Friday, June 08, 2007

The new working class

Today during swimming lessons, I sat and watched several workers at the pool. They're installing the big slide inside and working on the splash pad outside. One thing that I noticed is that most of them were hispanic. Several years ago it would have been teenage boys doing that sort of work. When I was in high school, fast food workers were generally all high school students as well. One of the criticisms I have hear about the guest worker program is that it creates a new working class. It seems rather obvious that there is already a new working class, but it's a working class without the protections that a guest worker program would have provided (to all of us).

I'm disappointed that the immigration bill wasn't passed. There were several things about it that I wasn't thrilled about, but I recognized that there were going to have to be some major compromises. Now we get to just keep going the way we are with no solutions to the immigration problem. And people who are so desperate to work here get to do so by using fraudulent documents.

Our government owes it to all of us to fix this problem, and we owe it to our fellow human beings to give them the opportunities that we enjoy because we were lucky enough to be born where we were.

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