Response to a comment about the Detroit firing of 15 women- By Ashwin Sharma, Esq.
I received the following comment in response to my post
about the 15 women who were fired recently from a Detroit meatpacking plant for
attending an immigrant rights protest.
My response is below Jennifer’s * comment.
They were fired “for standing up for their
rights,” Herrada said.
If they are citizens, they had no need to stand up for thier rights.
If they are illegal ( undocumented) or whatever PCs call them these days, then
.. They have no rights to stand up for…. except the right to go back where
they came from and try to enter legally.
Many people , legal, or otherwise have lost jobs for playing hooky. This is not
new. And if these people didn’t show up where they were needed, when they were
supposed to be there… well then… what can I say. They had a choice.
Dismissing this situation by referring to it as ‘playing
hooky’ is like calling football a game of catch. These women were most likely fired for exercising a political opinion about the new undocumented
alien guest-worker proposal, with
which the owner of the plant obviously did not agree.
These 15 women, along with the other protesters, are exercising certain ‘unalienable rights’ (remember that
term?) contained within the Constitution, which also, by the way, does extend a
degree of protection to undocumented aliens. A peaceful protest is a type
of ‘release valve’, the value of which is recognized by most people and all political scientists. These gatherings are obviously
much preferable to violent outbursts and certainly more effective at
publicizing and changing unjust laws.
In reference to the undocumented alien question: laws need to be re-examined
often. Just because a law is ‘on the books’ does not necessarily make it
just or unchangeable. Laws which become outdated must be either amended
or eliminated. For example, your right to vote as a woman, which you probably
take for granted, did not exist until someone ‘played hooky’ and entered into
peaceful protests in the Women’s Suffrage movement. Others who were not directly affected by the law, and who didn’t ‘need’ to join did so regardless, because it was the right thing to do.
I am sure you would
refer to that movement and the 15th and 19th Constitutional Amendments which it
helped create as positive developments in our history. However, at the
time, many detractors disgustedly referred to Suffragists as ‘troublemakers who
needed to get back in the kitchen’. One senator predicted
that “disaster and ruin would overtake the nation.” Another
Representative argued that approving such a measure would “cause
irreparable damage at great expense to the state.”
We have insufficient, ineffective and unjust laws regulating the lives of 11-12 million people in America. However, we have been given an opportunity to raise our voices to defend those who have no voice of their own. They must be extended rights and allowed to contribute to this country through a reasonable fine ($2000 has
been proposed) and their share of income taxes. We can use the tens of billions of
dollars they will happily provide the Government each year to strongly
supplement financing for border security, health care programs and education. We also need them to strengthen our economy by performing jobs Americans don’t want, expanding our industrial infrastructure and combating the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to China. The only other alternative is to allow the unchecked exploitation of these
people’s labor while pretending that we have the physical ability and funds to find/hold/process/remove all of these people.
An ideal democracy is a system of Government in which the weakest minority has the
same voice as the strongest majority. A great many people have received assistance in crossing the bridge to the American Dream
but are now frantically burning and cutting away at it to prevent
others from crossing. I urge all of you reading to spend several hours
investigating the facts and history surrounding the undocumented alien question.
There is no doubt in my mind that the guest-worker program endorsed by the
President and the ‘earned legalization’ proposal are the best solutions to this
problem for both sides.
— Ashwin Sharma
* Commenter’s name has been changed.