Border Justice




 The Economics of Migration


I attended the panel discussion, “the Economics of Migration” on Thursday 3:00p.m.  I found Harry Garewal, CEO of Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Sally Spray, director of International Trade very informative.  I was expecting a more in-depth talk of how our economy is affected by migrant workers.  I believe migrants are very good for our economy.  A gentleman stood up when the panelists were addressing questions and took an opposing view.  I couldn’t believe what I heard from him.  He stated that migrants are bad for our economy due to the fact that they take jobs away from U.S. citizens who are on welfare.  Welfare reform laws enacted at the federal level in the late 1990’s require swift transition to work or they become ineligible.   I’m from northern Idaho and felt as if I was listening to the type of white supremacist ideology that I would occasionally hear up there from members of the white supremacists.  Sadly, many people share the white supremacists belief, like the gentleman at the discussion, which migrants take jobs away from our country and who are nothing but bad people taking away from our society.

Garewal brought up a great point about how migrants are hard workers, pay taxes and will never receive the benefits from it, i.e. social security.  My husband runs a company whose majority of employees are immigrants.  They are very hard working and deserve all of the benefits and respect that Americans receive.  There was another gentleman that addressed the panel about the companies hiring illegal immigrants.  It was his opinion that companies should be held responsible for hiring illegal immigrants.  I know first hand that my husband hires immigrants all the time and they produce documentation.  The question is, is their documentation authentic?  I have been fortunate to get to know some of his employees that are citizens now, and I learned by asking questions how easy it is for the immigrants to gain fake documentation.  Why should companies be penalized for this if they can’t tell the fake from the real? 



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