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Paul M. Craig: Suggests resident category of ‘USA migrant’

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Thursday, February 01, 2018
Suggests resident category of ‘USA migrant’

Although Salvadorans and “Dreamers” have today’s media attention, they are a mere handful of the whole passel of people of uncertain status living in this country. Their status depends on who is defining them and for what purpose they’re being exploited.

Because of their indeterminable status, these people have almost none of the protections of law accorded most Americans. This situation is a national disgrace. Employers can rob them of wages earned from their hard and honest work.

Social Security taxes are deducted from their wages but because their Social Security numbers are often fakes, no wage history is ever recorded in their names. They build up no wealth; they live from uncertain paycheck to uncertain paycheck. They are denied the basic right of the pursuit of happiness that animates the American Dream.

Their dreams are often nightmares; their dreams are at best persistent worries of when the ICE-man cometh. They are always exploited by the uncertainty of their permanent status — because they have none.

The worst abuse and most insidious exploitation they suffer comes from misguided attempts to shield them from deportation by creating sanctuary cities —or worse, entire sanctuary states. Almost as bad is the nefarious Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, whose title reveals the political perfidy that keeps them in discordant limbo.

One way to regularize the status of these people is to create a new resident category of “USA migrant.” Setting a clear status for these people, whose numbers must be accurately and honestly enumerated, should be the central issue of this year’s congressional elections.

Paul M. Craig

Northampton