Letters to the Editor

Letter: Immigration

In America immigration has always been about supplying employers with the cheapest possible labor.

Before the American Revolution wannabe immigrants from Europe became indentured servants to employers who paid for their travel costs. These immigrants were virtual slaves until they paid off their debt.

Later, the desire for cheap labor led to importing slaves from Africa. Chinese and Irish immigrants built the transcontinental railroad.

During World War II, many men were drafted and many women went to work to produce equipment needed for the war. A shortage of farm workers led to the importation of temporary farm workers from Mexico under the bracero program. Unfortunately, this program kick-started the ever-increasing influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico, now numbering between 10 and 30 million people, depending on who is doing the estimating.

Free-trade agreements, like NAFTA, have enabled multinational corporations to import educated workers under the H-1B visa program, while enabling them to also outsource jobs to countries like China.

So, how does this affect you? Here is how: Unemployed, experienced professionals will remain unemployed, because employers will hire cheaper, younger H-1B guest workers. Inexperienced, often uneducated workers compete with illegal immigrants for scarce menial or starter jobs.

Robert Boester, Boise