Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, unveiled new labor agreements with Central American countries on Monday in Washington granting migrant workers the full protections of U.S. workplace laws regardless of their legal status. Solis feels that all workers should be able to voice their issues without fear of deportation as a consequence. Facing many critics who say that these agreements are encouraging the black market in a time of high unemployment to begin with, Solis holds strong on her opinion that all workers have rights; no matter their state of citizenship. The issue also arises of the dismay that will be felt by immigrants who spend years going through all the legal channels necessary to become a true American citizen.
I believe that these agreements are a figurative slap in the face to American workers. For years, the US has had to deal with issues of illegal immigration and now it is as if we are inviting them in. Unions have been fighting for workers rights since the mid-19th century and now rights are being given to individuals who are not even a part of the country.
Other teens see this as an issue as well. When a group of high school students were asked about the issue, the view that since these people are regarded as “illegal” they should have no rights in this country was shared amongst them. Economically aware teenagers also felt that protecting the jobs of non citizens, when the country is in a state of 9.1% unemployment is abominable. We should be focused on protecting our own citizens, not individuals who are here illegally.
If the leaders of this country continue to make political decisions that alarm the American people such as these agreements have, no one will know where the country is headed and what is to happen in the upcoming presidential election as a result.