The following articles strongly suggest that, contrary to the promises made by Presidential aspirant Barack Obama to provide 5 million new 'green collar' American jobs if elected, many such low-paying and low-skilled jobs will likely be taken by or offered to illegal immigrants at the expense of American urban and low-income taxpayers. If a significantly high number of U.S. employers are currently violating US immigration laws by hiring (knowingly or unknowingly) low-cost illegal aliens to perform manual labor work, the likelihood that this trend will continue, if not, increase, is almost certain with respect to future 'green collar' jobs. There is also evidence that the taking by or offering of such jobs to illegal immigrants will trigger even greater societal / racial tensions. For this reason, readers must consider both the Blue Party's immigration policies perceived by the public as potentially amounting to am amnesty, and their labor commitment to provide millions of new American 'green collar jobs' to inner city or otherwise underprivileged citizens.
Business owner says illegal immigration costing local jobs
By Mark Wineka
July 20, 2008
Ron Wetzler has had enough.
The owner of Olympic Drywall and Texturing in Rowan County says he's losing out on jobs awarded instead to subcontractors who employ illegal immigrants, mostly Mexicans.
It's happening on both commercial and residential construction projects in Rowan County, Wetzler claims.
He doesn't have proof as to which workers are illegal. The way it works, he says, is usually the subcontractor himself is a legal resident, who then pays his crews — most of whom are here illegally — in cash.
Wetzler says the Hispanic workers' wages are low — maybe $50 a day. No one's paying workers' compensation or liability insurance, and the government is seeing nothing in taxes. It all combines to make it hard for companies such as his to compete.
"They're so far under us in cost," Wetzler says.
He recently reported his suspicions about one job site to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, which told him to take the matter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
While local sheriff's offices, including Rowan, have stepped up their identification and deportation of illegal immigrants who commit crimes, the emphasis has been just that — illegal immigrants who end up arrested and in county jails.
The N.C. Department of Labor has no program in place to which citizens can report their suspicions about illegal immigrants on job sites. Those calls also are referred to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's tip line, which for now is about the only recourse Wetzler and others like him have.
The federal tip line number is 1-866-DHS-2ICE.
Nina Pruneda, an ICE public affairs officer in Atlanta, said each complaint is taken seriously, though investigations have to be prioritized, with national security concerns given immediate attention.
If a job site under suspicion involves critical infrastructure such as airports, train stations, courthouses and military installations, "obviously that would send up a flag," Pruneda says.
"Developing sufficient evidence against employers requires complex, white-collar crime investigations that can take years to bear fruit," the ICE says on its Web site. (See the accompanying story on how ICE approaches worksite enforcement.)
In 2005, an estimated 111,630 Hispanics worked in construction in North Carolina — a number approaching half the industry's workforce.
A 2004 study by Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor, said if the Hispanic contributions were withdrawn, the state would lose $10 billion value in construction, $2.7 billion in materials and labor and $145 million in equipment and building rentals.
The value of North Carolina construction work would have been cut by 29 percent, Johnson said.
Mac Butner, executive officer of the Salisbury-Rowan Home Builders Association, says he hears complaints such as Wetzler's 12 to 15 times a year.
"We think the laws of the United States ought to be enforced as far as immigration," Butner says. "If that person is using illegal workers, it needs to be pursued and prosecuted according to the law on the books."
Butner said sometimes complaints about the use of immigrants on job sites are made by businessmen who aren't being competitive in other ways, so they blame "illegals."
But the underlying dilemma always is figuring out who is illegal and who isn't, he says, and the home builders organization can't be a policing agency.
Ron Woodard, director of NC Listen, an immigration reform organization based in Cary, said he also hears complaints about the loss of jobs to employers using illegal aliens as workers.
"Construction is probably the worst," he says. "That and landscaping is where we hear about it the most."
Woodard says employers in North Carolina should use the federal E-Verify system to check the legal residency status of their workers. (See accompanying story.)
Contractors who get jobs because they employ illegals are essentially cheating to win that bid, Woodard says. "And quite frankly, it's un-American," he adds. "... We have a lot of Americans suffering due to a system that's out of control."
Tony Asion, executive director of El Pueblo Inc., a non-profit advocacy group dedicated to strengthening the Latino community and promoting cross-cultural understanding, says for every job a Latino person occupies, he creates two others.
