October 18, 2007

Cheap Labor?

An article which appeared in a North Alabama newspaper:

Hispanic majority at Crossville Elementary

The Reporter

Published September 22, 2007

Wanting a better life for their children has led numerous Hispanic families to Marshall and DeKalb counties, many working for poultry plants. Their children have become recognizable fixtures within many schools on Sand Mountain, in Marshall, DeKalb and Etowah counties.

While the true, most accurate number of Hispanic families living within the area may never be known, Crossville Elementary can prove it has a majority-Hispanic enrollment – the first such majority in the state.

During his tenure, Crossville Elementary School Assistant Principal Ed Burke said he has seen the enrollment rise to just over 900 students in the school, which houses students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Hispanics make up just less than 53 percent of the student population.

He has also seen numerous changes in the way students are taught.

“We have definitely had to get more creative,” Burke said. “We have done several different things and we are still trying new things all the time.”

Many Hispanic students need additional help with English. Burke said the state board of education has realized Crossville’s needs and has given the school additional funding.

Accurate and specific numbers were not available from the state board of education Friday morning.

Burke said the school has hired additional English Language Learner teachers, educators who work with children who speak little or no English.

These teachers are able to pull students into smaller groups, giving them additional reading and writing instruction.

Student transportation is another area where Burke has seen large growth. Currently, Crossville Elementary utilizes a fleet of 19 buses, up eight from when Burke started his position.

The number of Hispanic students has increased in the state’s public schools. The state’s enrollment in kindergarten through high school was 739,760, with Hispanics making up just 3 percent, or 23,219 students. Hispanics also made up 3 percent of the state’s population in 2006.

DeKalb County’s demographics for 2006 show an estimated 68,000 population, with Hispanics accounting for 9 percent of the total.

The Associated Press reported there are 1,559 Hispanic students in the DeKalb County Schools, which makes up 18 percent of the 8,810 students enrolled.

*When we lived in that area about ten years ago, I personally knew of people who tried to get employment through the temp force there, and more often than not, were turned down because of the huge numbers of immigrants being granted the jobs. Most of those jobs were for the different positions in the poulty plants there. There were, at the time, many citizens of the area needing employment, and were willing to take anything that was available.

What I never understood, is how they were able to grant those jobs to the immigrants, because at the temp forces, a social security card was required. It is no secret, now, that they were illegal because the poulty plants were raided, and the employment roll of illegal immigrants was so great, that it caused certain of the poultry plants to close.

Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage. Consumers don't want expensive produce. Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs. But the bottom line is cheap labor.

The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie ~ there is no such thing as "cheap labor."

Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or $6.00 per hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free. He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent. He qualifies for food stamps. He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care. His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school. He requires bilingual teachers and books. He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.

If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. Once qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicare. All of this is at the taxpayer's expense. He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.

Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material. He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00 per hour in benefits. Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6.00 per hour left after paying their bills.. and his. The American taxpayers also pay for increased crime, and other things generated by the issues of illegal immigrants.

Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT!

There are many issues at stake, and come election time, I think illegal immigration is a pretty important one to keep in mind when deciding the candidate to whom you will give your vote.


sue said...

You know, I really empathize with people who come to the United States to make a better life for themselves and their families. I'm sure at some point my Irish relatives were considered illegal aliens and I know lots of people didn't like them being here.

Having said that, I really wish there was a good answer because I hate the fact that there are so many concessions made for them and the price tag is put on us. All the things you listed here, plus, as you say, the language barrier that they don't seem to want to try very hard to adapt. If you want to keep your native language in the home, that's your choice, but you should at least make the attempt to learn the language of the country where you are living.

We have many aliens in our state that work at the meat-packing plants and although they aren't in my community, they are in nearby communities. In our community we deal with students that are going to the university. They are here legally and are going to school, but even then I don't know how they can learn when so many of them don't make the effort to learn english. It boggles the mind.

GUYK said...

