By the choices we make we define ourselves. We reveal our biases and beliefs. And so, too, do our institutions.
In writing the $789 billion stimulus bill, Congress revealed that, for all its "Buy American" blather, it does not truly put America first. It does not believe that 10 million jobless Americans, in the country their fathers built, should receive any preference in hiring 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens who broke into this country and owe her no loyalty, allegiance or love.
Is this a slur on the patriotism of some of our congressmen? You betcha.
What other conclusion can one reach after Congress refused to require that employers on construction projects, paid for by U.S. tax dollars in the stimulus bill, verify that their workers are Americans?
For that is precisely what Congress did.
The first paragraph of the front-page story in USA Today says it all. "Los Angeles -- Tens of thousands of jobs created by the economic stimulus law could end up filled by illegal immigrants, particularly in big states like California where undocumented workers are heavily represented in construction, experts on both sides of the issue say."
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, illegal aliens will take 300,000 of the 2 million construction jobs to be created by the stimulus bill. The CIS figure is based on Census Bureau estimates that 15 percent of all construction workers are illegal aliens or immigrants who are not authorized to work in the United States.
Robert Rector of Heritage Foundation concurs with the figures on the number of jobs Congress just voted to give to non-Americans.
"Without specific mechanisms to ensure that workers are U.S. citizens or legally authorized to work, it is likely that 15 percent of these workers, or 300,000, would be illegal immigrants."
Other experts put the figure far higher than 15 percent, and certainly higher in California and other Southwestern states, where illegals tend to congregate.
In taking these jobs, illegals will be shouldering aside unemployed Americans. Yet Congress could have, with one vote, guaranteed that virtually every job paid for by U.S. taxpayers would go to U.S. workers.
How? By mandating that all beneficiaries of stimulus money use the E-Verify program of the Department of Homeland Security, which lets employers check the validity of the Social Security number of all new hires. E-Verify is available on a voluntary basis. It is simple, swift and easy to use.