Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy have introduced an immigration bill that would grant "guest worker" status to immigrants coming here to do our dirty work. Those already here would could apply for legal status if they pay a fine and back taxes on the money they've already earned.
Opponents of the bill say it's granting amnesty to criminals. These people came here illegally and they've got to be punished for it. Excuse me, aren't fines and paying back taxes punishment? I know that there are plenty of CEOS out there employing an army of lawyers to avoid both.
Also, critics say the immigrants are taking jobs away from American citizens. No they're not. They're taking the jobs that we refuse to do, like motel housekeeping, food service, hospital aides and lawn maintenance. It's back breaking work for low pay. What's so mind-boggling about all this is that the immigrants pay thousands of dollars to smugglers and risk their lives just to run leaf blowers and change sheets in motel rooms for $6.00 an hour.
I think it's a great idea. Not just because it will bring in money from the fees, fines and back taxes. Or that immigrants will be able to shed the constant fear of deportation. Or even that there will finally be some sort of control over who comes in and who doesn't.
The best thing is that it will save lives. Two years ago this month, 100 Mexicans were found stuffed like cord wood into a truck left to bake in the Texas sun. Eighteen died and dozens were hospitalized for heat exhaustion and dehydration. Instead of walking across the desert or cramming themselves into car trunks, immigrants will have a safe journey here.
And we won't be finding truck loads of dead bodies in Texas any more