U.S. Department of Labor Public Service Announcement: “We Can Help!”

Hi Gang:

I appeared on a wonderful radio show early yesterday morning- the Helen Glover Radio Show that airs on radio station 920-WHJJ.

I have been on her show a number of times and it is always a treat to be a guest on her show. This morning, towards the end of my 30 minutes on air with her, she played a tape of a new U.S. Labor Department Public Service Announcement (PSA) that was entitled, “We can help.” The voice on the announcement was that of Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. She was heard to tell the listeners that all workers, documented and undocumented are protected by our nation’s labor laws.

I was surprised to hear that announcement especially when you consider that the United States Department of Labor used to be responsible for enforcing and administering our nation’s immigration laws.

Let me make a few points clear. As an INS special agent I was angered and upset at the often horrific conditions under which illegal aliens often worked and lived in our country. It was the ability for unscrupulous employers to take unfair advantage over illegal aliens that motivate such greedy employers to intentionally hire illegal aliens. No decent person wants to see anyone exploited.

The argument could be made that by telling all workers that they have the right to demand fair wages and reasonable working conditions that exploitive employers, at least in theory, would have nothing to gain by hiring illegal aliens who could report unscrupulous employers to the Labor Department.

However, the problem I have with this announcement is that it minimizes the fact that illegal aliens are violating our laws by simply being physically present in the United States. Working in violation of law represents yet an additional law that illegal aliens who are working in our country violate.

Here is a link to the Labor Department website that includes not only the video of the PSA that Helen played on her show this morning but includes additional speakers who, like Secretary of Labor Solis, deliver their messages in both the English and Spanish languages:
http://www.dol.gov/wecanhelp/psa.htm

Another point to consider:
If we are to presume that the concern is the exploitation of illegal aliens, why aren’t those messages being translated into Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) as well as Russian Polish Hebrew and other foreign languages? Certainly there are many illegal aliens in our country who speak languages other than English and Spanish.

The point is that our nation discriminates against people from other countries and parts of the world where neither English nor Spanish are routinely spoken. This again goes back to the point of why the simplest and fairest way of having our government do business is to do so purely in the English language.

In any event, after viewing the public service announcements I decided to go back tot he United States Department of Labor website and see what that agency’s Mission Statement is.

Here is the link to the mission statement as it appears on the official website of the United States Department of Labor:
http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/mission.htm

I have copied that mission statement directly below:
Our Mission
The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.

Please take out a moment and reread the beginning of that first sentence I have provided you here:

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.

The point of a mission statement is for an individual or an organization to spell out in simple and basic language what their intrinsic goals are. The Labor Department is supposed to promote the welfare of job seekers of the United States. Note that the mission statement does not say workers who are in the United States but rather workers who are of the United States. This is not an insignificant distinction. The phrase “of the United States” would obviously relate to United States citizens and lawful immigrants.
Why then is the Secretary of Labor making light of those individuals whose presence in our country represents a violation of our nation’s laws and borders?

Let us go a bit further. Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 212(a) deals with the issue of aliens who are ineligible to enter the United States. I have provided you with a link to the State Department website that enumerates all of the various reasons why an alien might be inadmissible. This list includes aliens involved in serious criminal activities, aliens who have been convicted of smuggling humans as well as narcotics. The list gives extremely detailed terrorist-related grounds for exclusion from the United States, aliens who have committed war crimes and alien who have committed crimes against religious freedom. These are just a few of the many law-based grounds under which an alien might be excluded from the United States.

There is also a section of this portion of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that addresses aliens working in the United States. I have provided that specific section of law below here:
(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.

Here is the link to the grounds under which an alien may be excluded from the United States along with the beginning of that section of law as well as the section that deals with the issue of labor requirements:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/ineligibilities/ineligibilities_1364.html

Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas

(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.

To view the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by title, chapter, and section, go to the USCIS website.

Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act reads:

(g) No visa or other documentation shall be issued to an alien if (1) it appears to the consular officer, from statements in the application, or in the papers submitted therewith, that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation under section 212, or any other provision of law, (2) the application fails to comply with the provisions of this Act, or the regulations issued thereunder, or (3) the consular officer knows or has reason to believe that such alien is ineligible to receive a visa or such other documentation under section 212, or any other provision of law: Provided, That a visa or other documentation may be issued to an alien who is within the purview of section 212(a)(4), if such alien is otherwise entitled to receive a visa or other documentation, upon receipt of notice by the consular officer from the Attorney General of the giving of a bond or undertaking providing indemnity as in the case of aliens admitted under section 213: Provided further, That a visa may be issued to an alien defined in section 101(a)(15) (B) or (F), if such alien is otherwise entitled to receive a visa, upon receipt of a notice by the consular officer from the Attorney General of the giving of a bond with sufficient surety in such sum and containing such conditions as the consular officer shall prescribe, to insure that at the expiration of the time for which such alien has been admitted by the Attorney General, as provided in section 214(a), or upon failure to maintain the status under which he was admitted, or to maintain any status subsequently acquired under section 248 of the Act, such alien will depart from the United States.

Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act reads:

(a) Classes of Aliens Ineligible for Visas or Admission.-Except as otherwise provided in this Act, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:
(5) Labor certification and qualifications for certain immigrants.-

(A) Labor certification.-

(i) In general.-Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that-

(I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified (or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and

(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.

If you combine the mission statement of the Labor Department and the provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act that addresses the fact that aliens who seek to work in the United States would not be granted a visa (lawful authority to work in the United States if the employment of such an alien would adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.

This means that under no circumstances should an American citizen have to compete with a foreign worker for his (her) job.

How is this consistent with the public service announcement that is now airing around the United States and appearing on the Labor Department website?

Although we should be outraged by what Ms Solis had to say, we probably should not, however, be surprised by her public service announcement.

I have, on several occasions noted that on April 30, 2009 New York’s Senior Senator, Chuck Schumer, in his role as Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee conducted a hearing entitled, “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It And How?”

Schumer called for none other than Alan Greenspan, arguably the architect of the economic meltdown to testify about Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Greenspan actually made the following statement:

The second bonus would address the increasing concentration of income in this country. Greatly expanding our quotas for the highly skilled would lower wage premiums of skilled over lesser skilled. Skill shortages in America exist because we are shielding our skilled labor force from world competition. Quotas have been substituted for the wage pricing mechanism. In the process, we have created a privileged elite whose incomes are being supported at noncompetitively high levels by immigration quotas on skilled professionals. Eliminating such restrictions would reduce at least some of our income inequality.

His use of language was apparently intended to be as obfuscating as possible but here is the bottom line- if Americans had to compete with foreign workers for their jobs, the salaries that skilled workers were paid could be slashed! This is absolutely the sort of thing that the immigration and labor laws are supposed to prevent!

Do not take my word for it, take Mr. Geenspan’s words for it!

You can review the testimony at that hearing and even see a portion of a video of Mr. Greenspan’s testimony at:
http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/hearing.cfm?id=3793

Clearly the United States government that was supposed to be “Of the people, by the people and for the people” needs a GPS- it has lost its way and We the People are suffering because of this!

I have attached the admittedly lengthy commentary I wrote last year about the apparent betrayal of the citizens of our nation by the dynamic duo of Schumer and Greenspan below. Please take the time to read my commentary and the other material in its entirety.

American jobs hang in the balance!

Immigration is not a single issue but a major factor in nearly every significant challenge confronting the United States today. Failures to secure our nation’s borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity and honors those lawful immigrants who follow the laws and play by the rules to join the magnificent tapestry that is America hammers those challenges and compromises national security, the safety of our citizens and threatens the “American Dream.”

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal “Day of Reckoning!”

Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life. In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.” Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!
If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler-

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