("will pick fruit, trim trees, clean toilets - all the jobs you wouldn't be caught dead doing")
(Note: This is a repost from February - the Newstalgia House computer is still dead and we're trying as quickly as possible to get back up and running, but in the meantime . . . since the Health Care Bill has passed a major hurdle and become a historic landmark, there are other issues going on in our country right now. And as was evidenced by the 100,000+ rally yesterday in Washington, Immigration and its reform is the next big issue to tackle. It's no recent problem. It's been with us longer than the issue of Universal Health Care, and battle lines are clearly being drawn as we speak. As soon as is humanly possible, I will be posting speeches and documentary material pertaining to the Immigration question going back to the 1930s in an effort to try and provide you with historic perspective on a very thorny and passionate issue for a lot of people. And as soon as we get back up and running, I will bring those to you. Bear with me. - Gordon)
Ever since we actually became a country we've been tackling the issue of what to do about the unannounced, the undocumented, the illegal. That group of people which, in lieu of the Red Scare (now that it's gone) has given whole other groups of people something new to attach fear and hysteria (and a goodly amount of hate) to - illegal aliens and the immigration issue.
In retrospect the issue flairs up every few years, usually in the context of bad economic times. The desire to lay blame usually goes to the easiest targets; people you know nothing about and yet (we're led to believe) are seemingly everywhere. Just like Communists in the 1950s.
It was the same in 1988, when this documentary first aired (January 10, 1988). CBS Radio ran an installment of their Newsmark series on the then-burning issue of illegal aliens in the U.S.
John Blackstone (CBS News): “Whether we see them or not, these undocumented workers are part of this society, but for most of us their lives remain a mystery. According to Government figures, undocumented workers contribute $23 billion a year to the U.S. economy. And while some blame illegal aliens for American unemployment, the General Accounting Office report released in 1984 says undocumented workers do not take jobs from American citizens. To most Americans, the illegal immigrant is more a statistic than a real face.”
Twenty-two years later, the fingers of blame are pretty much pointing in the same direction with hate and fear achieving the same results.