This article can be read independently, however, it is recommended to be read in succession with Immigration, Part One… “The Backbone Of America.”
The American Dream has been a popular one since the founding of the country.
However, today, it may be more popular than ever before.
One might be accurate to say that The American Dream could quite possibly be the most widely dreamt fantasy in the history of worldly dreaming.
These days, it seems like everyone wants to come to The Land Of The Free and make a life for themself.
The real question is, at which point does The American Dream of those currently outside the country, begin to adversely effect the young American dreamers who are already rooted deep within the borders?
I have three young children, who haven’t yet reached the age of employment.
Are my three little dreamers going to have a place to work in America when they reach the proper age?
Will there be any job opportunities left for them at that point?
It used to be that immigrants started out by filling in positions that deep rooted Americans didn’t desire.
This aspect was never any different from young American workers getting their start on lower rungs of the workforce ladder.
Take myself, for example…
I got my start, fresh out of high school, clerking in a hardware store for minimum wage.
Nearly a quarter of a century later, and over the course of many steps up to new rungs of the American ladder, I’m now a forty year old licensed professional with a good paying career that I love.
I’m progressively living my American Dream.
Shouldn’t that be the process for my children when the time comes for them to begin living their American Dream?
Should that be the same process for the immigrants of the world today, who are now coming into the country to fulfill their American Dreams as well?
I personally believe, yes, it should be the same process.
But, what I’ve been seeing play out in the past years is something entirely different.
I’m seeing non-English speaking immigrants, coming directly across the border, passing GO, collecting their $200, and jumping straight into mid-level or even upper-level career positions, of which they have very little, or in many cases, zero experience for said positions.
I live and work in Maine.
You might say that I’m a bit further than a hop, skip and a jump from The Rio Grande.
Regardless of my extreme north-eastern United States geographic positioning, I’m seeing a disturbing surge in career positions being filled by inexperienced migratory workers.
I’m a licensed Master Plumber, employed as a crew foreman for a Maine commercial mechanical contracting company.
We work both new and renovated construction projects of all types and sizes, with the majority of them being schools, hospitals, etc.
My employer hasn’t yet been affected directly by the growing influx of immigrants filling positions, but I’ve seen it firsthand with many of our general contracting companies, as well as our subcontracting companies.
Last month, I was assisting in completion of an addition/renovation project at a high school on the coast of Maine.
The sprinkler system contracting company was having trouble finding the laborers that they needed to keep up with this booming economy, as is currently the case with thousands of companies in the U.S.
And it is booming, especially in construction.
The sprinkler contractor had no choice but to have a fresh crew of immigrants from Guatemala, sent up to Maine to fill the opening positions.
I’m all for this strategy, ninety nine percent.
Our economy is on fire.
We have tons of work.
We need workers to complete such work.
Our unemployment rate is at a record low. That tells us flat out that we don’t have the potential workers available, and therefore must recruit them.
Are you still with me?
It makes perfect sense.
We’re getting things done.
We’re building our nation.
Here’s the one percent of the situation that troubles me…
These immigrant workers are not starting out at the bottom of the ladder as the rest of us did.
In the example of the sprinkler contractor, here was the situation…
The job foreman was sent a crew of four Guatemalans.
Of the four Guatemalans, only one could speak a word of English.
The foreman was forced to give instruction to the one Guatemalan who could speak any English, and that Guatemalan would then translate and relay the foreman’s instructions to the rest of the non-English speaking crew.
This drastically limits the foreman’s ability to communicate specific daily job duties to any of the other crew members.
The one Guatemalan who can speak a bit of English has now essentially become an under foreman of the actual foreman.
Next, during the employment hiring process of this crew of immigrants, they had all documented an extensive work history… in this case, they had all included on their applications that they had detailed history of installing the proposed sprinkler systems.
These applications ultimately provided them with this employment.
This particular project is covered under the Davis Bacon federal wage scale, because of the fact that it’s dealing with a United States school.
Therefore, by federal law, this sprinkler contractor is required to pay all workers the scale rate. In the case of this job, the scale was just above $30 per hour.
On day one, it became more than obvious that the Guatemalans had lied on their applications.
The foreman gave them the duty of hanging rods & hangers to support the sprinkler pipe branches.
Anyone reading this, who’s even remotely familiar with construction, knows that hanging pipe support rods is an apprentice level task on a job site. The foreman lays out the locations for the hangers, and also provides the sizes & lengths of said hangers. The only responsibility of the laborer or laborers is to follow the foreman’s instructions and install the hangers in the proper locations. It literally requires a person with a stepladder, a tape measure, and a small adjustable wrench.
The foreman started the Guatemalan crew out easily. He let all four of them work on one sequence of hangers that would eventually support a branch of sprinkler piping. The particular task should have taken only one ordinary inexperienced laborer, approximately one hour for satisfactory completion. He put four men on the job… @ $30 per hour... Each.
The foreman, after checking in on his new four man crew several times, finally saw a dozen pipe hangers in the air by the end of that frustrating work day.
A daily routine task that was originally bid to cost about fifty bucks, had now cost his employer at least several hundred dollars.
If this doesn’t cause you concern, think about this…
Where do you think that those $30 per hour paychecks will ultimately go?
Will they be spent to help boost the Maine economy, same as mine?
Will they be spent to help boost the United States economy overall, like mine?
In case you’re living in fantasy land, I’ll give you a bit of insight…
Those $30 an hour paychecks are being wired electronically straight back to Guatemala.
The sprinkler story is only one example of several that I’ve witnessed firsthand over the past month… just in one month.
And that’s only in Maine…
And that’s only my eyewitness account.
Imagine how many similar situations are playing out right now in The United States as I write these very words on my day off…
Millions upon millions.
And all of those immigration dollars are leaving our country to bring wealth to other countries.
If you read part one of this article, the only comforting theory to all of this is the fact that I believe that The United States will eventually expand into occupation of the entire American continents. At the very least, the majority of North America.
If we all survive long enough to see The American Dream to its full expansion.
My biggest concern is this…
Are my children and my future grandchildren, going to have the same opportunity to earn excellent wages with zero experience, when they reach their ages of employment?
Will there even be any excellent wages to be had by the time that day comes?
Or will the immigrants of the world continue to earn wages here, just to pull a 180 and send the profit straight back to their true home land.
If that’s the case, then I want this to be better regulated, and more restricted…
Because my paycheck gets spent to boost the American economy first, and the rest of the world second.
I believe that every citizen in the United States should share that same principle.
God Bless You.
God Bless All Of Us.
Opinions by Ryan A. Murphy
“Take It Or Leave It.”