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I did not steal your jobs, America

Time:2018-11-09 04:53Turbochargers information Click:

Ne Guardian Trinidad Tobago

Den­zil Mo­hammed

When I first stepped on Amer­i­can soil, I thought I had tak­en the wrong flight; I didn't hear a word of Eng­lish at Mi­a­mi In­ter­na­tion­al. That odd feel­ing last­ed a few min­utes. Some Amer­i­cans have felt this way their en­tire lives. And it in­cens­es them. On morn­ings, I can usu­al­ly be found run­ning af­ter a train or bus. I live out­side "the best place in the world to get sick"-the Long­wood med­ical area of Boston. Here, they do things like face trans­plants. My doc­tor is a kind Amer­i­can man with a Mid­dle-East­ern name. At the Long­wood stop, it's most­ly Asian and In­di­an stu­dents at Har­vard Med­ical School dis­em­bark­ing the trol­ley. Amer­i­can stu­dents in their North­east­ern U hood­ies get on.

A young White guy is head­ing down­town for a job in­ter­view. You can al­ways tell: he looks un­com­fort­able in his suit, and he's wear­ing white socks with black shoes. He's one of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans look­ing for work. Some, like him, bor­rowed a lot of mon­ey to get de­grees but now can't pay off those loans be­cause no one is hir­ing them. Oth­ers have been out of work for years or do me­nial work be­cause it's all they can get. The boy in the suit joins the line of seat­ed pas­sen­gers bowed in rev­er­ence to their iPods. I start watch­ing the news on my phone as the trol­ley am­bles to­wards the tun­nel. Im­mi­gra­tion is again the top sto­ry.

An­ti-im­mi­grant sen­ti­ment

"Fed­er­al gov­ern­ment sues to block state's il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion law." "Thou­sands of fam­i­lies split by US im­mi­gra­tion ef­forts." "Im­mi­grant Work­ers Gain Eco­nom­ic Ground while US Na­tives Slip." "...Peo­ple dri­ve by and shout out: 'Why don't you get a job?'" says an Oc­cu­py Wall Street pro­tes­tor. "I'd love to get a job. I've sent out 200 ap­pli­ca­tions but no­body will hire me." For­eign-born work­ers com­prise 16 per cent of the US labour force, up from 10 per cent in 1995. In the midst of this aw­ful re­ces­sion, their em­ploy­ment rate ap­pears to be slight­ly high­er than that of the na­tive-born. And there's a tsuna­mi of an­ti-im­mi­grant sen­ti­ment as a re­sult. On my way to work, I pick up some food at the Ethiopi­an place that serves, for all in­tents and pur­pos­es, dhal, toma­to cho­ka and fried cab­bage.

I pass by the usu­al group who gath­er every day near a dump­ster to talk, laugh, drink and smoke. They're out of work. One wears a neck brace. They use their un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits to make them­selves feel bet­ter. They nev­er look at me too nice­ly. I am grate­ful, how­ev­er...and re­lieved. In 2007, the quo­ta (85,000) for H1-B work visas was met with­in 48 hours. It's been sev­en months, and this year's quo­ta is yet to be met. Em­ploy­ers aren't pay­ing up to $6,000 to give a for­eign­er a job for three years. At a na­tion­al con­fer­ence in Seat­tle last month, I pre­sent­ed an on­line data­base I had helped build up. It pools to­geth­er the spec­trum of cred­i­ble re­search on im­mi­grants and im­mi­gra­tion in the US. It's an ef­fort to make the Amer­i­can pub­lic see with longer vi­sion rather than sim­ply the for­eign­er in a suit on his way to work when all they are left to do is drink their trou­bles away.

Few peo­ple know the facts on im­mi­gra­tion and yet they're all over the me­dia, Capi­tol Hill and the In­ter­net bray­ing a ca­coph­o­nous tune that for­eign work­ers tak­ing all the Amer­i­can jobs. They're sup­press­ing wages. Com­pa­nies from IBM to Wa­chovia have poli­cies to high­er for­eign­ers over Amer­i­cans. It's part of the broad­er an­ti-im­mi­gra­tion sen­ti­ment sweep­ing the US, the land of im­mi­grants where every im­mi­grant group that came here, from the Ital­ians to the Mex­i­cans, was met with hos­til­i­ty.

From eBay to Bud­weis­er

• Im­mi­gra­tion has slight­ly raised the av­er­age wage of the na­tive-born work­er.

• Im­mi­grants, the ma­jor­i­ty of whom are in the work­ing age group, are key in sup­port­ing sys­tems like So­cial Se­cu­ri­ty that ben­e­fit Amer­i­ca's age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

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