Senate Judiciary Committee`s outrageous proposal to
grant amnesty to illegal aliens as well as increase the
numbers of guest workers and non-immigrant work visas
marks another low in government`s endless efforts to
cram more immigration down the unwilling throats of
In California, where bracero/guest
worker programs started over half a century ago, large
groups of agitators—prodded by
far-left wing socialist and communist groups—marched
to protest H.R. 4437 in
Sacramento. Even my little hometown of
Lodi, students cut class to carry Mexican flags and
signs in Spanish.
But the party may not turn out
quite the way the organizers hoped. The Internet is
flooded with images of
arrogant aliens. Apparently,
Hispanic leaders can`t or won`t learn from what
happened when similar anti-Proposition 187
demonstrations took place in 1994. Voters, no doubt
surprised and outraged by the
ugliness of the street marches, overwhelmingly
In the 12-years that have elapsed
since Prop 187,
millions more illegal aliens have become more
meddlesome and more demanding.
And if you think the
anti-American sentiment you see outside your window
is scary, just imagine what awaits you if Hispanics get
real control. For a preview, consider the macho,
in-your-face statements of
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
"There are no illegal people
here today " said Villaraigosa recently, adding
"America was built on the backs of immigrants." [Civil
rights? How about lawlessness?, By Joe R. Hicks,
LA Times, April 1, 2006]
Street anarchy is the predictable outcome of a
nearly a half a century of capitulation to the business,
government and subversive forces that promote more
For more than 50 years, Americans
have passively bought into the concept that
cheap, unskilled labor—either officially invited by
Congress or present as uninvited intruders—is essential
to our economy.
If only early resistance had been
mounted…if only a modicum of logic had prevailed at the
beginning…if only a shred of political courage had been
exercised, we may have been able to avoid the crisis
swirling around us.
But a look back into history
confirms that the problem all along has been wages –
not a shortage of willing workers.
(My source here: Bracero
Politics: Longest Crap Game in California`s Agricultural
History, by William Turner,
September 1965, not online.)
In January 1959, Edmund G. “Pat”
Brown, California`s newly elected
governor, took office.
A former painter`s union attorney
and civil rights leader, Brown gave early indications
that he would resist agribusiness pressure to retain the
that brought cheap labor from
Mexico to California.
For starters, Brown proposed
farm laborers in a state minimum wage hike to $1.25
an hour from the existing level of 90 cents.
person is worth hiring, he is worth paying a decent
living wage. The
special interest group which denies that imperils
its own future as well as California`s.”
Brown`s sense of fair play didn`t
Within two years, Brown was
completely in the pocket of
agribusiness giants like California Packing (Del
Monte) and Hunt Foods and Industries.
And in turn the
Bank of America controlled the food packers and
growers. The bank insisted on the lowest payroll
possible…that meant hiring braceros even though
domestic workers were available at the minimum wage.
By spring 1965, with the bracero
program facing increasing opposition because of flagrant
Mexican workers by agribusiness, growers like
Salinas Strawberries, Inc. predicted their crops
would rot if more pickers weren`t brought in from
Gilroy farmer Les Grube and his Community
Recruitment of Personnel easily proved that the variable
wasn`t available workers but wages.
Grube immediately offered $1.40 an
hour—the mandatory minimum wage set by U.S. Secretary of
Labor Willard Wirtz before growers could hire
braceros—and quickly filled up buses headed to
The revised pay scale—a 40 percent
hike—confirmed what Grube and the
Stockton-based Agricultural Workers Organizing
Committee had been saying all along…that allegations of
worker shortages were nothing but grower`s hype.
According to the AWOC director, C.
fact is there have been few real efforts made to attract
United States farm workers. The wages offered are low
and the working conditions miserable. When real efforts
have been made to attract U.S. farm workers, the workers
have responded with enthusiasm.”
And when the wage offered was
higher than the minimum, the results were dramatic.
During the summer of 1965, Blythe,
CA-melon growers increased their pay scale to $1.75 plus
a 25 cent an hour bonus to workers who stayed to the end
of the harvest. They ended up turning away domestic
workers, many of whom had traveled from out-of-state in
the hope of earning a decent wage.
In the mid-1960s, Congress finally
killed the bracero program.
But after the bracero
program ended, illegal alien workers started flooding
in. And they have never stopped coming. In short order
the aliens, providing the cheapest labor, reduced Cesar
Chavez`s United Farm Workers Union to shell of its once
(Read Steve Sailer`s analysis
Nevertheless, California growers
still make the same
labor shortage claim—without
any reference to wages— by repeating their
predictable lie every spring with
clockwork precision: “We have no one pick the
raisins, the grapes, the peaches, etc“
(This suggestion just in from
California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher: “I say let the
prisoners pick the fruit.”)
creates a domestic shortage by refusing to pay a
living wage; then complains about it to Congress and
more poor workers from Mexico and Central America –
whose cost is partly borne by the American taxpayer
through free schools, Emergency Room health care etc.
Now Congress, never one to dig too
deeply for the facts, is poised to make its most
colossal immigration mistake ever.
During the bracero program,
anywhere from two to five million Mexicans came to the
U.S. But today
Congress wants to open the doors for many million
more plus legalize the
20 million already illegally living here.
And what about
real border security to keep out more illegal aliens
who might under cut the guest workers? Good luck.
But don`t abandon hope.
The biggest difference between the
1960s and the early 21st Century is public
awareness. Every American`s eyes are finally open.
The furious public outcry to the
Senate`s sell-out reverberates throughout the nation.
Here`s my take: this is where we
have fought for years to be!
Our cause is front-page national
news every day. Talk-show radio hosts back us 99
Internet bloggers and public opinion are
overwhelmingly in our corner.
Fear not. We cannot win without
just this kind of turf war.
Our day is coming. And it may be
here sooner than you think.
Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.