Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A little something about illegal workers

I just read something about illegals that made my blood boil. It was in the comment section of the Miami-Herald and the writer was disparaging illegal workers. His comment was basically that illegal workers pay sales tax and that was it. I don't generally comment on the Miami-Herald site but had to. The fellow obviously has no idea of how illegal laborers work here in the US.
Typically, an illegal worker gets hold of a quality copy of a real social security card, and with that can build the rest of his/her paperwork: Driver's license, bank cards, and so forth. But that person will then pay federal, state, and local taxes; they'll also pay into social security and medicare. But they will not be able to get a refund from the feds or state or utilize social security or medicare because the initial social security card is not their own. So the illegal workers are pouring billions and billions into federal, state, local taxes, social security and medicare and not getting anything in return for that. It's just gone. On top of that they pay gasoline taxes like we all do whenever we buy gas for our cars, they pay sales taxes, car registration and inspection fees and so forth. Oh, and they buy houses and cars and televisions and all the stuff the rest of us buy, keeping the economy going.
Additionally, a huge percentage of the illegal worker population take jobs that nobody else will do: roofing, road construction (not the cushy supervisor jobs, the ones working with the hot tar during Texas summers), motel and hotel cleaning, gardening, fruit and vegetable picking, chicken and fish farm work. Pretty tough and wretched jobs. So they're really a vital cog in how we live.
Why do they take the awful jobs and risk deportation and jail? For some it's because they imagine that their children will fare better for their hard work in a land with more opportunity than much of Mexico and Central America. For others it's a way to earn US dollars to send back home so that their families can start a business there. For still others it's a way to escape the violence of the drug wars raging in much of Mexico and Central America (which you already know are US-fueled because we love our drugs here).
In my book the illegal workers are to be celebrated not denigrated.


Unknown said...

Yeah, Peter's back!!!

Bill Freimuth said...

Glad you're back, Peter. Wise words, too.