We’ll take your huddled masses, but get a job first

Republican presidential hopeful John McCain says the focus on illegal immigration during the Republican primary season harmed his party’s image among Hispanics.

Speaking to reporters in Phoenix on Cinco de Mayo, McCain said that Hispanic citizens want America’s borders secured and illegal immigrants to be treated humanely.

He says low-income Hispanic citizens are vulnerable to losing their jobs to the lower wages accepted by illegal immigrants.


On the subject of broader immigration policies, McCain says local governments would not have to take on immigration problems had the federal government overhauled the country’s immigration policies.



Here’s an idea. Since we (American taxpayers) surrender billions of dollars trying to help third-world countries around the globe, why can’t we help Mexico (as well as other countries contributing to America’s immigration woes) help themselves?

It seems to me that if we used all that money and effort to help our bordering neighbors create new job programs — not the type of cheaper labor programs that are enticing American companies to shift labor away from America and American workers — but job programs created inside their own country that would benefit their country’s labor force and deter them from wanting to come to our country for work.

I often hear people use the words from the Statue of Liberty that say, “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! … Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Those words meant something 122 years ago when Lady Liberty arrived from France. Today, I’m not so sure that it is relevant.

Everyone talks about America being the land of the free. Maybe we’ve become the land of the freeloader. Calling an illegal alien an “undocumented immigrant” is like calling a drug dealer an “unlicensed pharmacist.” And the last time I checked, Mexico was a free country, too.

Doug Loehr is a member of the Examiner editorial staff. He can be reached at 592-3060, ext. 136, or via e-mail at dloehr@examiner.org.