Public Speaker on Public Issues




Illegal immigration lays a golden egg for one of our nation's largest labor unions the AFL-CIO. It appears irrelevant to this labor organization that this golden egg of union dues will help to scramble the resources of our nation. Desperately seeking to boost its static membership numbers, this organization has officially proposed to allow undocumented workers the chance to seek legal citizenship.

We are not talking about one small Cuban boy here. We are not talking about a six-pack of people. We are talking about the Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS) own 1996 estimate of 5 million, and the additional 275,000 each year since.

Public law currently allows for illegal aliens to join unions. It does not, however, currently allow for illegal aliens to become United States citizens. Fearing that joining the union would bring about deportation, many illegals have chosen to not join unions. Folks who don't join, don't pay dues. So the AFL-CIO wants to fix that weak link in its bank account.

The AFL-CIO has chosen to not take on the harder and nobler work of improving its organization's appeal and its message to increase membership. It has chosen the downhill path, which degrades the essence of American citizenship for the price of union dues.

Proponents of this proposed civic insult tout the protection of exploited workers by employers, as a way to give such workers a voice. It doesn't seem to occur to them, that illegals do not warrant the voice of citizenship. That voice of protection belongs to natural born and naturalized citizens. There is more then one price to be paid for disobeying the law in a civilized society. The same is not true, however, for a marginalized society!

An associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO, Jeff Fannell apparently subscribes to the Clinton/Gore school of law, aka Make It Up As You Go! How else could one account for his statement, "It serves no one's interest to have an exploitable work force." This statement ignores the legal reality that the law which allows illegals to join a union (and pay union dues), is the same law that would protect them from employer exploitation.

Granting amnesty to illegals is something the U.S. has already done. We opened up our national hearts and pocketbooks in 1986 by passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. This allowed 3.1 million illegal aliens to call the U.S. home without fear of deportation. It did nothing to stem the flow of illegals. It did send the message that all are welcome no matter how you get here.

Consequently, we have more and more illegal immigration passing through our borders. Rather then serving as a beacon of liberty and freedom our nation's continual lack of civic courage to deal with illegal immigration has become a green light to take all you can get. Are we willing as a nation to settle for dishonesty as the qualifying standard for citizenship?

Additionally, the election of 1996 was compromised by this administration via "Citizenship USA" which registered unqualified voters. This action championed by Al Gore has since consumed enormous amounts of money, time and resources to clean up voting lists. That's an article in itself!

The significance of this proposed effort by the AFL-CIO should not be quickly dismissed . It represents a lot of what is weakening this nation today. Taking the easy road, or the fast food approach to achieving an end is a deplorable example for such a national institution. This nation would be far better served by labor leadership formulating a message and setting an example of support for immigration laws. The membership they should seek, should be one that itself knows that laws are not to be ignored. Laws are to be changed if not the will of the people, but certainly not ignored for convenience sake.

Perhaps what this proposal represents is an example of our national tendency to deal with difficult issues with bumper sticker phrases such as…..let's move beyond this. We heard that over and over again during impeachment hearings. Our national self-esteem was challenged by the realities and we wanted no part of it. In this case it's…let's move beyond the fact that you broke the law to enter this country.

Younger Americans are watching, listening and learning from our personal and civic actions. They will follow in our footsteps. Let us remember, that footsteps are created by example.

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