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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Need Your Help

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Okay so I am going to rant here a little bit. ran a story last week about how a woman in Chicago went to apply for a job at Target, and was turned down because they said she already worked there. Or at least her Social Security number did.

Government reports suggest that hundreds of thousands of Americans have the same problem -- namely, that their social security numbers are being used by illegal immigrants so they can comply with employment requirements. The government often knows this is happening -- a stolen social security number is used on average of 30 times, according to private data collection firm ChoicePoint. The government isn't required to tell you that it's happening, nor do they make any attempt to stop it, happy to collect social security contributions made by people who will never claim them. But your credit can be destroyed, and the IRS will come after you for the taxes.

It's just one of the myriad problems caused by illegal immigration in the US, and it's the big elephant in the middle of the room nobody wants to talk about. Republicans like O'Reilly and Sensenbrenner bitch about putting up walls around the US and spend a lot of time thinking up ways to make the lives of illegal immigrants worse than they already are, but they're really pleased as punch that they're here and willing to live at subsistence levels and provide cheap labor to American business.

Democrats are, if possible, even worse. Feeling powerless in the face of the Republican machine, they have sat idly by while 4 to 6 million US jobs have shifted from the legal work force to the underground since 1990, gutting organized labor and compromising safe working condition -- this according to a report by Bear Stearns earlier this month (pdf). They console themselves with the feeble hope that when and if these illegal aliens are given citizenship, they will vote Democratic. Truly pathetic.

But the thing that's bugging me at the moment is that despite the fact that an overwhelming number of Americans favor immigration reform, despite the fact that when Bob Schieffer hosted the third Presidential debate he said he got more emails on this topic than any other, and despite the proliferation on the web of left-leaning voices, none are speaking out about this from a liberal perspective.

Sure there is FAIR, but they might as well call themselves Republicans. When Sensenbrenner pipes up about prohibiting driver's licenses for illegal aliens, which I have to say I really don't give a crap about, they're all over the fact that he's a Republican. When Tom Adelson of Oklahoma puts forward meaningful legislation to penalize employers who hire illegal aliens and allow citizens to take action against them, no mention is made of the fact that he's a Democrat. (BTW, two snaps up for Senator Adelson's bill, which calls for "suspension of corporate charters of companies that knowingly employ illegal aliens." Now there's some teeth.)

Conversely, when uber-loathsome Mike Johanns was nominated for Secretary of Agriculture recently, FAIR sent out a press release saying Johanns had done everything he could to keep the Justice Department from cracking down on meat packers who were using illegal aliens to bust up unions and devastate fair wages. No mention was made of the fact that he was a Republican.

So. What I'm asking is this. If you know of a site on the web, be it a blog or an organization, who is supporting PROGRESSIVE immigration reform, please drop me a line or put it in the comments. I want to have a separate blogroll for them. Don't bother with the winger sites that fuel themselves with racist, jingoistic notions of a "pure America," 'cos I know they're out there and I'm not promoting them.

I still maintain that this is going to be a HUGE voter issue at some point in the future, and progressive people need to get out in front of it or it will be co-opted and twisted by the mouth breathers into something none of us are going to be happy with.

(Thanks to GM for the tip!)