If one looks at the growth in undocumented workers in North Carolina and compares it to an unemployment rate that has stayed the same or declined, "are they really taking away jobs?" Asion asks.
Mai Thi Nguyen, an assistant UNC-Chapel Hill professor and a GlaxoSmithKline faculty fellow with the Institute of Emerging Issues, said in a May report that illegals migrate to areas with labor shortages, thereby filling jobs that are open and not displacing American workers.
"For example," she said, "in the construction industry illegal immigrants might make it more difficult for high school drop-outs to get a construction job, but their labor in the construction industry also sparks growth in the real estate industry, creating jobs for real estate agents, mortgage brokers, loan officers, insurance agents and real estate lawyers."
Johnny Breedlove, another drywall contractor in Rowan County, says if it hadn't been for Hispanics, the country would not have grown as much as it has. But Breedlove also gave an example of how he had to lower his price to compete with a Charlotte firm he suspected of using illegal immigrants.
Breedlove won the contract, but ended up without a profit because, "you can't take money away from the guys who work for you," he says.
Wetzler, in the drywall business for almost 40 years, said that while he would normally charge $23 a sheet, he now finds himself bidding against a company using illegals that charges $13.75 a board.
So he's dropping his price in times when he should probably be going up because of rising fuel prices. It's affecting all trades — tile, vinyl, brick, roofing and others, Wetzler says, adding "Our jobs are at risk every day."
Wetzler hears routinely from local residents with experience in construction begging for work that's not available. "There's nothing I can do to help them, he says. "I wish I could."
Wetzler promises he will be updating his Web site, www.olympicdrywallco.com on this immigration issue and invites others to voice their opinions by e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The contractor has met with Rowan County Commissioners Jim Sides and Tina Hall and recommended that the county set up a licensing program. It would require all contractors to show their workers compensation documents on each employee, give proof of their employment through pay stubs and allow building inspectors the right to ask questions and check documents on job sites.
It would levy heavy fines, such as $10,000 per violation, for contractors with undocumented workers. "See how fast our Rowan County workers get back to work," Wetzler says.
Green Collar Jobs
The Economic Populist
We've heard a few buzz words on the campaign trail about green collar jobs but what exactly is behind the rhetoric?
Green For All is a nonprofit looking to create a green economy not only as a way to stop global warming, but also as a path to economic justice for the economically disadvantaged.
FANTASTIC! A multi-dimensional solution that would:
Create New Industry
Generate American Jobs
Increase US exports
Reduce energy imports
Reduce Global Warming
US investment initiatives certainly could create a new industry to bring about economic fairness, especially for US domestic diversity.
Alas, there is a hitch.
While these think tanks claim green collar jobs cannot be outsourced, oh my, think again!
Sure, low paying service jobs for installation probably cannot be outsourced, but the real middle class job generator is Research, Development and Manufacturing.
Currently the globalization agenda to offshore outsource any middle class job is speeding down the Race to the Bottom road without even a bump.
If corporations cannot offshore outsource the job, they lobby to bring in cheap foreign labor to displace those very Americans this organization is trying to promote. Once again, few will look at the global migration agenda in terms of wages and labor.
This new industry needs (I'm going to say it) some protections to ensure a strategically critical emerging technology industry grows strong in the United States, employs her citizens and helps not only the environment but the U.S. economy.
Senator Bernie Sanders, with Hillary Clinton did pass a Green Jobs Amendment ( here is the actual amendment(pdf)), where retraining for these positions does have priority to the economically disadvantaged. But high skills jobs are heavily targeted for labor arbitrage also!
To date, I am not aware of any initiative to fund further educational and job opportunities for those who already have skills in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics.
Many STEM professionals have been displaced by the globalization wage arbitrage agenda. These are the very scientists and engineers who could innovate a new industry based on alternative energy advances.
Yet, ensuring that Americans are first up to be employed for jobs in America, while an obvious domestic economic truth, gets buried under lobbyist rhetoric as either protectionist or worse, racist. Jobs for Americans 1st, in America, in their own nation, is simply not racist, especially when realizing US domestic diversity has been disproportately hurt by globalization and wage arbitrage is an age discrimination vehicle.
Putting Americans first in their own country is in the national interest, the US economic interests. Americans first will very much assist the middle class, US domestic diversity and the impoverished, where talent and skills are lost daily to global labor arbitrage.
