Illegal workers targeted in R.I. – Boston Globe

Illegal workers targeted in R.I. – Boston Globe
Crackdown fuels immigration debate
By Maria Sacchetti
Globe Staff / February 12, 2008

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island, facing a budget crisis that will lead to massive cutbacks, is engulfed in the most intense battle over illegal immigration in New England, with Republicans and Democrats alike calling for a crackdown on unauthorized workers.
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In the past few weeks, state lawmakers and the governor have proposed a battery of measures targeting unauthorized workers, from expelling undocumented children from the state’s healthcare system to making English the official language to jailing business owners and landlords who harbor illegal workers.

I think these people should feel really proud that they’re seeking to remove healthcare for children. How dare these “illegal” children expect to have healthcare. It’s really a shame this is happening in the United States.

“We need to start taking care of the people who are residents of the state of Rhode Island, who rightfully belong here, who come here, pay taxes, and support all these programs,” said state Senator Christopher B. Maselli, a Democrat and the great-grandson of Italian knife makers, who is cosponsoring the legislation that, among other things, would punish landlords and business owners who harbor illegal workers. “They’re sick and tired of having to support people who don’t come here the right way.”

Are they sick of “supporting” them or looking at them. I don’t believe the residents of Rhode Island are actually supporting undocumented migrants. These migrants are working which is obviously why the local government is trying to pass laws to punish those that hire them. The idea that migrants are “taking” from everyone else is just a tactic used to demonize them. I’d certainly love to have somebody produce some real studies, backed by fact and documentation, which show how migrants are “taking” from local communities.

After an undocumented worker from Mexico cut his face open with a chainsaw and recently collected $30,000, Carcieri said he would file legislation to end workers’ compensation benefits for illegal workers.

I agree with this comment as it seems that these immigrants are being used as scapegoats for local governments that can’t control their spending. There are studies that show these migrants actually do not seek out public assistance (how could they when they fear deportation?) and contrary to popular anti-“illegal” immigrant belief they do contribute tax dollars to their states and local economies.

In this story we learn of Terry Gorman and his grassroots organization seeking for immigration reform. He started the group because his friend had to pay a hospital bill and Gorman felt that an “illegal” immigrant might not have had to pay. Seems like a strange reason. I guess if there were no undocumented migrants then his friend still would have had to pay, but then Gorman wouldn’t be thinking the whole time – “man, if only he were here illegally – he wouldn’t have to pay.”

Of course these “new” immigrants are all terrible people and the “old” immigrants where hard working people that “followed the rules.”

Critics of illegal immigrants draw a line between today’s immigrants and their own ancestors, pointing out that previous generations followed the rules. But advocates for immigrants and others say it used to be a lot easier to get into the United States.

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