Last week I addressed the Catholic -Jewish Women’s 34th Annual Dialogue. I spoke on the challenge of immigration Reform. In my research on the topic besides the spiritual values of welcoming the stranger, one law for the resident and the citizen, love your neighbor as yourself, Don’t do unto others as you don’t want done to you, I learned some crazy facts about Los Angeles County.
1/3 of the residents are immigrants
half of the work force is foreign-born
2/3 of the children in LA County have at least one immigrant parent and 90 percent of those youngsters are U.S. born. (Fall/Winter 2010 USC College Magazine)
Wow. These are shocking statistics. Not in a bad way but by the size of immigrants in LA County. And it doesn’t matter whether they have paperwork or not. They are here. And deeply ingrained as part of the vibrancy of Los Angeles and its economy.
The truth is immigrants both documented and not are our gardeners, nannies, dishwashers in restaurants, factory workers, day laborers and tailors and seamstresses. If immigrants both documented and not were gone for a day our city would grind to a halt. In truth our country too.
Some say illegal immigration is one reason the economy is so bad. I say immigrant workers is one reason the economy isn’t worse! They most often do jobs that no American wants to do. Migrant worker on farms, toilet cleaners and those at the most labor intensive ends of the blue collar spectrum.
Washington even after the election will do nothing. But we must keep the pressure on. Immigration Reform is one of the most important issues in our country and indeed in our county. It is a matter of jobs, security, and hope.
Call our Congressmen and Women and call soon to be speaker of the House Boehner and demand action. And call President Obama too while you’re at it. No more shying away. And no more passing the buck.