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Is Ruben Navarrette Jr. an American?

The columnist offers "Here come the Latinos - Jesse and Nagin are up in arms". Let's find out whether he's willing to put his country above his race:

Folks such as such as Jackson, who has also complained that too many of the government contracts to rebuild the city are going to firms outside Louisiana. Jackson has gone so far as to propose chartering buses to bring black evacuees back to New Orleans so they could claim jobs that Jackson insists are rightfully theirs.

Should Americans have to compete with illegal aliens from Mexico for those jobs? If anyone has a right to those jobs, shouldn't we assume that Americans do, and not citizens of Mexico? Not everyone on Jackson's buses was black, so perhaps Navarrette should check his facts.
And, would someone who's willing to put their country and their fellow citizens ahead of their race think the same thing as Navarette does?

City officials say that one thing that keeps former residents from wanting to give New Orleans another chance is the lack of subsidized housing.
Guess what? Latino immigrants have to contend with the same shortage. The difference is that the immigrants are not sitting around and waiting for government to come to the rescue. They're probably living two or three families to a house, and saving money to buy a home of their own.
That's how it used to be in this country before the advent of the welfare state. And, if the immigrant values win out in this struggle - over those of the New Orleans officials - it could be that way again.

What would be the American thing to do? How about we encourage those former residents to have values similar to Navarrette's "immigrant values", except with an American flavor, like wearing protective gear when cleaning up toxic waste.

Illegal aliens making good money taking jobs from hurricane victims

Details here.

...It remains unclear how much of the billions being spent on cleanup and repairs to homes and businesses has gone to Louisiana companies. On Oct. 6, in a speech to businesses at the Sheraton Hotel, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said, "I found out yesterday that 44 percent of the federal contracts and subcontracts have gone to Louisiana companies. That amounts to 31 percent of the dollar value of those contracts.
"I believe that if there is any Louisiana business or worker who is able to do the job, that Louisiana business or that Louisiana worker should get that job," Blanco added. At the time she made those remarks, the dollar value of contracts going to Louisiana companies was around $100 million, the governor's office said.
Under the federal Stafford Act, local workers are supposed to get preferential treatment when it comes to dispensing contracts and money. But there is a catch, contained in the phrase, "to the extent feasible and practicable," which is pertinent to the Louisiana situation, given that much of the local work force evacuated ahead of Katrina...
Rojas is among those who believe that a significant proportion of the Latino work force -- as much as 80 percent, by his estimate -- lacks legal documentation. He candidly acknowledged that a handful of his recent hires are among them. The fact that New Orleans faces emergency needs, and is doing so without a full labor force in place, means fewer questions are being asked, he said...

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supports illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs

Washington, DC--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--October 19, 2005--In response to recent comments by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin regarding Mexican workers and their efforts to the clean-up and rebuilding of the city, the Unites States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) issued the following statement:
"At a time when this great country has united to lend a helping hand to those affected by the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the USHCC, finds the recent public statement by New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin to be offensive, divisive and highly inappropriate.
Mr. Nagin's reference to 'make sure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers,' published in the Friday, October 7th edition of The Dallas Morning News, is simply unacceptable during a time of national unity...

"National unity", at least to me, refers to citizens of the U.S. That does not include illegal aliens. And, it shouldn't include those who put their race before their country and their fellow citizens.
Watch this attempt to confuse the "Mexicans" Nagin was referring to with something quite different:

Mexicans represent the fastest-growing segment of the American population

That's true: there are millions of illegal aliens from Mexico here. However, that's probably not what they were referring to. Instead, they were referring to all people of Mexican descent under the "Mexican" banner. And:

...Mexican-Americans have fostered a rich and strong legacy in this nation. Some of our most prominent civic and business leaders... are of Mexican descent...

Nagin wasn't referring to "Mexican-Americans" or those of "Mexican descent". He was referring to illegal aliens from Mexico. At least we know that the USHCC is confused about their priorities.
Anyone who'd support illegal aliens taking rebuilding jobs that should go to Americans should reconsider their citizenship options.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel unclear on concept of Americans rebuilding Gulf Coast

The article Many migrants flocking to Gulf Coast are exploited, advocates say from William E. Gibson and Ihosvani Rodriguez seems to have a bit of a blind spot.
Namely, it doesn't discuss the concept - shared no doubt by the vast majority of Americans - that those who were driven out of work by the storm should lead in the rebuilding, rather than those jobs being given to imported illegal aliens.

..."There's not any housing, even for the people who are from there," said Tirso Moreno, director of The Farmworker Association of Florida, who toured coastal Mississippi to assess working conditions. "Some labor contractors will bring our people up for two or three weeks of work and then leave them there. Sometimes they are paid too little and sometimes not at all. There's nothing they can do to fight it."
Seventeen migrant workers from Fort Pierce, Fla., learned Friday that two weeks of hard work does not always translate into promised pay.
The men had left construction jobs on promises of up to $150 a day.
"There's a lot of work here. We could go days without working in Florida but there's a lot of work here," said the group's leader, Michael Olvera, 36, as he waited for the van to take him and the others to where they were staying.
While Olvera and the others were promised large apartments and plenty of food, instead they were living on a Frisbee golf course, in small tents or out in the open without electricity or running water.
After two weeks of fixing roofs, carrying Sheetrock and doing everything else that comes with helping restore a storm-torn region, Rafael Jarra, the man who brought them from Fort Pierce in a blue van, paid them $300 each - one fifth of what they were expecting.
Jarra denied promising the men $150 a day and claimed there was not as much work as anticipated.
"They are angry that they have to live here," he said, pointing to the makeshift camp.

