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Anything you can do, I can do better...

I've written before about the joys of having a two-newspaper town, like Boston does. Such competition is a wonderful way to assure quality, as they spend a great deal of effort trying to one-up each other. If one gets a great scoop, the other paper will kill itself to either top it, or find more info on the story that the first missed.

And if that scoop is in a field that the other paper considers its turf, it's all the better.

For years, the illegal alien issue has been a sharp, divisive issue between the Globe and the Herald. The Glob takes the liberal party line -- they're all just immigrants, the "legal/illegal" division is pointless, and we should welcome all immigrants, whether or not they bother to do such complicated things as ask to come in first. The Herald, on the other hand, has presented the voice of sanity -- illegal aliens are breaking the law every day, and we're all paying the price for that.

So, last Sunday, when the Glob did a piece exposing the state's hiring of contractors who employ illegal aliens, the Herald didn't care that the Glob's motive was to make a political "hit" against a candidate they didn't like. They saw the Glob intruding on THEIR TURF, and by god they were NOT gonna let the Boring Broadsheet own that story.

So while the Glob's reporters pored over financial reports and audits and the like, the Herald's snoops actually got their hands dirty by visiting construction sites and talking with the faces behind the fake Social Security numbers. And the results are as horrifying as they are predictable:

  • Serious safety violations, including shoddy scaffolding, no safety harnesses, and one guy firing a nail gun into a floor right over another worker's head
  • Grossly below-average pay scales, often unreported ("under the table")
  • Workers openly admitting they were illegal aliens, and willing to reveal how they got fraudulent identity papers

And in the most disturbing case, one construction worker turned out to be a 15-year-old illegal alien from Guatemala, getting $6.00/hour for 10-hour days. I'm no accountant or lawyer, so I can't even begin to count the number of laws being broken in his case alone.

This is a glimpse into the true price of illegal aliens. The state of Massachusetts controls the wages paid to construction workers, then hires the companies that freely and openly ignore those laws. Well-paid jobs Americans would gladly take are going instead to illegal aliens. Refugees from other lands find they must live as little better than slaves or risk being turned in to immigration authorities.

And anyone who points out these things to officials charged with enforcing these laws finds themselves humored, mollified, or ignored while the status quo continues.

Perhaps those of us who oppose illegal immigration and all the exploitations and abuse that come with that need a public makeover. Maybe we can start calling ourselves "the new abolitionists" and try to reach beyond traditional partisan lines for support. There's absolutely no reason why human rights groups and trade unions shouldn't be on our side, and there's never a lack of leftists willing to go after Big Business for any reason.

Historically, the original Abolitionists were more aligned with the Republicans, but around the Civil War there were Democrats of good conscience who rejected their party's offiical pro-slavery position. We ought to push to make the fight against illegal immigration -- and the exploitation of illegal aliens -- a non-partisan issue.

Alas, I don't see that happening any time soon.

Comments (14)

Thanks for trumpeting and i... (Below threshold)

Thanks for trumpeting and illustrating the benefits of a free, competitive MSM.

free, competitive ... (Below threshold)
free, competitive MSM

Yes, Lee. Thank God for Fox News, right?

Yes, I'm glad Fox is around... (Below threshold)

Yes, I'm glad Fox is around.

Meanwhile, over on the Glob... (Below threshold)

Meanwhile, over on the Globe editorial page, the depths of the racism of the Globe is on display for all to see in their lead, headlined:

"Policing busboys"

Immigrants, at least to the relative rich Boston Globe editorial staff, are merely here to clean up after us. They aren't really human, and after all, we need to have the toilet-piss wiped from the seats every once in a while.

Illegal immigrants are just "busboys, hotel maids, and janitors," according to the racists on the Globe editorial staff. They could never be construction workers, or CPAs, or editorial writers.

Resources would be better spent policing elsewhere.

Read the whole sickening thing here.

So which paper was Ethel Me... (Below threshold)

So which paper was Ethel Merman and which Ray Middleton?

Lee, I figured you would be... (Below threshold)

Lee, I figured you would be going after those racists at the Globe and Herald for even looking into these illegal aliens. I mean according to you those of us against illegal immigration are "mostly" racists, right?

"the original Abolitionists... (Below threshold)

"the original Abolitionists were more aligned with the Republicans..."

To be more specific; the Republican Party was born of the abolitionist, free soil and free speech movements.

