Corporations Fueling Immigration Problem

With all the controversy created by Arizona’s new immigration bill, I think we should consider the role corporations have played in creating this problem. For the past 30+ years, our large corporations have been “outsourcing” manufacturing jobs to places like China, India, Indonesia and Mexico. Our TVs are now made in China, Korea and Japan. Our DVDs are made in China. Our clothes and toys are made in China. Our shoes are made in China, Indonesia and Mexico. Our computer software is created in India. Our appliances are made in China and Korea. Many of our cars are made in Japan and Korea. The list goes on and on.

We’re told the reason our corporations have exported our jobs is that American consumers demand lower and lower prices. Really? Of course, consumers want to pay as little for products as possible. But at what cost? High unemployment? Lower wages? Fewer benefits? No health care? No pensions?

Face it, the real reason corporations export jobs is to maximize profits by avoiding reasonable wages and benefits. Most of all, they want to avoid organized labor, which has forced corporations to treat employees fairly.

Now, let’s look at the industries which hire most of the undocumented workers – fast food outlets, meat-packing plants, roofing companies, landscaping businesses, corporate farms and other labor-intensive businesses. Why do they hire illegals? Because these are industries which, for a variety of reasons, are unable to export jobs to other countries. So, the only way for these industries to cut salaries and benefits is to hire illegals. After all, illegals have no voice. They are so desperate to find a job that they are willing to endure long, dangerous treks arcross the desert or to deal with human traffickers in the hopes of being hired. They can’t organize unions. They can’t pressure the government for higher minimum wages. They can’t sue the corporations. All they can do is work for the salaries and benefits the corporations are willing to offer them.

As long as we allow corporations to continue to hire illegal workers without serious consequences, this problem is unlikely to change. They know that the federal, state and local governments will continue to cut corporate taxes and reduce regulations in an attempt to replace jobs that our corporations have exported. They know that investors won’t care as long as their stock values continue to rise. They know that the majority of consumers will never boycott products made by illegals as long as prices are low. They know governments will provide education, health care and other benefits for their employees and their families at no cost to the corporations. And if their illegal workers are deported, these corporations know that there will be plenty of other illegal immigrants to take their place.

So my question is this: Why are we punishing illegal workers when we should be punishing unethical corporations?