May Day protestors come out in support of illegal workers
Jennifer G. Hickey
Judging by the protests that took place across the nation yesterday, May Day has lost its meaning as an occasion to protest for labor and worker rights. This year, the rallies were in support of those who cannot legally hold jobs in the U.S. and the politicians who pander to them.It was no surprise that Gov. Kate Brown, the only governor refusing to approve National Guard deployment to the border, chose to celebrate the day by appearing at a rally designed to defend Oregon’s sanctuary state law and fend off any attempts to restore the rule of law to the state.”If that initiative petition makes it to the ballot, and if a majority of Oregon voters say ‘yes, we want to repeal,’ it would be taking us back to an Oregon where racial profiling is even more rampant today,” said Andrea Williams, the head of the pro-amnesty group, Causa Oregon.For her part, Brown used the opportunity to further cement the state’s lawlessness by signing Senate Bill 1563, which allows illegals access to in-state tuition, and House Bill 4111, which gives DACA participants the right to renew their driver’s licenses.“In our Oregon, we will continue working to create an inclusive state and thriving communities, where everyone has the opportunity to provide a better life for their families,” said Brown before signing the legislation into law.In New York City, the protests organized by several groups, including the Democratic Socialists of America and the communist-sympathizing Workers World Party, took on a more political tone with anti-Trump slogans and a heavy focus on the administration’s immigration policies.Shirley Cap, a 25-year old from the Bronx, told amNY she was there because “I have the luxury of being here and if I get into trouble, I won’t be deported.”What Cap and the thousands across the country fail to recognize is that foreign and illegal workers are one of greatest threats to the American worker. Low-skilled illegal immigration has and continues to drag down wages in the labor force. Meanwhile in more highly skilled positions, institutions and employers are increasingly looking overseas to fill shortages.As Ira Mehlman noted in a recent article, in order to fix so-called shortages in nursing, “American health care institutions have been turning to foreign nurses. About 15 percent of nurses currently work in the U.S. are foreign born, and the health care industry is constantly clamoring for more.”In another highly-valued profession, teaching, the same practice is occurring. The New York Times reported on how recruiting firms are looking to the Philippines to fill open teaching positions.In fact, State Department figures show more than 2,800 foreign teachers were brought to the U.S. on J-1 visas — up from about 1,200 in 2010.Those certainly are not numbers to celebrate on May Day – or any day.
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