I reckon if I was a Mexican in mexico I would be doing my damnest to get to the USA so I could provide a better ife for my family..I don't balme the illegal aliens..I blame government for making it easy for them to come into the country...and I blame the big business that hires them

One thing for damn sure though...if I was an illegal alien I would not be making any waves..I would learn English without an accent..or at least redneck if I was in the south. And I would be keeping a low profile and not advertising the fact that I ate frijoles for breakfast

Jan said...

sue..I was thinking today that I am probably coming across as a really heartless person, because I keep talking about illegal aliens, but I'm not.

I have been about as poor as anyone can get, so I can feel for anyone wanting to make a better life for themselves.

The thing that bugs me about it, is that there are so many in this country who are not illegal, who are poor, hungry, and in need of education, and medical help, and they are being deprived of these things, at the expense of the illegal immigration in this country.

I don't know what the solution is, if there is one. All I know, is that nothing is going to be solved by sticking our heads in the sand, and pretending that the problems do not exist.

Jan said...

guyk..yeah, but that is never going to happen, and the more that anyone complains about what they are, or are not doing, the louder the outcry from those wanting another vote.

Ironically, they are the ones who have all the advantages that money and power offer, so what do they care, really?

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is teaching at a rural school in Hall County, Ga. 90 percent of the kids in the elementary school are Hispanic. All of the signs on the shops nearby are Hispanic. When you go into the school there is a huge Hispanic mural painted on the wall. The sign out in front of the school announcing parent conferences and the like is in Spanish. Yet the people who pay for the schools are the property owners, who are all Anglos. It isn't fair, but it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better, because it isn't going to get better.

Jan said...

"It isn't fair, but it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better, because it isn't going to get better."

Hermit, you are absolutely right!

rockync said...

There is another point that needs to be pondered here. It's hard to blame people who live in such desparate poverty from wanting to come here where they can provide a better life for their families. I suspect if we were in the same position, not doubt we would do the same. Parents are parents no matter where they come from.
But here's the rub; we have businesses in this country hiring them, even when they know they are illegal. Then you have a government that offers healthcare and schooling and all kinds of programs even though THEY know they are illegals.
Perhaps we are blaming the wrong people for this situation. If the jobs and services weren't available unless they could prove legal entry into this country, then they wouldn't be here. Illegals have streamed into the country while our government turned a blind eye to appease the Mexican president for favors. See, the Mexican government doesn't want this to end because the Mexicans here are sending money home which is propping up their economy. I think if we are going to solve this problem, we need to start at the top.

Granny J said...

I agree! We are, in effect, subsidizing and supporting a failed, corrupt government in Mexico by letting them send their poor and unemployed here. In addition, I have to snort at folks who talk a "multicultural" line, when what we are getting is strictly "monocultural". Our greatness comes from the mix of peoples. If we have to have illegals, I would prefer that they come from around the world so that they are forced to mix and become Americans.

Jan said...

granny j...I, for one, am tired of supporting it, especially when I see what it is costing this country, not only monetarily, but in many other ways.

I don't think they are interested so much in becoming Americans, as they are in America becoming Mexico.

Vin De Vine said...

I have to say I am not opposed to immigration, but I do object to illegal immigrants. Either we decide to welcome these aliens into our world and absorb them into our culture, or we enforce our codes and refuse to aid those who come to our country in need (or want). If an immigrant is illegal then that person is in violation of the law but of course in our country we don't enforce laws, we interpret them so I suppose there will never be a good answer. I say legalize the aliens and tax the heck out them just like the rest of us. Maybe if we make immigrants legal it will be more difficult for them to get the financial perks at our expense. As far as changing the national language and culture to spanglish, forget it, pick out and add a few choice words, and one holiday (cinco de mayo is fun). As far as culture is concerned they have J-lo and Carlos Santana and can pretty much scrap the rest...

Jan said...

vin..you always say a mouthful, and this time,you make me smile with your humorous touch to a very serious subject.