I'm absolutely positive that any day now the SFSS will start publishing articles discussing the best solution to this problem: employing those Americans and legal workers who were driven out of work by the storm. Any day now.
To help them along, write Gail Bulfin, their "reader editor": gbulfin *at*

S.F. Chronicle pimps illegal laborers working in unsafe conditions

Like a reverse The Jungle, the "liberals" at the S.F. Chronicle have a Page 1 "Special to The Chronicle" report from Eliza Barclay entitled "As locals struggle, migrants find work in New Orleans":

Two weeks ago, Geremias Lopez was picking grapes near Bakersfield, but when he saw an advertisement on Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language television network, for work on the Gulf Coast, he and a friend called the 1-800 number flashing on the screen and were soon aboard a Greyhound bus headed east.
Lopez and the 80-some other Mexican and Honduran immigrants in his crew are now earning $100 a day covering torn and mangled roofs with blue tarps until the roofs can be re-shingled and restored to some semblance of what they looked like before Hurricane Katrina struck six weeks ago.

Now, you might want to read up on how much your federal government is overpaying for those roofing jobs.

For New Orleans residents, most of whom have yet to return, life remains very hard, and very uncertain. But for Lopez and his migrant workmates, it's a noticeable improvement over their minimum-wage jobs as California fruit pickers or as poultry processors in Arkansas.

"Minimum-wage" to me implies some form of legal framework. Is he here legally?

They and Latino immigrants from all over the United States have been flocking to the region, often working for out-of-state companies which received the initial round of cleanup contracts.
Recognizing the demand for migrant labor, and to help speed reconstruction in the areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended rules mandating employers to prove that workers they hire are citizens or have a legal right to work in the United States.
In addition, President Bush suspended application in the Katrina-affected region of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, under which employers must pay prevailing wage rates on federally financed construction projects -- in order, Bush said, to "permit the employment of thousands of additional individuals."


The Louisiana Department of Labor says it has received requests from contractors to certify 500 illegal migrants. Agency officials estimate that the actual number of illegal migrants already working for contractors is far higher, because many employers are not bothering with the paperwork.
This is adding to the unhappiness of local contractors trying to re-establish their own businesses and hire local workers, after being evacuated or otherwise losing their ability to operate for weeks.
"The local people can't participate in their own recovery," said Jack Donahue, whose Mandeville, La.-based firm Donahue Favret Contractors Inc. specializes in such construction tasks as sheetrock and flooring removal and mold remediation.
Part of the problem, Donahue said, is that local construction workers scattered during the evacuation and are just beginning to come back. Many are returning to destroyed or severely damaged homes and have discovered that the hotels in the region are full of out-of-state workers, including migrants.

Now, the S.F. Chronicle's "migrants" are sleeping, several to a room, in a "dank" motel room that had been flooded. Someone else says, "It's also much better to be in a hotel instead of the outdoor camps where we were getting bit by mosquitoes."
Finally, the SFC lets us in on a little truth:

Of the 80-some roofers in Lopez and Morillo's motel, few are legal residents or possess temporary work visas, according to Morillo. Rarely was their immigration status an issue in their hiring.

It goes on, but somehow I think the SFC should do a gut check and remember which country they're living in.

"Gulf Coast job boom blooms in wake of Hurricane Katrina"

From this (also here):

The message is clear on storefront marquees, brightly colored banners and the handwritten signs merchants taped inside windows across this battered city: businesses reopening after Hurricane Katrina have a surplus of jobs and not enough workers to fill them...
Most of the people who've been able to return to New Orleans have been either wealthy or in the middle class, in part because their neighborhoods were damaged the least -- leaving a hole for business owners who depend on unskilled labor.
"The service industry and unskilled labor jobs are the ones really in demand and the people in that category have not come back," said John Trapani, a professor and vice dean at Tulane University's business school. "There will be a shortage of labor until population starts to return and who knows what percentage is going to return and when?"
The demand by service businesses for workers is set against a parallel demand for people to work in hurricane cleanup. Some employers have turned to immigrant workers from Central and South America to fill those jobs...

In 2TheAdvocate-speak, illegal aliens are "immigrant workers".

Is the Los Angeles Times a Mexican newspaper?

If the Los Angeles Times were based out of Mexico City, would the report "Immigrants Rush to New Orleans as Contractors Fight for Workers" be any different? Of course! It might be in Spanish. Other than that:

...Word has gotten out and each morning day laborers - who come from Central America and Mexico by way of California, Texas and Arizona - gather on street corners in the Kenner and Metairie neighborhoods on the western edge of the city.
With 140,000 homes destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is undergoing the nation's largest reconstruction effort and its new workforce is largely Latino. No one knows how many immigrants have descended here since Katrina ravaged the city five weeks ago, but their presence is visible throughout the city.
[reports on a couple who wired "half of their paycheck to their family back home"; "If we can make enough money, we would like to buy a house and bring our children to New Orleans."]

