Who would have guessed that one of the issues deadlocking federal budget negotiations would be how many undocumented aliens to legalize? Just four years ago, Congress enacted, and the president signed, the toughest anti-immigrant legislation in decades. But today, labor, business, and political elites are praising as "essential workers" the immigrants they used to call "illegal aliens."
In the online article entitled "The End of Ellis Island," Paul Donnelly ties a guest worker proposal being formulated by Senator Phil Gramm to proposals on U.S.-Mexico immigration policy developed by a binational panel of immigration experts. Both were announced just prior to the February meeting of Presidents Bush and Fox in Mexico that resulted in an agreement to begin high-level negotiations on the often-contentious topic of immigration.
Cross-national group loyalties can neither be wished away or erased. Yet the idea of the American nation is worth defending against multicultural attack. Herewith some ground rules for a culturally diverse nation.
Who harvested the fruits, vegetables, and nuts that graced our Thanksgiving tables? Most Americans, taking a moment to think, would know that immigrant labor in American fields brought in this autumn's crop. The circumstances of these workers' lives, however, are less well-known. The stark reality is that more than half of all farm workers live below the poverty line and the vast majority have no health insurance. And despite a general economic boom and increases in industry productivity and revenues, the real wages of farm workers have continued to fallas they have for the past 20 years.