Letters to the Editor

A wall will not free the slaves in America

Donald Trump’s wall is touted as the only possible solution to illegal immigration. It is not.

Illegal immigration is the result of unscrupulous businesses targeting undocumented workers, offering economic opportunity and paying slave wages. Eleven million undocumented workers in the United States are used as slave labor in a slave economy. These workers cannot object to workplace violations and will be used and abused until sent to another slaver, set free, killed, or told to leave. The law offers no systemic disincentive; workers are punished, employers are not. Impose a law on these employers, the same as drug dealers: put the offending employers in jail for a substantial period and confiscate their businesses. There would be no undocumented workers in the U.S. if no jobs were available.

If immigrant labor is needed, the Department of Labor needs to establish minimum, federally enforced wages for the skill, trade, experience, and working environment appropriate for the workers that are brought in. The wall is the physical embodiment of the metaphorical war between cutthroat, anti-labor conglomerates and labor. Thirty years of stagnating wages, rising housing costs, and skyrocketing debt prove we the people need protection from industrial predators who wield unprecedented political power.

Joel Wells

Iowa City

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