How Much Is That Strawberry In The Window?
[Recently by Linda Thom
Marriage Promotion? Try Immigration Demotion!]
Immigration reform has been blocked
by the fact that Republicans like cheap labor and
Democrats like cheap votes. But just how cheap are
immigrant votes and immigrant labor?
Answer: Not very.
On July 26th, Feliciano
Morelos, a 19-year-old
Mixtec from Oaxaca, Mexico was
sentenced to 2 months
jail time in Santa Maria, California. This
illiterate strawberry- picker, who speaks neither
English nor Spanish, refuses to take his tuberculosis
medication. He has run away from two hospitals.
According to Santa Barbara County
health officials, Mr. Morelos
infected 56 people in the past year and nine still
active TB. Most of these people are relatives of
Morelos and, therefore, are likely to be
poor, illiterate and
Mixteco-speakers, like Mr. Morelos.
Taxpayers of Santa Barbara County
foot the bill for
treatment of the victims of Mr. Morelos because
under state law, counties must provide health care to
all comers regardless of
ability to pay and
regardless of immigration status.
According to local news reports (Santa
“S.M. farmworker in jail for length of TB treatment”
July 27, 2004, Melinda Burns[Pay Archive]), public
health nurses supervise the treatment of the 56 people
Mr. Morelos infected. But be sure that these nurses do
not speak Mixteco.
Mr. Morelos may be the extreme in
refusing treatment. But he is one of many immigrants
tuberculosis. According to the
Center for Disease Control, in California, over
3,000 cases of active TB were reported in 2003.
Three quarters of these cases were immigrants.
funding in the federal budget; there`s no one to get
a grant from. It`s shocking. Tuberculosis is such a
medical and criminal justice expenses should be
counted in the cost of the strawberries Mr. Morelos
“Cheap labor” is really
cheap votes will be even worse.
Linda Thom [email
her] is a retiree who fled California three years
ago. She formerly worked as an officer for a major bank
and as a budget analyst for the County Administrator of