8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 22, 2006
Continued from Page 2
12 million illegal immigrants to apply for
citizenship, adding that such a system is not
Latinos Unidos is against the guest-worker
bill in any form.
"Employers are having a field day being
able to exploit workers," said Latinos Unidos
member Elena Herrada. "There are no fines,
no fees, no risks for the employers. The risk
is all on the workers. The guest-worker bill
would legalize all of that."
Latinos Unidos held a community meet-
ing Monday, also attended by ICE officers,
to protest the raids and to form strategies to
prevent future aggression.
"We don't have answers for militarizing
the border, but we do know (that) communi-
ties where we live we must defend people's
human rights," Herrada said.
Co-director of the University's Institute of
Labor and Industrial Relations and RC Prof.
Ian Robinson said illegal immigrants are
vulnerable to exploitation because they have
come across the border covertly and would
be fired if they do not accept the wages and
working conditions offered to them.
"They have to risk their lives to work for
the crappiest jobs in my country," he said.
Robinson said that Bush - who has expe-
rience governing a border state - began his
presidency under the premise that he would
forge better relations between the United
States and Mexico.
Bush had to win the support of Hispanic
voters and planned to do so by paying more
attention to the situation of immigrant work-
ers, Robinson said.
Robinson said Bush now caters to the
xenophobic and far-right members of the
Republican Party while still trying to pro-
mote immigration reform.
Herrada said Bush "really tried to walk the
line" because there is a large constituency of
Mexicans in the United States he does not
want to offend.
But at the same time, Herrada said Bush
did not want to upset the business cohort of
the Republican Party.
"He also didn't want to break up a deal
with his friends," Herrada said. "That is why
he supports the guest worker bill - it pro-
vides a permanent underclass," she said.
Robinson said business-minded members on
both sides favor a liberal policy on immigra-
tion. Whether that requires legalization or an
increase in guest-workers, he said, is insignifi-
cant as long as cheap work is plentiful.
"Both parties have a business base that
contributes a lot of money to the party,
without which they wouldn't be competi-
tive," he said.
For Republicans, bases consist of the
Christian right and cultural conservatives,
for Democrats, organized labor and social-
"The Republican mass wing is having a
hell of a time. The party is at loggerheads
on this. The Democrats, for once, are less
divided than the Republicans," Robinson
said, pointing out that Democrats are able
to have a liberal stance without alienating a
large portion of their party.
Volunteers raise a wall to help the University's Alumni Association and Habitat for
Humanity construct frames for use In homes for Hurricane Katrina evacuees and low-
income families last Friday at Elbel Field. Two frames will become part of the Alumni
Association's "Little Big House" In Dallas.
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