The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

07 June 2005

We're To Blame For 'Scapegoating' Immigrants?

Numbers For Rent

Illegals Pay For Social Security Numbers


Cardinal Roger Mahony's recent editorializing against those who favor enforcing immigration laws, including activists, talk show hosts and others, couldn't have been more ill-timed:


It appears fashionable these days, and almost politically correct, to blame hard-working immigrants, especially those from Mexico and Central America, for the social and economic ills of and our nation.

Anti-immigrant fervor on TV and radio talk shows, citizens attempting to enforce immigration laws and the enactment of restrictive laws, such as the Real ID Act, are evidence of this trend. Some of our elected officials are joining the parade, going so far as to call for the closing of our southern border.

This growing hysteria is nothing new: Similar scapegoating has occurred at other troubled times in our nation's history, most prominently against Asian and European immigrants during the late 19th century and during the two world wars of the 20th century. By and large the United States has been able to resist the temptation to close its doors to the world, but not without unjust victimization of "foreigners."

Despite the assertions of some, immigrants - including those who are here illegally - are a benefit to this country. They work hard at difficult jobs in important industries. Most analysts would agree that if all the undocumented immigrants in California were deported in one day, our state would experience a severe economic downturn. This does not even consider the many cultural and spiritual gifts these immigrants bring to our state and nation.


Why? Because just as Mahony blames conservatives and others, for unfairly targeting immigrants (he makes little distinction between illegals and legitimate arrivals, accusing opponents of being against both), along comes a disturbing new report in today's New York Times:


TLALCHAPA, Mexico - Gerardo Luviano is looking for somebody to rent his Social Security number.

Mr. Luviano, 39, obtained legal residence in the United States almost 20 years ago. But these days, back in Mexico, teaching beekeeping at the local high school in this hot, dusty town in the southwestern part of the country, Mr. Luviano is not using his Social Security number. So he is looking for an illegal immigrant in the United States to use it for him - providing a little cash along the way.


Photo Credit: Janet Jarman for The New York Times
Spurred by the chance to make extra money, Gerardo Luviano lent his Social Security number to his brother's friend. "I kept almost all the income tax refund," he said


"I've almost managed to contact somebody to lend my number to," Mr. Luviano said. "My brother in California has a friend who has crops and has people that need one."


Mr. Luviano's pending transaction is merely a blip in a shadowy yet vibrant underground market. Virtually undetected by American authorities, operating below the radar in immigrant communities from coast to coast, a secondary trade in identities has emerged straddling both sides of the Mexico-United States border.

"It is seen as a normal thing to do," said Luis MagaƱa, an immigrant-rights activist assisting farm workers in the agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley of California.

The number of people participating in the illegal deals is impossible to determine accurately. But it is clearly significant, flourishing despite efforts to combat identity fraud.

Many legal immigrants, whether living in the United States or back in Mexico, are happy to provide them: as they pad their earnings by letting illegal immigrants work under their name and number, they also enhance their own unemployment and pension benefits. And sometimes they charge for the favor.


Cardinal Mahony, when illegals time and again prove they have no regard for the laws of the United States, why should we accept your typical religious-left guilt trip? How are you able to overlook the consistenly abusive behavior exhibited by what your friends foolishly call "undocumented immigrants"?

How could renting one's Social Security number be anything other than outright fraud? Would Mahony condone this, as well, in the name of some crazy notion of social justice?

I'm afraid to ask.


6 Comments:

  • Mahoney should pay more attention to the illegal acts being perpetrated by members of his clergy...or is this a ruse to divert attention to a horrific problem HE SHOULD BE ATTENDING TO!

    By Blogger Maggie, at 07 June, 2005 08:26  

  • Wow...that was quite brilliant, Mags. Question though...why are you making assumptions about Brian and where he goes to church?

    And what's this ruse you keep speaking about?

    The issue is illegal immigration, Mags. This is the problem YOU and I have to face every day, especially with rising medical costs and higher fruit prices.

    I repeat, Brian, you have to deal with some real idiots on this board.

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 07 June, 2005 13:28  

  • Sailor

    I think maggie is referring to Cardinal Mahony. Not the owner of this site.

    By Blogger RUMPLEMINTZ, at 07 June, 2005 19:32  

  • *blink*

    D'OH!

    GAH! ARRGH!

    Maggie, please accept my sincerest apologies. I mistook your Mahoney for Maloney...X_x

    By Blogger Sailor Republica, at 07 June, 2005 22:27  

  • I think you scared poor Maggie away.

    By Blogger RUMPLEMINTZ, at 08 June, 2005 00:28  

  • If you think Maggie got scared away, then YOU don't know Maggie!

    Just takes me a while to come back around again....

    Hold onto your hats, guys, the Mouth is here!

    By Blogger Maggie, at 09 June, 2005 07:34  

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