Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2007

Modern slavery

March 15, 2007

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To the editor:

John "Osawatomie" Brown represented courage, conviction and true independence from a tyrannical system of oppression. He was a civil rights activist who outwardly and openly challenged the United States government in its blindness and hypocrisy to the "peculiar institution" of his time: slavery.

Today, we face a new peculiar institution in the hiring of undocumented (illegal) aliens. Too many companies are hiring these people for what we would consider "slave wages" while the federal government turns its back. These companies with their Washington connections have been getting away with this new brand of slavery for many years.

One can hardly blame these people for wanting to cross the border where they know jobs are plentiful and they will be paid a far better (albeit minimal) wage than what they get in their own countries of origin. It seems sad, though, to use one's "yearning to be free" as justification to enslave them. When the president and double-speak politicians of both parties say these are only jobs Americans won't take, they are giving a wink and nod to their corporate money supporters that they plan no large-scale enforcement of our border laws.

John Brown led a raid on the federal government at Harpers Ferry in 1859. Although a more civil approach needs to be implemented, a figurative "raid" on Washington by modern abolitionists might again gain the attention of a hypocritical government. Kansans should reconsider their alignment with the two-party system, another peculiar institution.

Robert M. Tyler,

Lawrence

Comments

lefthanded 8 years, 1 month ago

Go Rob Go! Awesome letter to the editor!

geekin_topekan 8 years, 1 month ago

I was offered a job in Mexico when I was younger.(10 years ago),with an illegal friend's father.Wages?$450/wk.Thats pesos.Or roughly $45American! My thoughts were "you gotta be kidding".Now I can see why they would risk life and limb to cross the desert on foot.To make Twice their weekly salary in one day!

mom_of_three 8 years, 1 month ago

Almost every abolitionist of John Brown's time advocated non-violence. He was going to abolish slavery in whatever means necessary. He also murdered 5 men who views were different than his own.

Although your comparison of illegal immigrants to slaves may have valid points, I would use another example.

mick 8 years, 1 month ago

There is absolutely no correlation between slavery and illegal immigration. Illegal immigrants come here of their own free will. It is an insult to the memory of those who truly did suffer under slavery.

opinion 8 years, 1 month ago

Mick,

I agree. Both situations are tragic. Tragic but different. Comparing the two takes a bit away from both.

pelliott 8 years, 1 month ago

government doesn't create a legal remedy for the workers because that is the greatest boon to corporations. it is slavery, you can say all you want about the workers, demonize them, make up things, blame them for any cultural problem you wantm blame them for becoming slaves. It ends up, the feds have brought slavery back to the american workplace because of the bucks, and they have left the borders open because of the bucks.

mick 8 years, 1 month ago

Greed, once again, is the cause of our illegal immigration problem. All of the laws are already on the books to prevent it but they are not being enforced because of special interest groups such as the Chamber of Commerce.

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

Although John Brown may have killed his share, I'm sure it doesn't even compare with the number of people killed by the illegals in this country.

Jamesaust 8 years, 1 month ago

I realised that most tub-thumpers on this subject were crazed idiots but now we have it in writing.

Who but the most famous terrorist in U.S. history to cite as an inspiration but that mentally unstable zealot John Brown.

Hmmm.....how did that whole insurrection business turn out for ol' Osawatomie Brown?

Significant majorities of Americans support granting citizenship to undocumented persons and expanding visas to better approximate demand so as to better control movement across our borders. But a few crazed zealots keep standing in the way of resolving the matter.

Who next as the wingnut saint - Timothy McVeigh?

hockmano 8 years, 1 month ago

Why not give all illegals amnesty? Give them a certain amount of time to register as citizens and if they choose not to THEN send them home.Do you understand that illegals are working and not paying into the social security system, income taxes etc.. If every illegal was given a choice to become a citizen or leave they would gladly pay taxes I am sure.

JSDAD 8 years, 1 month ago

Why not give all illegals amnesty?

