Opinion | Hamilton: Immigration, distribution and rationalization
During the presidential election of 2016, Candidate Donald J. Trump pledged to bring rampant illegal immigration and illegal drug-trafficking under control by building a wall across our southern border with Mexico and by making sure the Executive Branch faithfully executes existing immigration laws. The Congressional mid-term elections will likely determine whether President Trump is able to redeem those election-year promises, or not.
Meanwhile, former Immigration and Naturalization Service officer, Michael Cutler, offers some interesting commentary on our current “immigration system” by calling it, instead, a “distribution system.” Based on 26 years as an immigration investigator, Cutler says the distribution system consists of two avenues for people wanting to enter the United States.
Both avenues, however, raise the question: “Cui Bono,” Latin for “to whom is it a benefit?” In more modern parlance Cui Bono is taken to mean “follow the money trail.” Former agent Cutler says there is a “legal” immigration avenue that Big Business and Congress have designed to admit high-skilled workers who will work for low wages. That is the HB-1 Visa Program.
Then, there is the “illegal” immigration avenue supported by Big Agri-business and Congress to admit low-skilled workers who will perform menial labor for low wages. Cutler does not, however, see the creation of these “distribution avenues” as a partisan issue because both major political parties have “colluded” to bring in workers who will work for low wages.
According to former Agent Cutler, Big Business and Big-Agri Business funnel millions of dollars into the coffers of state legislators and members of Congress, either directly or via political-action committees. Fox News Research reports, in 2016, the “open borders” lobby spent $3.1 billion or an average of $5.8 million-per-member of Congress. No wonder President Trump has to scrounge for money to build The Wall and to fund strict enforcement of existing immigration laws.
But not all large corporations use either of the “distribution avenues.” For example, Nike, moved 95 percent of its textile and shoe production to what the United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and the Workers’ Rights Consortium (WRC) call “sweatshops” in China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, and other developing countries.
A study conducted at Stanford University cited Nike for over 20 labor abuses, ranging from child labor, low pay ($1.25-per-hour), 13-hour days, unsafe and unsanitary facilities, forced overtime, beatings, pregnancy firings, forbidding workers to speak to each other, no medical benefits, no compensation for workers injured or killed on the job, layoffs of workers who even talk about unionization, and closing or laying off workers at factories where unionization is attempted.
Ironically, Nike, Inc. is spending millions of dollars during the current National Football League season to advertise a social-justice campaign, using the tag line: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Perhaps, one should not gainsay Nike’s commitment to social justice inside the United States. Unfortunately, Nike’s concern for social justice does not extend to China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Indonesia, and other countries in which Nike operates what the United Students Against Sweatshops and Workers’ Rights Consortium call: sweatshops.
No, Nike is not abusing what Michael Cutler calls our immigration “distribution system.” Yet one wonders how 190 universities can rationalize their endorsement of Nike products?
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Nebraska Aviation Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame. Hamilton is the author of “The Wit and Wisdom of William Hamilton: the Sage of Sheepdog Hill.”
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