live in the US. He made a life for his family in Santa Barbara. He never had any papers to show his citiszenship. Out of his 9 sons, my uncles, 7 proudly served in the US Military, including my father who was a crazy Marine!

My point, not all illegals are bad people. Some are tax paying people who just want a better life. They are not on welfare, and are too proud to go to the doctor if they cannot afford it. They make their children go to school and learn English as a way to better themselves in this great country. Just as my parents made us speak English only, in our house, my grandparents spoke Spanish. They did not want me to forget the culture and traditions of being a proud Mexican family. I wish there was an easy solution to this issue, but unfortunately there is not. I wish there were a proper system to legally enter the US from Mexico. Maybe that's where our politicians should spend more time, resolving the legal system, and working with their neighbor, rather than just building a fence and creating anymosity among human beings just because of their ethnicity. It is very hurtful to hear some comments that people make out of their anger and ignorance, not specifically on this forum, but in our free society. I really want to believe that if we knew each story, and had the opportunity to communicate person to person, that we might feel different. While I truly do not have the answer, I can hope for some understanding and compassion from my fellow Americans.
I hear you, but totally disagree. What I find disheartening is that people are so quick to flee their country. I would think they would work on trying to find out what makes their government so corrupt and to try and fix their country instead of fleeing. Mexico has some of the nicest beaches and resorts in the world. Add to that the tourism that could be generated from the pyramids and other cultural points of interest. That country should be thriving!!

What makes them any different then Canada. You don't see Canadians running the border. How are they different?

I don't think it is an issue of compassion. It is an issue of fairness. I have an acquaintance at work who moved over from Ireland. He had to jump through the hoops, as it were, and deal with the red tape but it was worth it to him. He is a LEGAL citizen paying into the system and making a life here. He is more disgusted at this illegal immigration situation then any native Americans.

I have nothing against anyone trying to make a better life for themselves. I don't care about race, religion or creed. What I do care about is thousands of people, here illegally, protesting in our streets about "unfairness" or whatever and carrying the flag of another country and speaking another language. That made me sick to my stomach. And they could have been French, Chinese, whatever...it doesn't matter. It's the point.

And, for every decent hard working person that came to this country that doesn't abuse the system, there are more that do. My parents live in Kentucky and there is a huge illegal Mexican population in the Louisville area. There are stories all the time of who pays for their health care and benefits. It is a big issue there. Many of them are getting paid under the table and not paying taxes yet can walk into a hospital and be treated. Or, if an illegal commits a crime, who pays for their incarceration? We do. We have too many problems of our own to deal with another country's issues.

I hope they get this mess sorted out because people are flowing through our southern border by the thousands. It's wrong, and illegal and needs to be controlled.

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Old 07-18-2007, 09:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

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Thank You.

You know what would really be nice? Many of these pro-come-on-in-no-matter-what groups make the USA look like the bad guys in this situation. It's a shame they don't put their time and effort into trying to make the Mexican goverment change.

Eitherway, as always we will come out looking like the big, bad mean USA and the Mexican goverment will continue to drive that country straight into the ground. Business as usual.
I love how if I am against ILLEGAL immigration then, to those groups, I am "Anti-Immigration".


They conveniently forget to keep the ILLEGAL part prefaced into that equation.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

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I hear you, but totally disagree. What I find disheartening is that people are so quick to flee their country. I would think they would work on trying to find out what makes their government so corrupt and to try and fix their country instead of fleeing. Mexico has some of the nicest beaches and resorts in the world. Add to that the tourism that could be generated from the pyramids and other cultural points of interest. That country should be thriving!!

What makes them any different then Canada. You don't see Canadians running the border. How are they different?

I don't think it is an issue of compassion. It is an issue of fairness. I have an acquaintance at work who moved over from Ireland. He had to jump through the hoops, as it were, and deal with the red tape but it was worth it to him. He is a LEGAL citizen paying into the system and making a life here. He is more disgusted at this illegal immigration situation then any native Americans.

I have nothing against anyone trying to make a better life for themselves. I don't care about race, religion or creed. What I do care about is thousands of people, here illegally, protesting in our streets about "unfairness" or whatever and carrying the flag of another country and speaking another language. That made me sick to my stomach. And they could have been French, Chinese, whatever...it doesn't matter. It's the point.

And, for every decent hard working person that came to this country that doesn't abuse the system, there are more that do. My parents live in Kentucky and there is a huge illegal Mexican population in the Louisville area. There are stories all the time of who pays for their health care and benefits. It is a big issue there. Many of them are getting paid under the table and not paying taxes yet can walk into a hospital and be treated. Or, if an illegal commits a crime, who pays for their incarceration? We do. We have too many problems of our own to deal with another country's issues.

I hope they get this mess sorted out because people are flowing through our southern border by the thousands. It's wrong, and illegal and needs to be controlled.

Um...what is it that you totally disagree with in my post? I'm assuming that you really don't totally disagree. I stated that my point was that "...not all illegals are bad people." Do you totally disagree with my point?

I strongly agree that the illegal crossing is out of hand! No one seems to have the answer that is practical. I wish Mexico would deal with the problem, they could solve it. The truth is, they benefit from it. Quite a bit of money flows back to Mexico so that families can eat, or buy medicine. It sure helps their economy. (That's similar to how it is done legally by Big Business from other countries, especially here in California. Japanese conglamorates own many large & small companies, including Golf Courses) Again, I agree that this is a very bad problem that requires much more attention than it is receiving. Our own government is allowing it to continue, just as the government of Mexico. They are both the "Bad Guys" in my opinion, and need to get this resolved quickly! (How many years have we been saying this?)

When you state,"We have too many problems of our own to deal with another country's issues." I assume that is tongue in cheek. That is what we do as a nation, and as a people. We deal with other countries issue's every single day. Billions of our tax dollars go to various countries and governments. Responsibilities of a superpower.

Here is a short list of countries that received money from us in 2004:

Iraq 18.44 Billion
Isreal 2.62 Billion
Egypt 1.87 Billion
Afghanistan 1.77
Columbia 0.57 Billion
Jordan 0.56 Billion
Pakistan 0.39 Billion
Liberia 0.21 Billion
Peru 0.17
Etheopia 0.16
Bolivia 0.15
Turkey 0.15
Uganda 0.14
Sudan 0.14
Indonesia 0.13
Kenya 0.13 Billion Dollars

Source: US Aid & Department of State 2004

Conversely, USAID to Mexico was 33 Million in 2004, according to the US Embassy to Mexico.

Also, for purely comparitive reasons, how long did it take your Irish friend to get through the process?
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Navarrette: Americans don't want these jobs

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Also, for purely comparitive reasons, how long did it take your Irish friend to get through the process?
I don't agree with our government aiding other nations to the point that they do. You would think they would be more concerned with the issues that plague this country but politics is politics. Because of NAFTA, we don't send much official government aid to either Mexico or Canada so I can understand that low number.

Any way, regarding the Irish colleague...I will have to find out and let you know. I only know that he did complain of a lot of red tape but did mention that it was much harder for someone to become an Irish citizen so he didn't mind as much. From what I have heard, compared to the rest of the world in general, the US immigration process is one of the easier ones to complete.
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