In other words, illegal aliens are not just rebuilding an American city. Many of them are probably being indirectly paid out of federal or state money. Then, a large portion of that money is being sent out of the country. If you're an American, that's an outrage. If you're the Los Angeles Times, that's just a news story.

[...contractor Perry Custer is importing workers from Houston and Atlanta; a "temporary employment service of sorts for laborers" has been created...]
...Contractors say one advantage in using [the temporary employment service] is that they don't have to deal with paperwork or check to see whether the workers are in the U.S. legally.
"There is a 'don't ask, don't tell,' mentality right now," Custer said. He added that there didn't seem to be any effort to crack down on illegal immigrants. "If they do who will rebuild New Orleans?"

Isn't the American thing to encourage and enable New Orleans residents to rebuild their own city? Or, at the least, other Americans rather than illegal aliens? What's the way being promoted by the Los Angeles Times?
Only in the twenty-fourth paragraph do we get some hint that this might not be such a good thing after all:

The influx of Latino workers is raising concern among city officials. Last week, Associated Press reported, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin asked local businesspeople, "How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?"

Out of 34 paragraphs, that is the only contrary information in the whole article.

"They may be the new service class in New Orleans," said Lawrence Powell, a historian at Tulane University. "It only takes a few people to put down roots and begin the chain of migration. I'm wondering if we're seeing the first signs of a population swap."

Yes, indeed. And, un-American sources will be there, helping it happen. If you still subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, just stop.

"Jesse Jackson says Bush trying to remake Louisiana politics"

I think it's time for pro-American conservatives - rather than the "compassionate" kind - to support something Jesse Jackson is doing. Or, at the least, take the issue away from him and do it better. From this:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Monday accused the Bush administration of using Hurricane Katrina to reconstruct Louisiana politics, saying the U.S. had no plan to return displaced residents.
Jackson also criticized the government's awarding no-bid contracts to outside contractors importing out-of-state and foreign workers to rebuild New Orleans, while thousands of displaced former city residents are "languishing in 40 states" looking for work.
"There is no plan for massive rescue, relocation or return of residents," Jackson said in St. Louis, one stop along a route that a bus caravan of Katrina evacuees is taking to New Orleans to claim those jobs. The evacuees, escorted by Jackson's Chicago-based Operation PUSH, are due to arrive in New Orleans on Tuesday.
He said the able-bodied workers who survived Katrina have a right to return home and rebuild their city, but that they are "last on the list."
Jackson said President Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, is overseeing reconstruction of the Gulf Coast, and that he and others in the White House are using Katrina to push their political agenda. He said black, Democratic-leaning voters have been radically dislocated and are being kept in "permanent exile."
"Karl Rove is a political reconstructionist" who wants to "change the character" of Louisiana politics from the mayor's office to its congressional representation.
White House spokesman Allen Abney said Bush, working with Cabinet members, and not Rove, is leading the Gulf Coast reconstruction effort...

Regarding the last, see "Karl Rove in charge of disaster management", which has this para from the NYT:

Republicans said Karl Rove, the White House deputy chief of staff and Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, was in charge of the reconstruction effort, which reaches across many agencies of government and includes the direct involvement of Alphonso R. Jackson, secretary of housing and urban development.

I'm going to trust the NYT on this one.

NBC: "In New Orleans, the working class disappears"

Carl Quintanilla offers this short article on New Orleans' working class not coming back:

Despite the mayor's attempts to bring them home, New Orleans has become a closely-watched experiment in what happens when an entire income bracket disappears.
"If they can't bring back these people, you're going to see the city's infrastructure fall apart," says Dr. Robert Blendon of the Harvard University School of Public Health.
Some residents can't return because their neighborhoods, often poor, are still deserted and have no water or power.

Some - we aren't given even a guess as to how many - have found better opportunities elsewhere. Then, the NBC reporter makes another leap:

There are some workers who've moved in to satisfy demand. They're mostly Hispanic, raising a controversy on its own. Some of them line up to do the most menial of jobs, like clean up, and signs offer them $10 dollars an hour.

Is "Hispanic" the best description for these workers? How about "illegal aliens from Mexico"? Wouldn't that be a more truth-based description? Of course, if Quintanilla wants to make "Hispanic" equivalent to "illegal aliens from Mexico" he should say that. Alternatively, he should tell the truth.

New Orleans jobs and federal funding scandal

Will below-market illegal laborers, working in substandard or illegal conditions and working under federal government contracts, rebuild New Orleans? Will major, connected contractors pocket the difference between what they will pay those illegal aliens and what they would have paid Americans?

And, will both "liberals" and "conservatives" look the other way or even allow this to happen?

Will this become a major scandal revealing both Republican and Democratic corruption, or will the news media be able to sweep it under the rug?


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