Re: [OPE-L] Another May Day Protest

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@BERKELEY.EDU)
Date: Thu Apr 27 2006 - 22:19:06 EDT

>As befits a movement that has its origins in global restructuring, the
>immigrant rights movement is quickly becoming a transnational social

Hi Paul and others,
I would appreciate any suggestions on how to discuss the issue
of whether workers without papers (including their dependents)
are, to put the point bluntly, public charges. As many know,
former Governor of California Pete Wilson whipped up
public sentiment against these workers on the grounds
that the dollar cost of the public services they use
exceeds their direct and indirect tax payments (social security,
unemployment insurance, sales and gasoline taxes). There
was and still seems little discussion about the total taxable
income their labor generates, much of course taking the form
of open and disguised profits given the miserable wages they are paid.

I don't see how anyone seriously believes that if not for
  undocumented workers, deficits at the state and the federal level
would be substantially lower.

At any rate, any suggestions about how to discuss this putative
problem would be greatly appreciated.
I have been shocked to learn how many people actually believe
undocumented workers, of all groups of workers, are--again
to put it bluntly--parasites off the public body.

It of course seems to me that the public hysteria against undocumented
workers is only meant to deprive these workers of ever more support,
thereby ensuring that they make ever larger net fiscal contributions.

As a scapegoat for fiscal imbalance they are of course more important
than as an actual source of deficits.

One should not be surprised by the public protests of undocumented workers;
their rising up has been one of the brightest events of these troubling times.

I have consulted the work of Douglas Massey


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