At the same time you would be adding to the roles of the unemployeed and social service recipients. there are those who do not see that it isnt so much that the immigrants dont want to pay the tax, but that also the employer doesnt want to match the tax. So when they send their $4.00 ( due to the cost of working within the system) kumquats to market and receive $1.00 they also end up at the social service office. When the immigrant becomes legal and tax paying, they are no longer desired by the employer due to the cost of duing business in an over taxed system

tolawdjk 8 years, 1 month ago

"Fines for hiring undocumented workers should begin at $5,000 per employee. The fines would be used to fund more enforcement officers."

Too low. $5,000 per employee just becomes a cost of doing business then. Fines should be based on the differential of industry average for that industry of a legal employee and the actual wage of the illegal, plus all taxes and benefits not garnered by the illegal, times the number of illegals times the number of years that proof can be demonstrated that illegals were used times whatever the cost of inflation was going back to that year.

Companies should be crippled for hiring illegals. Only then will it be demonstrated to business that they need to change. If an employer is saving $10,000 a yer per employee by hiring illegal, then a fine of $5,000 isn't going to deter.

Hit these places like its securities fraud.

Crispian Paul 8 years, 1 month ago

Posted by Confrontation (anonymous) on March 15, 2007 at 11:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Although John Brown may have killed his share, I'm sure it doesn't even compare with the number of people killed by the illegals in this country.

Are you kidding me? Is that really the point you want to make? From my, albeit anecdotal, experience, most illegal residents in the US actually try and lay low and obey the law so as to NOT get deported or charged and deported.

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

You do the math. You don't even have to include all the rapes, wife beatings, child molestation, etc. Take a look at the registered sex offenders in Kansas. There's a big chunk of them that are illegal. You must only read this newspaper if you seriously don't think that a ton of murders can be attributed to illegals. Even if "most" try to lay low, "the rest" are making themselves known.

Porter 8 years, 1 month ago

"Take a look at the registered sex offenders in Kansas. There's a big chunk of them that are illegal. You must only read this newspaper if you seriously don't think that a ton of murders can be attributed to illegals. "

What are you talking about?? How can you tell that these registered sex offenders are illegals?? Can you point to one murder that's been committed by an illegal? I'm sure it happens, but I'd hardly say it's a "ton of murders".

By the way, which weighs more: a ton of murders or a ton of illegals?

Linda Endicott 8 years, 1 month ago

Anxiousatheist,

What in the world makes you think that everyone that was born in the U. S. is prosperous and has a good life???

There are millions of people in THIS country who also do not have money or the creature comforts you talk about. Who said everyone has high wages? If you are dirt poor in THIS country, where should you try to go to improve your lot in life???

There are far too many American citizens who work dirty, back-breaking jobs every day for peon wages, if they can find work at all, and they live in slum conditions.

You seem to think that all Americans are a privileged class or something. Where on earth did you get that idea?

ASBESTOS 8 years, 1 month ago

GREAT LETTER ROBERT!!!!!

For the rest of you "illegal alien apologists" get a clue. Robert is exactly correct. He nailed it.

"What part of illegal do you not understand?"

INDEED!

Confrontation 8 years, 1 month ago

anxiousatheist: No, you're the one who is "you're conflating "illegals" and "sex offenders" as the same problem." I'm just pointing at the fact that a significant percentage of sex offenders are also illegal. Considering there should be no illegals in this country, their percentage of crimes is disgusting. Here are some interesting articles for those of you who think all illegals are nice and teddy-bearish:

http://www.oanow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=OAN%2FMGArticle%2FOAN_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1149193098569&path=oanow.com!letters

http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_1_the_illegal_alien.html

http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/text/crimevictims.html

ASBESTOS 8 years, 1 month ago

"When the immigrant becomes legal and tax paying, they are no longer desired by the employer due to the cost of duing business in an over taxed system"

That is the salient point that all forget or ignore in the illegal alien debate.

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