Omar Campbell: Silent conspiracy

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Our country is flooded by 11 million illegal aliens who have sneaked across our southern border in violation of our immigration laws. It is as if the Mexican government wants to colonize the U.S. with its surplus population. They have a special ministry set up to furnish help and advice on how to sneak through the border, get forged papers, etc. President Fox is pressing for a blanket amnesty. Just what we need in a country that is already overpopulated.

Alien workers are welcomed by U.S. businesses because they can be hired under the table by calling them "sub-contractors" -- the purpose being to avoid paying costly FICA, health and unemployment insurance, etc. The net effect of this is taking jobs from citizens and lowering wages. Most illegals were given forged papers. It is doubtful that documentation is checked very closely by eager employers, or that they even care.

I am perplexed by the apparent aiding-and-abetting, and by the obvious conspiracy of silence that prevails here in Steamboat Springs. For example, recall the Pilot's Our View commentary of July 27 "Time to Deal; It's Pointless to Debate," saying in effect that we should just roll over, accept the illegals and not talk about the problem any more. The paper belatedly printed my response to that nonsense.

Then I submitted to the paper a copy of a letter of support to Rep. Tom Tancredo's effort to promote new immigration legislation. It was not printed. I also suggested that a local investigative report would be appropriate. No way. The Pilot, however, ran a sympathetic-sounding 6-part series earlier on a forum in Craig -- about what a hard time the illegals had sneaking into the country. I have to conclude that the Pilot & Today management is part--and-parcel of the conspiracy of silence mentioned above. This from a quasi-public entity, supposedly dedicated to free speech, open debate and discussion.

Another perplexity is why the City Council has twice in the past few months entertained an official from the Mexican Embassy in Denver. Also why it is sponsoring annual galas for Mexican Independence Day and diversity programs. Following the usually valid premise that there is a money trail involved somewhere, and perhaps attracting more immigrants, I detect a faint odor of self-interest and perhaps even conflict-of-interest regarding illegals.

City should look carefully into hiring practices of its contractors -- on the tennis bubble and golf clubhouse jobs, for example. It would be unthinkable, and illegal to boot, if our tax money was used to pay contractors who already are breaking the law by using illegal immigrants. I suggest the police or contract officers be instructed to verify documentation with the INS if suspect people are on city jobs. Merely saying that it is the INS' responsibility to enforce the immigration laws would be a cop-out on your part.

Omar Campbell

Steamboat Springs

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