Immigration Across The Nation 06/18/2008

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Hispanic Dying on Jobs More Than Others; Economic Slump Affecting Latinos and Immigrants; and the Great Immigration Panic

►Hispanic Workers Die at Higher Rates than Other Laborers
A government study release on Thursday, June 5 said Hispanic workers die at higher rates than others. One out of those three who die in the construction industry and South Carolina has the highest death rate in the United States for the workers.

The Associated Press report said that researchers found that though high-risk jobs are a factor, language and literacy barriers and poor training and supervision could also be factors. “A language barrier hinders understanding of a job, or the risks associated with it, or safety precaution,” Rakesh Kochhar, associated director for research at the Pew Hispanic Center was quoted by the AP.

The annual death rate for Hispanics was 5 for every 100,000 workers but foreign born Hispanics’ death rate was 6 for every 100,000 workers. Of those foreign born, about 70 percent were Mexican. The death rate for those born in the United States was 3.5, non-Hispanic whites 4, and blacks 3.7 for every 100,000 workers.

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Slump Affecting Jobs for Latinos and Immigrants
The Pew Hispanic Center, a non-partisan research organization pointed out that a slump in the construction industry is the primary reason behind a 6.5 unemployment rate for Hispanics. “To put it roughly, Hispanics had a rough time in the labor market in 2007,” Rakesh Kochhar, associated director for research at the Pew Hispanic Center told Hispanic Business.com.

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About 250,000 jobs were lost in the construction industry. Hispanic women left the labor force in greater proportion and experienced greater increases in unemployment than Hispanic men. According to the report, approximately 130,000 more Latino women became unemployed in 2007, translating to an unemployment rate of 7 percent.

The report also said that despite the disproportionate impact that the economic slowdown has had on immigrant Latino workers, there are no signs that they are leaving the U.S. labor market. Their labor force participation rate – that is, the percentage of the immigrant working-age Latino population either employed or actively seeking employment – has remained steady. However, they now play a smaller role in the growth of the Hispanic workforce than in recent years, the report concluded.

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The Great Immigration Panic
The New York Times had an editorial on the true cost on the war on illegal immigration. It said it’s not about dollars but on national identity. “A nation of immigrants is holding another nation of immigrants in bondage, exploiting its labor while ignoring its suffering, condemning its lawlessness while sealing off a path to living lawfully,” the editorial said.

The article talked about the raids in homes and workplaces of people who are not a threat and the company not facing any charges. “Unbothered by the sight of blameless children in prison scrubs, the government plans to build up to three new family detention centers. Police all over are checking papers, empowered by politicians itching to enlist in the federal crusade,” the New York Times said.

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They mentioned how few national figures had stood up, as senators are too worried about running for president. The article concluded with a look at the past and how the shame has echoed throughout history. “Children someday will study the Great Immigration Panic of the early 2000s, which harmed countless lives, wasted billions of dollars and mocked the nation’s most deeply held values,” the article concluded.

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