St. Paul

How do the people really feel about the immigration issue?

Union cancels picnic but supports pro-illegal rally Sept. 4, 2006

Recently union officials lamented the cancellation of their annual Labor Day picnic due to lack of  contributions. Then why would certain local unions - Painters, Food Workers, AFSCME clerical  workers - put their backing behind this Monday’s Immigrant and Worker’s Rights Rally?

Points of Unity touted by organizers included unconditional legalization for ALL, no guest worker  programs, no employer sanctions, amongst others, only one of which was not related directly to illegal immigration.

Well, obviously, a huge new pool of dues paying recruits is a draw. Bernie Hesse of UCFW 789  was quoted in this paper, blithely stating, ” We don’t care if they have a green card. All we care  is they have a union card. ” But, the ramifications of this recent union stance are not so noble, nor  popular.

In my trade, all but one of 100 or so rank-and-file members I’ve interviewed insist that that the influx of illegal workers is endangering their ability to work and thrive, mostly due to exploitive employers who make secret monetary deals with these same new workers. All, including my ” undocumented ” friends, agree that there is not enough work for the monumental numbers arriving in Minnesota, especially now when hundreds of existing members are laid off and struggling. All under the very noses of the union that “represents” them.


W. S., Member, Painter’s and Allied Trades Local 61
St. Paul, MN 55106

Election Year Grandstanding?
August 4, 2006

Was the recently published “scenario” by Homeland Security assistant secretary Julie Meyers on  aggressive prosecution of employers who hire illegal aliens just more election year grandstanding?
Or could it be, for the majority of America’s lower classes who now compete with illegals for a limited number of jobs, a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel?
As a less-educated, blue-collar, dues paying union construction worker I hope it is the latter. Having not been born with a silver spoon in my mouth it is to my chagrin to report losing an estimated $150,000 in earnings, minimum, to the invading horde of illegal labor competition. This is income lost to house, clothe, feed and care for my family, and ultimately, my community.

Despite having worked alongside, admired and befriended many falsely documented workers I must make it clear , and they, in confidence, would also, that there are not enough jobs to go around. Certainly not for millions more job seekers lured by unscrupulous employers.

Basically, America’s most economically and educationally disadvantaged, our population,s 20% with the lowest income raising 50% of America,s dependent children, those who have no political voice are fair game to Washington’s 1500 or so corporate, labor, and foreign lobbyists whose agenda, hand in hand with a booming underground industry of documentation fraud, results in the New American Business Plan of American employers screwing their fellow Americans.

W. S.
St. Paul, MN 55106
Member, Painter’s Union Local 61

Slave wages don’t aid consumers
April 24, 2006

Regarding Minnesota meatpacking jobs (“Identity Crisis,” April 3), “What was once a coveted, single-breadwinner’s job evolved into a lower-wage position dominated by immigrants” should have been the headline.

Swift and Co. doesn’t need illegal immigrant workers, and taxpayers shouldn’t have to subsidize Swift’s labor costs. Meatpacking jobs used to be like automobile assembly plant jobs: You would apply and then wait for months until a job opened up. Once hired you kept that job for life, and bought a house and raised your family on the income. It’s a ridiculous canard and an insult to say these are jobs Americans won’t do.

And let’s not pretend that slave wages benefit consumers. Beef and pork are less affordable today than they were years ago. The difference between yesterday’s wages and today’s slave wages goes into the pocket of big business. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, thanks to federal immigration policy.

R. K.
St. Paul

Letter to President Bush

I was born a citizen of the U.S. My wife and daughter are legal immigrants. We are all law abiding, God fearing, and hard working. We believe in the U.S. Constitution. We believe in limiting government to its proper roles of protecting persons from harm, protecting property from theft, and protecting our liberty. I am a business owner. Yes, we are conservatives and I have always voted Republican. I voted for you in the last election. I have contributed to your campaign fund. I have been on the streets since last February with signs and flags supporting our war against terrorism.

I would like to remind you sir, that belief in God does not give anyone the right to break the law with impunity. I would also like to remind you that those who break the law should live in fear of the consequences; otherwise, the law ceases to be a deterrent. Those criminals, who break the law without fear of consequences, or concern for their fellow citizens, are sociopaths. If we want anyone, to obey any law, we must be willing to uphold all the laws currently on the books; otherwise, we make a farce of the concept of law, and encourage future disobedience. It is not wise therefore to propose to change, or nullify a law because many are currently breaking it with impunity, because the government lacks the resolve to enforce it.

Those who break our immigration laws are criminals, whether they have entered this country illegally, or they are guilty of illegally hiring aliens to satisfy their bottom line. To say that we should mitigate the proscribed penalties for breaking the law, because all of these criminals are willing participants in violating our laws, for their own gain, at the expense of law abiding, legal citizens of this country is absurd! If you would solve the problem of illegal immigration, enforce the current laws, otherwise prepare for an even greater volume of illegal aliens in the future, who have been encouraged by the greed of unethical business and the lack of integrity of our elected officials in upholding our constitution, our laws, our borders, our national sovereignty and the rights and privileges of the law abiding citizens of this country!

J. Q.
St. Paul, MN 55117