American Solar Energy Society Green Jobs Report (pdf) states:
The study’s two most striking findings are the size of these industries and the broad economic benefits that could accrue if regulators and policymakers support aggressive growth in these sectors. In 2006, more than 8 million Americans worked in these industries and RE&EE generated $933 billion of revenue. By 2030, under an aggressive deployment forecast scenario, there could be more than 40 million Americans employed in these industries—about one in every four working Americans. And in the aggressive scenario, the RE&EE industries could generate $4.53 trillion in annual revenue.
These growth projections are incredible, yet where is policy or legislation to ensure those new jobs in manufacturing and R&D are going to US professionals? Where is legislation and policy to insure manufacturing starts and stays in the United States?
Retraining for a STEM Professional is an additional Masters degree, university level course work in specialty subjects which segue to alternative energy theory from other Science background areas. Retraining for Professionals is also co-ops and internships. Not only can a professional worker contribute almost immediately in the workplace, co-ops and internships ease transition into newly created research and development career areas as well as advanced manufacturing technology, which often require advanced skills.
Will Americans, be given as a priority and thus supported and enabled to create these jobs of the new alternative energy economy? US professionals are displaced by insourcing (importing cheaper labor), offshore outsourcing and age discrimination daily.
Will tax incentives as well as R&D credits, investments be only available to initiatives that are incorporated in the United States and employ US workers exclusively, in the United States?
Center for American Progress Green Collar Jobs Report (pdf). Yet, note the lack of discussion on insourcing and offshore outsourcing.
Green for All above links to an partner who advocates for illegal immigrants. Now how exactly will they ensure US domestic diversity get these new jobs when their partners seem to be representing the US Chamber of Commerce, enabling illegal, cheap labor or other de facto methods to flood the US labor market with oversupply?
Why is it never mentioned to retrain those in poverty with four year college degrees? It is completely possible, when someone is bright enough and hard working enough, for that person to obtain a four year degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Yet US diversity, disproportionately impoverished, includes single mothers, older workers, Blacks, Hispanics. So why is this idea of offering a true career path, a major educational investment, never mentioned for US domestic diversity? Is there some sort of underlying bias against single mothers, women, older displaced workers, American Hispanics, Blacks which implies somehow a subset of all of these people cannot achieve a university degree in Scientific areas?
The Harsh Economics of “Green Collar Jobs”– or Tom Friedman strikes out, again.
On the Commons Blog
18 Oct 2007
I was first surprised, then pleased, then depressed by Thomas Freidman’s column in The New York Times yesterday. The “Green Collar Solution” began with such promise, in part because it featured Van Jones of Oakland – whose optimism in black-and-green is so sorely needed in our time – but also because Tom Friedman actually wrote a column suggesting that poor black Americans were in his field of vision.
The idea of green -collar jobs – like Van Jones’ suggestion that a green federal government could resuscitate the job market for modestly educated people by retro-fitting government buildings to become far greener – is so right, yet so inadequate.
I am a macro-economist who has spent the better part of a decade trying to find a way off the merry-go-round of poverty, unemployment and prison that awaits modestly educated young people in this country, especially young men of color. Green collar manual labor jobs are certainly a help, and we should try to create as many of these jobs as possible, but there is no green collar road to the middle class for badly educated people. None.
The blue collar road to the middle class has collapsed because the global economy is a unified labor market awash in mobile unskilled labor that migrates from country to country in search of work. Green collar construction jobs, should these materialize in large numbers, will attract both native born and immigrant labor from around the world for precisely the same reasons that Filipino, Bangladeshi and Kenyan workers migrate to Dubai to work on construction crews – for a chance to work and feed their families. A substantial portion of this immigrant construction work force will be undocumented – and therefore both cheap and compliant, much more attractive to contractors and the governments paying the bills than native born black and Latino workers who both know their rights and demand that these rights be respected.
Could the US government, or state and local governments pursuing the green collar option, limit jobs to natives only? Of course, just as government can use punitive fines, various tax policies and other measures to force employers to refrain from hiring undocumented labor in most sectors of the labor market. But do we want to turn green collar job growth into another arena for immigrant bashing, pitting desperately poor native workers against desperately poor immigrant workers from around the world? Do we really want to add fuel to the fire of racial conflict across the all too tense black/brown color line? Perhaps we have no choice, but we need to understand what we are doing and be prepared to admit just who we are harming, and by how much.
Then there is the nasty fact that Americans do not like to pay taxes, and green color jobs employing only native-born workers will pay higher wages and benefits, and therefore require a bigger tax bite than the same jobs performed by undocumented labor.
