Reform For the Workers

A very prevalent subject within topic of immigration is the affect that immigration reform has on the United States workplace. This a concept that many people fail to realize, something that I also have just now become aware of, an idea that todays immigration laws not only negatively affect immigrants attempting to work in the United States but that this in turn hurts American Workers in several different categories. The main cause of this issue is that Illegal immigrants are working in the United States illegally. On top of that many workplaces in the United States are hiring these illegal immigrants and paying them less then minimum wage, while also not following many laws that the United States has in place. They are able to do this because illegal immigrants have no choice but to accept the work they are able to find, if they do get a job they do whatever it takes to keep it and have the ability to feed themselves and their families.

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Consequently many American workers are paying the price for illegal immigrants working for these companies who are paying them less then minimum wage and disregarding many other employment requirements and laws. This is occurring because companies have all the control and power. If an American worker decides to question the company for not following the employment laws, he will most likely loose his job to the next guy up (possibly an illegal immigrant). So who is at fault here?

The truth is, it doesn’t matter who’s “fault” it is. Something needs to change because everyone is getting the short end of the stick, American workers as well as immigrant workers. One step the United States has taken to move closer to a healthy employment system is modifying the I-9 form. They have increased the amount of information required on illegal immigrants including, expanded instructions renamed an mandatory forms, employee fields such as email address and phone number, expanded information for alien employee, and a space for a 3-d barcode. (Lauby) These modifications will allow the United States to keep both a closer look on immigrants and the companies that are hiring them. This in turn will make it more difficult for companies to not follow employment laws and requirements. Although this is a step in the right direction for are country, it is still not enough.

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Immigration Reform has the ability to make workplaces safer, as well as make it more difficult for companies to disobey employment laws and requirements. In the article “Make Work Places Safer with Immigration Reform”, the author Jorge Ramirez explains the dangers of working in the United States. He highlights that on average in the United States, “13 workers die every day on the job as a result of workplace injuries” (Ramirez.) This demonstrate the dangers of working in the United States due to the fact that our companies are not properly following employment laws and requirements to make the workplace safer for our citizens at work. Once again this leads back to my earlier statement that Companies in the United States have t much power due to our problems with illegal immigration. If someone does decide to stand up for themselves against these companies, they have to fear losing their jobs and not being able to afford food and housing because they know they could easily be replaced. Too many workers are being forced to bite there tongue and do what they know they should not be required to do, putting themselves in dangerous situations. Relating this more so to immigrants, Ramirez further explains that in everyone 100,000 workers, “the job fatality rate for Latino workers was 3.9” (Ramirez), while “the overall rate is just 3.5 per 100,000” (Ramirez). This 0.4 different clearly demonstrates that illegal immigrants are being put in dangerous situations and being taken advantage of by companies in the United States. The reasons for this include the illegal immigrants lacking documentation, they are unaware of their rights, and/or limited English proficiency. (Ramirez)

Once again Immigration Reform will take the power away from these companies and businesses that do not follow the laws, and give workers in the United States a safer workplace. This will also make stricter requirements for companies who are paying illegal immigrants less then minimum wage or disobeying hour requirements. Ultimately bettering our economy and giving everyone a fair shot at a job regardless of their immigration status.

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Ramirez, J. (2013, April 26). Make workplaces safer with immigration reform. Retrieved from http://www.progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2013/04/26/op-ed-make-workplaces-safer-immigration-reform

Laubey, S. (2013, July 7). How new immigration reform measures impact your workplace . Retrieved from http://www.hrbartender.com/2013/recruiting/how-new-immigration-reform-measures-impact-your-workplace/

Dream Act or Dream On?

In the article “Dream Act on the way?”, Herb Boyd highlights both republican and democratic representatives viewpoints on the Dream Act. As expected, Republicans were not in favor of the Dream Act while Democrats were in favor. Texas Republican representative Lamar Smith, explained his frustration with the Dream Act by stating “When you legalize those who are in the country illegally, it costs taxpayers millions of dollars, costs American workers thousands of jobs and encourages more illegal immigration”(Boyd, 2013). He  took his faulty opinion even further stating that by passing the Dream Act “the problem is not resolved but compounded” (Boyd, 2013). This demonstrates a biased opinion that is only interested in benefiting a single part of the country.

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Fortunately, the article followed these ridiculous comments by Lamar Smith with Representative Charles Rangel’s opinion on the passing of the Dream Act. Rangel explained this by clearly showing his frustration with Smith’s comments, stating “I hope 2013 will be the year that congress will finally pass legislation that will provide opportunities for millions of immigrants to pursue the American Dream”(Boyd, 2013). He then went on to show the citizens of Americans support for the Dream Act by asserting, “The majority of American people support it; Democrats want it; and Republicans need it”(Boyd, 2013). This explains the many benefits for the Dream Act other then the fact that it is the right thing to do, if we are going to idea ourselves as the country of a fresh start and opportunity we should back it up and make this change for the betterment of our country as a whole. Rangel further proved his care for the American country by stating “There’s no time for partisan games; the American people want and deserve a real and lasting solution. I urge my colleagues in the House to reach across the aisle toward serious and sensible immigration reform”. (Boyd, 2013) The demonstrated Rangel’s main goal to improve out country, and not make a change that would make both parties comfortable but ultimately hurting our country, those who live in it, and those who dream to pursue and education in it.

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Without passing the dream act we are hurting many Americans. By passing this act we can offer support to Dreamers who need a little help to make our country a better place. The Dream Act will help give Dreamer’s support that Americans have such as federal student aid programs. In Charles Dervarics article “Dream Act Gets New Push in U.S. Senate” Marielena Hincapie (Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center) explains “Our fundamental governmental assistance programs — student aid, health care and nutrition assistance — should help all Americans, whether citizens or aspiring citizens” (Dervarics, 2013) Hincapie’s statement shows that by supporting the Dreamer’s we can create a culture of equality and allow everyone to succeed regardless of the family you are born into, as it should be.

Boyd, H., (2013, January 31). Dream Act on the way? New York Amsterdam News Retrieved from http://content.epnet.com.proxy-um.researchport.umd.edu/pdf29_30/pdf/2013/ANE/31Jan13/85360531.pdf?T=P&P=AN&K=85360531&EbscoContent=dGJyMNLr40SeprM4zOX0OLCmr0uep7BSrqi4S7GWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPPj34r34ux8ufCxUbOmuZKxr7NI&D=f5h

Dervarics, C., (2013, August 29). Dream Act Gets New Push in U.S. Senate. Retrieved from: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=fa0454bd-5ef9-42cb-9444-9014dabaf237%40sessionmgr198&vid=1&hid=123&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=tfh&AN=90060888

Rustin Bryant

Hey. I am Rustin Bryant. Currently a senior in the communications department at the University of Maryland. I am from Baltimore, Maryland, so I grew up just an hour away from UMD.

This past summer at had an internship at Sate Farm Insurance. I worked as both a sales intern and on daily tasks in the office, learning about the insurance business. After graduating from the University of Maryland this spring I plan on going abroad for a few months. After this I hope to get a job somewhere in Baltimore. As of now I am not to sure what exactly I want to do as far as a career goes, but hopefully Communications will open doors for me somewhere in the sales industry.