During the last decade my h... (Below threshold)

During the last decade my home town, Chicago, has had a construction boom that defies imagination. Not just the skyscraper condos being built along the new Millennium Park (heretofore known as the northern end of Grant Park) but in practically every neighborhood in the city. The first wave of this construction decade was the townhouses that either replaced dilapidated rowhouses or were a part of planned communities spreading for blocks. Construction could not keep up with demand, and many of the builders hired illegals to catch up with the new-build orders.

Is it any surprise that there are now significant structural problems in many of these new townshouses? Anyone who lives in or visits Chicago knows these townhouses on sight: brick fronted , five-floor, three-unit behemouths with what the industry calls "rusticated cinderblock" porous, textured cement clocks) on the other three on the rear and sides of the structure. Rusticated cinderblock has to be specially treated lest rain, snow, humidity, etc. sink into and weaken the cement. Builders took it on faith that the quick-hires (read: illegals) knew how to do this. No inspections followed, either by the builders or the City.

The cinderblock is no cleaving away from the inside out, and people are finding that structures anchored in that same material are buckling. First floors are collapsing into ground level garages, to name just one of the many problems these homeowners now must deal with. Of course, the builders have long-since declared bankruptcy and the illegals have moved on to new jobsites. People can say "Oh, who cares about rich people and their ugly duplexes!", but the truth is that this evenly affects all income levels. Middle-aged people with money, retirees making a seemingly "safe" investment in real estate before they go into assisted living, and couples buying their first homes.

Tell me again Dems how the illegal problem doesn't hurt anyone.

J.R. - I never said most, I... (Below threshold)

J.R. - I never said most, I said some.

re: commenting on this post -- The fact that the wolves around here are shopping for sheepskin coats pretty much says it all. I don't need to add anything to that.

That the wolves are much sm... (Below threshold)

That the wolves are much smarter than the rest?

Doesn't really make me feel that bad for the sheep... but that's just me being predator-centric again.

Lee, do you have anything valuable to add, or do you prefer just trumpeting aroun bad metaphors and that Fox News is somehow so scummy that they're not worth the 1st ammendment?

Let me get this strait... ... (Below threshold)
Jonas Planck:

Let me get this strait... Illegal immigration caused your building contractors to cut corners while buying materials? Neat trick. I bet illegals caused Ken Lay to swipe all that money, too. If only they had assimilated properly...

Abolitionists? Yeah, we're freeing lots of people, but only after holding them a few years without charging them with anything. Modern Rubs are more like the original Federalists.

If you want to know about i... (Below threshold)

If you want to know about illegals in construction, you don't ask a Senator. Senators don't do construction. You don't ask NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN. They've never gotten their fingernails dirty. I've done construction for almost 30 years and I can tell you anything you want to know about illegals. The story you wrote Jay is true to a point, but it's much worse than anyone knows. The American skilled tradesman as you know him, is dying. Pipefitters, electricians, sheet metal workers, plumbers, welders, insulators, masons, framers .... Yes at one point illegals did work for less, but those days are gone. The last project I worked on had illegal helpers that made $15 an hour. The skilled Illegals made $20 - $25 an hour. But if you listen to the MSM or politicians, they will say these are jobs Americans don't want. Not true. These are jobs that were stolen.

That the wolv... (Below threshold)

That the wolves are much smarter than the rest?

Doesn't really make me feel that bad for the sheep... but that's just me being predator-centric again.

Lee, do you have anything valuable to add, or do you prefer just trumpeting aroun bad metaphors and that Fox News is somehow so scummy that they're not worth the 1st ammendment?

Posted by: gattsuru at June 22, 2006 04:31 PM

Well where do I start? First, apparently my metaphor was over your IQ level, but I won't belabor that point. Maybe one of your friends will it explain it to you, if you have any.

As to Fox News, all I said in my comment is that I'm glad they are around. Why do you have a problem with that?

When Fox breaks in with some BS story like WMDs found in Iraq!, and it is dutifully picked up by Lorie Byrd or Kim Preistap, it pleases me. That shouldn't be hard to understand.

Oh wait, I already addressed the "understanding" thing earlier in this comment. Never mind.

As a labor Democrat, I am s... (Below threshold)

As a labor Democrat, I am strongly opposed to illegal immigration. It is disgusting how Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Republicans like George Bush and John McCain are more interested in pandering to illegal aliens than protecting American jobs. Much of the Democratic Party leadership may have joined the big business Republicans on this issues, but most rank and file Democrats feel the same way as Republicans and Independents on this issue. The American people want border security and employer compliance with our immigration laws.






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