An economic catastrophe that is befalling the United States is the growing number of jobs off shored to China and India. American industry isn’t looking at the long term consequences of its approach to wealth. There’s nothing wrong with making a profit, of course. What’s wrong with this approach is that it doesn’t make any long-term sense. For instance, the instability of China and India as permanent labor markets due to their social and political conditions should be a matter of concern. In addition, American industry isn’t investing in its home base.
The United States labor market offers advantages that are too often ignored, not only American-born workers who are better educated, although half of them are considered post-1945 elders, but workers born in Canada and Mexico, who come to the United States to work. Many enter legally and, of course, many come in illegally. Their illegal status isn’t the point. The point is that they come in as a result of supply and demand because the United States is part of a regional economic market. It’s what we call a de facto economic market in which American auto parts manufacturers and retailers, like Wal-Mart, open subsidiaries in Canada and Mexico and hire local workers, while other Canadian and Mexican workers, whether legal or illegal, respond to the siren call of jobs in the United States. It’s as old as the Americas because it’s always happened, even before the Europeans arrived. The Europeans were the ones who created the physical boundaries between the United States, Canada and Mexico, not the Americans.
China or India don’t have the slightest interest in the Americas, or in the Americans. American industry, and those who complain about illegal American immigrants, aren’t exercising their long-term vision to bolster their collective or individual wealth. And it’s because they aren’t considering the collective potential of the Americas.
Undocumented American immigrants who come to work have children in the United States, but they also bring their Canadian- and Mexican-born children, who, by law, grow up without papers. These children are a result of economic processes that no one wants to acknowledge or consider. No one wants to admit that there are probably three to six million of these children in the United States, who, by all standards, are more American than George Washington, and current or future members of the American labor market. They’re illegal by our legal Europeanized standards, yet contribute to American sweat shops, car repair shops, restaurants, and low-level jobs, because they can’t go up in our educational or labor system due to their parents’ decision to come to work in the United States. It’s as simple as that. They had no opinion in the matter. They don’t belong to Canada or Mexico because they didn’t grow up there.
So, why are we investing in Chinese and Indians instead of these children? Why are we massively off-shoring jobs instead of looking at the potential of these kids and our other children? As a society, what’s wrong with us?
A few Americans are seeing the light and are trying to save these undocumented children, known as the DREAMers, because of legislation titled the DREAM Act. After being shot down the first time it was introduced in 2001, the DREAM Act was resurrected on May 11, 2011. It did not make it past the U.S. Senate. The DREAM Act would have provided conditional permanent residence to minors who were brought to the United States as children. An initial six years of residence would be provided to such minors who had good moral character, graduated from a U.S high school, or got a GED, arrived in America as a minor and inhabited the United States for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment. With this, the minor would be allowed to obtain two or four year college education.
However, hope of passing the DREAM Act in May 2011 crumbled
The DREAM Act, despite being criticized for either doing too little or too much, did demonstrate the possibility that immigration reform could be brought about for these innocent minors.
Failure to pass the DREAM Act has multifaceted consequences. The most callous of such consequences is that children, who have known no other home besides the United States, become subject to deportation/removal from the United States. Not passing the DREAM Act is a death sentence for these kids. Many of them are originally from Mexico. Sending them back to Mexico places them in the middle of drug cartel turf wars which are widespread throughout the Mexican territory. It places them at a great risk for being killed in crossfire. If not that, drug cartels are now employing coercion as a means to recruit youth, as young as eleven years old, into joining in their activities.
The passage of the DREAM Act would ensure that these children would pursue further education to earn higher incomes and a higher tax base for the country. In addition, a legal work force would lead to an increase in investment and stimulate spending as a consequence of such higher wages earned. The National Immigration Law Center estimates that, every year, close to 65,000 of these young men and women are deprived of reaching their potential as valedictorians and honor students.
There is still hope for the passage of the DREAM Act. A couple of states, disappointed in the act not making it through the U.S. Senate, have implemented their own watered down versions of the DREAM Act to provide some compensatory relief. California and Illinois have made it possible for undocumented young people to have access to college scholarships for state schools. This, however, still does not address the root of the problem faced by the DREAMers. It is the responsibility of all those who have a long-term vision of our great economic potential as Americans to advocate for the approval of this law in Congress. This means looking at the future of the Americas.