No one in his or her right mind wants a green-collar sweatshop exploiting undocumented workers in the interest of promoting clean buildings and low taxes at the same time.
But promoting opportunity for native-born men and women is an expensive proposition – whether by creating green collar jobs or by offering high quality educational opportunities to children of all colors and conditions in this country.
Of course, the best green collar jobs are those to be created and claimed by well schooled men and women who will design, build and manage a new economy no longer dependent on fossil fuels or that pumps green house gases skyward (or into the ground, for that matter). Building the green society will be the work of generations, but it will also be work done on the basis of the hierarchies of privilege and poverty we permit to flourish, with all the ugly inheritance of rank and misery that goes with the American race-class nexus. I note, with sadness, that Friedman’s picture of a green-collar society does not seem to connected to what we really need: a green and truly fair society that finally breaks with the race-class nexus at the same time that it refits our energy system.
In the end, Friedman’s column enhanced my appreciation for Van Jones as a black-and-green visionary even as it sickened me by demonstrating, again, why elite opinion makers just reinforce the systems of power, control and abuse that constitute the American race-class system. Elite opinion makers always run away from the nasty side of the American system, suggesting small moves while failing to address the hard truths about the American racial system. Offering a small palate of green jobs while refusing to address the structural inequalities that lock millions of people in the American social basement is an example of what can go wrong with green ways of thinking that refuse to see “the blood on the floor.”
I submit that green power, if it is anything more than a device for cleaning up our common environment while preserving, or even extending, contemporary hierarchies of privilege and suffering, must be much, much more radical than anything Tom Friedman could imagine, much less support. Tom Friedman swings and misses, again.
Blacks Are Harmed By Illegal Immigration
Submitted by kfobbs
The Conservative Black Brotherhood
Mon, 2006-07-24 18:20.
Black Americans Should Not Support Illegal Aliens’ False Civil Rights Claims
This summer the U.S. House of Representatives will be holding hearings on what to do about the millions of illegal aliens that are in the United States, including here in the state of Michigan. Blacks in Michigan, Ohio, New York, Georgia and all over America have to be wondering, did we just lose another place in the line of American opportunity on May 1st?
On May 1st hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens took to American streets to essentially blackmail America into supporting their alleged “civil rights” which sent up at least a half dozen red flags in the black community.
I’m quite certain that thousands of black mothers and fathers in metro Detroit – who, by the way, are here in this country legally -- who are struggling to obtain a decent education, or affordable housing, or quality health care or a job to support their family just had to wonder why 12 to 20 million illegal aliens think they should suddenly jump ahead of them in hijacking their rights as citizens to the American Dream.
What exactly is a “civil right”? What must one have been deprived of, and under what conditions are these civil rights to be earned or obtained? There is a marked difference between the blood shed, sacrifice made and the entitlements earned by the black civil rights experience of the 19th and 20th century struggles and the current claims of millions of illegal aliens.
So as we reflect during Independence Month this July, the civil rights which each black family earned generation by generation, struggling as citizens under threat of lynching, under threat of fire bombings, under threat of murder… but as citizens is being compared to illegal aliens who want “civil rights” that are not only not earned but they aren’t warranted without citizenship at the expense of our citizen’s independence!
Here we go again…
This isn’t the first time some folks who were not brought against their will and without the “open and obvious” ability to group them by their skin color to systematically deny their rights tried to pin its “civil rights” entitlement to the coattails of the black struggle for civil rights in the hope that leaders like Rev. Jesse Jackson and millions of black Americans would fall for the rouse. Recently it was gay Americans who claimed several years ago that their struggle was the same as Americans of African decent. It didn’t work.
Even Rev. Jesse Jackson had to admit to no real connection to the threadbare attempt to compares the gay experience to the black struggle as if by some miraculous transformation they or any other group who had not gone through the same valiant struggles should somehow be awarded a “Civil Rights Badge of Constitutional Entitlement” earned and fought for by generations of African Americans since and even before the Civil War.
Now comes another group attempting to attach its claims to black civil rights struggles. The illegal alien movement wants to claim that the 14th Amendment protections apply to them and more importantly to the estimated 600,000 anchor babies in our nation that are incorrectly eventually given full citizenship status.
