Friday, January 09, 2004

Memo to Republicans: Immigrants aren't stupid 

Jennifer Mena of the LA Times went out and actually talked to one:

The day after President Bush proposed a new guest-worker program that would include illegal immigrants, Santa Ana street vendor Alberto Garcia was dishing out more than chicharrones and cut fruit.

"The Bush plan is pure politics," said Garcia, who came to the United States four years ago and earns a wage based on the amount of fruit and snacks he sells near downtown Santa Ana, an immigrant enclave where more people speak Spanish than English. "It's an election year, so I don't believe it will get anywhere. They say they'll get us work visas and give us the right to travel outside the United States and return. I don't believe it. They can't even get us a driver's license to get to work."

Construction worker Arturo Espatia, 36, said the plan falls short of a thank-you because it would grant an undocumented worker like himself only two three-year visas. In six years, he said, "I'd be as illegal as I am now."

"If a boss has to sponsor me, I really wonder if he would," Espatia said. "And if he did, wouldn't he use that to make me work harder? It would be like [the boss] owned me."

Right. For the Bush administration, it's a two-fer: (1) the votes of any Latinos gullible enough to fall for it, and (2) virtual slaves for big business of the plan goes through. Yech.

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