Let me begin by stating that (for me) the jury is still out on the cost/benefit analysis of illegal aliens or undocumented workers–whichever suits you best. Moreover, my Black-centrism forestalls any real energy being placed in this issue for me (Nigerians seem to have no problems getting in).
However, it is unclear as to why so much hate and vitriol is cast upon aliens from Middle-America. I understand that during economically difficult times we are all looking for answers, and throughout history, immigrants have been easy targets. I think it is a good idea to keep some things in perspective with regard to undocumented workers.
First, let’s be clear that these are the most exploited of all social groups in the US. Being amongst the super-exploited, undocumented immigrants pay sales tax whenever they buy something here, but they have no legal recourse for crimes against them, they are not eligible for public services, yet (whether we want to admit it or not) they provide invaluable services that few would be willing to do for the wages they do it for. This has been historically true, and it continues to be true today. Second, successive and overlapping waves of European immigrants all faced their fair share of extreme nativism. Each was to blame for all social ills in the New England area–specifically–and other major metropolis areas as well. And, as is common and easy for European immigrants, each group assimilated into the dominant form of Whiteness and accompanying nativism that characterized society during their times. Without being too academic, read David Roediger’s (1991) work The Wages of Whiteness, and see Theodore W. Allen’s (1994, 1997) The Invention of the White Race Vol. 1 & 2 for starters.
Third, the difference between the experience of European ethnic groups like the Germans and Italians versus Middle-American immigrants is that the latter does not have the ability to assimilate or pass. They are highly conspicuous and despised, yet they come for the same reasons that Schwarzenegger is here (yeah I said it). In fact, go through the names of your government officials. How many of them are the sons or daughters of Polish, Germanic, Spanish, Italian, or Irish immigrants? What makes their presence so much more valuable than those who struggle to get here now?
Finally, we should not be surprised that illegal immigration has not stopped. No corporation really wants this. It’s called capitalism people. Why are we shocked? The largest expense for most businesses is wages, and capitalism is driven by the engine of efficiency–trying to produce faster and cheaper. As technology advances, we learn to do things faster, and these businesses, international and local, benefit from a steady supply of cheap and powerless labor. Do you honestly think that international corporations would prefer to hire US citizens and pay the high price of minimum wage because they are patriotic? Please! Patriotism is a patch to be worn and taken off like socks.
These people are not stealing jobs from anyone. They are not draining the economy, and in my mind they are just the latest wave of people to be hated in the service of White Supremacy (that goes for peoples of color hating these people as well–such is the nature of White Supremacy. One does not need to be White!).
Now, do I want signs written in Spanish? Nope. I also don’t want signs written in Korean or Chinese or Arabic or Hebrew or any language that I cannot read, since as I understand it, this is an English-speaking nation–at least primarily. I could be dead wrong (I’m sure someone will tell me if I am), but I see this hatred for Middle-American immigrants as misplaced frustration for a situation that these immigrants did not create. Be upset with yourselves.
…there’s gotta be some rules people.