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American Borders Forum

What should American immigration and border policies be? Submit your ideas to The American Borders Forum today.

Outsourcing & Insourcing: Left of Center View

Downsizing, outsourcing, layoffs, greencards, work visas, whenever the subject of immigration comes up so does the issue of employment and the economy. "They're taking our jobs", comes before, "They're learning in our schools". And to some extent that's true immigrants do make up a significant portion of the American workforce, but they aren't always the one's to blame when an American worker is displaced. American employers are, they are the one's who go out of their way to save money by not hiring American workers.

The readiest example of this is the outsourcing by American industry of thousands of jobs to other, cheaper countries. From call centers in India to the factories of China, American corporations have found a giant loophole that allows them to circumnavigate many of the labor safeguards that can only be enforced by American courts, on American soil. They don't have to pay for employee benefits, they don't even have to pay minimum wage. No overtime and no costly safety laws, sure customer service goes in the toilet, but in the short term it's very profitable, and it's short term profits that pay for the bonuses of America's corporate elite.

Everytime an American service call rings in India, there is one less American worker being paid to answer it and our economy as a whole suffers. While it may be true a a foreign national has taken a position previously held by an American worker, the replacement is not an immigrant. The person answering the phone never left their own country. Someone didn't come into the country and take your job, your job left without you.

So you can't work a deskjob any more, at least you can always get work down at the factory. What the factory closed last summer!?! Now before you start yelling about the damn foreigners take a look at the little American flag stuck in the gill of your Ford truck, well there's at least a 70% chance it's got "made in China" stamped somewhere on it. While you're at it take a look at the truck itself, in 2006 the Ford motor company decided to outsource most of its IT, engineering and components to India and China.

"Sources in the industry are indicating that Ford is likely to increase its purchasing power of components from outside the domestic market by six times. Currently, the company purchases are worth $80 million.

A component maker has said that manufacturing of critical engine and forged cold parts would be outsourced to India while glass components will be outsourced to China."

With the jobs and revenue going overseas from even the most stalwart of American company's, American buying power is way down. It's so bad in fact that Toyota is considering not building any more factories here for a while.

A lot of the immigration debate is a distraction. While the American worker is busy blaming the South American dishwasher making 7.50 an hour, American executives are closing down factories left and right and pocketing the short term savings as "retention incentives" and "performance bonuses". Two things the executives at PG&E got extremely upset about when the bankruptcy judge stopped their multimillion payout. Ken Lay anyone.

Look, the so called Global Free Economy isn't. Other countries offer both incentives and penalties to grow their economies, it's time we started doing both as well. With five to ten percent of its labor source, private contractors included, overseas a business should no longer be able to qualify for government assistance. With thirty-five percent or more of the labor being done overseas a corporation should be considered foreign and taxed heavily for the right to do business in America. All items manufactured overseas should be taxed, regardless of the country of origin of the manufacture. Sure American corporations will continue to attempt to exploit the loopholes, but isn't that what we're accusing illegal immigrants of. So why spend our limited resources and energies pressing them while the real damage goes on unchecked.

The only way to stop the flow of capital and jobs out of the country is to make it more economically feasible to do business in the US as opposed to outside of it. Since incentives and tax breaks obviously don't work, those quickly get converted to executive incentives, it's time to enter the penalty phase, remove all funding and protections from companies moving overseas and increase taxes and tariff to the point that a little plastic flag made in China costs roughly the same amount as one manufactured in Iowa. Maybe then the Canadians will stop worrying about Americans sneaking across the border to get their jobs and health benefits.

Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

Last Week's View from the Left: English

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Amnesty vs. Reality
Defining Immigration

American Jobs: Right of Center View

American jobs seem to be leaving American workers behind like rats running off of a sinking ship. Apparently some geniuses in Washington think it's OK for our jobs to go to other places and into the hands of illegal immigrants because they aren't doing anything about it.

While companies do need to make profits to stay afloat, it should not come at the expense of the American people. There are lawyers now who specialize in H-1B visa law. There is so much need to litigate giving our jobs to foreigners that we have spawned a whole branch of law around it. Employers are looking for exceptions to limits and foreigners are looking to extend their six year limit so they can keep one more American out of work.

As if that were not enough, with S1348 here comes the H-2C visa. Easier to get, more of them available and employers can hire even more cheap labor to replace American workers. It has a provision for the seeking of American workers prior to issuing request for visas but does not stipulate how the search will be validated as having been thorough enough to assure that qualified Americans had a decent shot at it nor does it talk about sending the foreign workers back if there become American workers available for the jobs.

Lou Dobbs has dubbed this situation a "War on the Middle Class" but I have to say that I would call it the "Citizens vs. Corporate America War" because not only the middle class loses. America is becoming weakened by this afront to decency being committed by Corporate America. Our workers are ending up unemployed so long that they stop being counted as unemployed. There are families in America with three and four wage earners in the household that still can't afford to buy a home or a new car. Less that 10% of our population is seeing a real financial windfall from our government's policies of sending our jobs abroad and importing cheap labor that don't get benefits. The other 90+% of Americans are suffering for the profits of the greedy.

I'm all for making money and trying to get rich but we need to tell the people in Washington that there needs to be some sanity here. We have children to think about. Where are they going to work? Should we get them all paper hats for graduation presents? Should we ship them off to India so they can get a decent job with an American company? Maybe we should send them into Mexico and tell them to sneak back over so they can get a "Get Out of Taxes Free" card under the new immigration bill. At least they could keep some of what they earn that way.

With S1348 getting over the 60 vote hurdle in the Senate it seems sure to hit the House soon so the American people may only have one shot at stopping this ill-conceived piece of legislation from getting to the desk of our all too willing to sell out Americans president. We need to stop this assault on the American citizens from becoming law before it's too late. It's time to become the squeaky wheels that the Congress need to oil for a change or come election day it needs to be time to clean house and vote out every Senator and Representative that votes to sell out the American people yet again. Regardless of party, we need to make sure that the people who want to sell us out to the special interests lose their jobs in 2008. If they want to put us out of work, we need to put them out of work. They can sit in the unemployment lines with the rest of us and try to explain how their plan was the right way to go.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

Last Week's View from the Right: English Also vs. English Only

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Defining Immigration

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isnít really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More

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