What is disturbing is that the illegal alien agenda is not a civil rights agenda. The illegal alien agenda attempts to equate evading our border patrols to deserving a civil rights badge of martyrdom. Now 12 to 20 million illegal aliens who for 25 years have simply walked across, swam across, or were driven under cover of darkness across our nation’s border feel they have endured the same comparable experience to the countless harrowing “Underground Railroad” trips made by Harriett Tubman or Sojourner Truth through slave states to convey slaves to freedom.
Of course there is no logical comparison, but there are some black leaders who attempt to make a connection and in their effort are failing black people when they cheapen their worth. This open support and advocacy for illegal alien rallies which demand more and more American resources, more boycotts, more walkouts… at the expense of far too many black Americans who struggle daily for jobs, decent education and housing is wrong… wrong… wrong!
Where are the courageous black leaders of a century ago such as Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois, who urged American industry and businesses to turn to black American workers? Would those same leaders today be seeking support for illegal immigrant labor and their rights over those of black unemployed or young black adults looking for their first job, first home, first opportunity? Is that fair to any American whose forebears came to this country and worked legally to obtain a place in American society?
I have to ask Rev. Jesse Jackson about his defense of illegal aliens’ rights being put ahead of black Americans who have suffered racism for far too many generations.
Should the several hundred thousand who marched in Chicago on May 1st be given Rev. Jesse Jackson’s son’s seat in Congress seat because they were loud enough to be heard over the quiet cries of his constituents who have earned the civil right seat on the Freedom Bus? You have to wonder what Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. would say during these summer illegal immigration hearings should they come to Chicago’s south side.
In 25 years, while illegal aliens have been stealing across the border, black Americans have to be wondering over that same span of time just where are the entry-level jobs for them? Black Chicagoans have to be wondering, with far too many students leaving the public school system each year, should precious educational resources from Illinois or Washington be spent on millions of illegal alien students who by law should not be here, but because some political and black leaders’ fear of breaking a political correctness infraction, black and white American children may and will lose out on educational resources to help level the playing field of their own constituent’s achievement?
For 12 years I served as a board member in Wayne County, Michigan for one of the largest social service agencies in America. I can tell you right now that I can not think of a single black family who received much needed services in order to help keep their family’s body, soul and spirit together, would have or should have given up their essential financial supports, their job training and their educational benefits which would help get their family to get back on the right track toward raising their family up from poverty so that illegal aliens could benefit from their entitlements.
I’m sure these families on welfare have to be wondering just how much more should they take from an America that is willing to let millions of illegal aliens blackmail our nation, walk out on the country for a day and demand protections for their families, for their children that the illegal aliens’ own government back in Mexico should provide them… but gladly shows its legal citizens the “Yellow Brick Road” to our nation’s pocketbook.
Well black America, maybe its time for you to begin a nationwide “Walk In”.
If millions of illegal aliens can demonstrate on the backs of black Americans, push you out of line, and take the legacy of Rosa Park’s dramatic act of civil disobedience in sitting down for earned civil rights, then take a page from their book.
If millions of illegal aliens can walk out on America… Black Americans … Let’s “Walk IN” for our civil rights!
Let’s give our children and our families and our communities and our jobs and our veterans and our legacies a well-deserved “Walk In” and show all Americans what all citizens, and especially black American citizens of our nation can do.
No, this is not the nation that our true civil rights heroes struggled against racism, and against racial marginalism and against economic deprivation so that maybe, just maybe, in a generation or two their heirs would have an opportunity to succeed and inherit the fullness and richness of the American Dream only to be kicked off the bus and out of the line.
No, I don’t think there are black Americans who should stand and wait while millions of illegal aliens’ whose only struggle was to cross America’s border and take the birthright of black Americans and their ancestor’s civil rights legacy without a fight, without a comment and without a struggle. We must say no… not this time… not this way… and not to our people.
Black America send a wake up call to the millions of illegal aliens who want your place in line and leave you still trying to play by the rules. You will stand up and walk into the line. Walk into your civil rights and walk into your jobs, your schools, your hospitals, and your child’s scholarships and into your future. After 300 plus years of struggle, I think black America is entitled to its civil rights. Walk In and Stay In.
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Kevin Fobbs is President of National Urban Policy Action Council (NuPac). View NuPac on the web at www.nupac.info. Kevin Fobbs is a regular contributing columnist to the Detroit News. He is also the host of The Kevin Fobbs Show -- see http://www.kevinfobbs.com/ . Write him at email@example.com .