June 25, 2010

Apparently Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis' latest PSA (Public Service Announcement) has got the right wingers up in arms. As Media Matters noted, "Contrary to the suggestion made by some bloggers that the campaign and hotline were created solely for undocumented workers, they are aimed at all vulnerable workers, regardless of immigration status."

Fox's Greta Van Susteren and Stephen Moore just didn't understand how the Department of Labor might care that workers of any status might need to know their rights and pretended that this only applied to illegal immigrants rather than legal immigrants who may have employers exploiting them as well.

And of course Wall Street flack Stephen Moore is not in favor of employer sanctions because he doesn't think "we should turn our employers into immigration cops". Sorry Stephen, but it doesn't turn them into cops. What it should be doing is turning them into criminals if we want to take the harsh stance that the right wing does towards the workers coming here. Heaven forbid we might punish the employers who too often keep these workers as slaves even though slavery was supposed to be outlawed in the United States.

He is all in favor of letting that cheap labor come in though. Just as long as the border is secured first, their typical right wing talking point that does nothing to actually address the problem of why workers from Mexico are coming here in the first place.

How about this Stephen? How about we actually make sure that no one coming in is either kept as a slave or paid slave wages, we punish employers that exploit their workers and send them to jail when they violate our labor laws and we legalize marijuana so we're not using our tax dollars to fight Mexican drug cartels who are running drugs across our borders one way and guns from America the other way? And while we're at it, how about fixing those trade laws that destroyed all of the small farms in Mexico that has so many of them looking to the United States for work in the first place?

I would guess if we did those things our border security could probably handle what few people were still trying to cross the border illegally. As long as we want what amounts to the mob running the drugs and the continued exploitation of workers with no consequences for those that hire them all the border security in the world isn't going to fix this problem.

Hacks like Stephen Moore would rather protect the big commercial farms, the gun manufacturers, big pharma, WalMart, the hotel industry, the cotton industry and a host of businesses that don't want to see workers paid a fair wage, don't want to see marijuana legalized because it would cut into their profits and who are happy to exploit their workers as long as there are no meaningful penalties attached to that exploitation.

In the mean time the right wing zealots will continue to pit working class people against each other who should be on the same side of the issue that no one, no matter what country they're working in or coming from is paid slave wages for their labor, and they'll continue to do it by demonizing "the other" and fear mongering about things like terrorism and the evil illegal immigrants that are "infiltrating" our country while ignoring the businesses that are taking advantage of the workers and causing the problem in the first place.

If our pundit class at Fox and the Wall Street Journal dared to tell the truth about the actual problem with the rich exploiting the poor and that they have equal disdain for the "Real Americans" that they're happy to exploit and take advantage of for political purposes, that wingnut welfare check from Rupert Murdoch might get cut off, and we couldn't have that, now could we?

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