United States

Immigrants Pay their Share

By Brian Schwartz

I received this message recently via email promoting the following petition. Other such petitions are circulating on the Internet.

“Petition for President Bush: Social Security Changes

“Dear Mr. President:

“We, the undersigned, protest the bill that the Senate voted upon recently which would allow illegal aliens to access our Social Security.

“We demand that you and all Congressional Representatives require citizenship as a prerequisite for social services in the United States.

“We further demand that there not be any amnesty given to illegal immigrants, no free services, no funding, no payments to and for illegal immigrants. We are fed up with the lack of action about this matter and are tired of ‘paying’ for services to illegals!”

This shameful petition is a distraction from what really needs to be done to advance the fight for adequate social security. A quick note here on illegal immigration. When immigrants legal or otherwise are working in a fixed industry like a meat packing plant or fast food restaurant, social security is deducted from their wages and matched by their employers. If agricultural laborers are illegal immigrants working under the table for cash and manage to collect a benefit from time to time or use medical facilities paid for by taxpayers, they have saved you thousands of dollars prior to them using these services by laboring in the great agricultural fields at basement wages keeping your food dirt cheap at the super market.

We are commanded by all the great literature written by suffering authors and the words of the messenger Jesus Christ, to look out for each other and provide for those who are in need. Here, those who have signed this racist petition violate the very single most important tenet that built organized labor in the first place and that is solidarity. We have more in common with the Mexican laborers who are fighting and struggling honestly to feed their families rather than let them starve. Here in America, many of our brothers and sisters do not have health and dental insurance. There are a lot of you parents out there that have forked out of your own pocket for your kid’s education at overpriced post-secondary schools. If you are like us, you have kids that have just started their own lives as newlyweds. We had our daughter inform us that she hasn’t been to a dentist in two years because she and her husband can’t get coverage where they are working. Like most of you, we are now paying out of pocket to provide basic dentistry to our grown children who are gainfully employed and college educated.

A horrible reactionary war that eats up our national treasury is really damaging our country financially—that is the present Iraq war. Did you know, folks, that the generals in Iraq are not protected by soldiers of our citizen army? Generals like Petraeus are protected by private security forces who are paid thousands of dollars more than the average U.S. grunt. We want to make Social Security pay and provide health care coverage for all. Then let’s demand an end to senseless war expenditures and the foreign policy that gave birth to the present quagmires we find ourselves stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let’s quit giving tax breaks to the super rich. It isn’t the immigrants that are causing problems in this country. It is corporate greed protected by the Democrats and Republicans that are diminishing our social security funds and wasting our money on endless wars fought by overpaid mercenaries from Blackwell and Halliburton Corporations.

One world working class joined in a common struggle against the corporate parasites that fleece mankind from their respective decaying, failing, national states. A world without borders and decent living standards for all of Earth’s people living in a future state of international peace!