Trial of PA Officers Accused of Obstructing Justice Over the Beating of Illegal Mexican Starts Today . . . Justice and Lou Dobbs’ Ignorance.

by Raymond G. Lahoud, Esquire

The Associated Press reported that the trial of three Pennsylvania police officers accused of obstructing justice in an investigation of the beating death of 25-year-old Luis Ramirez, an alien from Mexico who entered the United States by crossing the border.  Last year, two young men were convicted of the beating death under Federal Hate Crime legislation.

The issue here is a bit deep and goes to what I refer to as “Lou Dobbs’ Ignorance.”

First, we have an individual who is from Mexico (someone who has rights, eventhough he may have crossed the border without inspection) who was simply walking down the street after a long day of work.  He is attacked by a bunch of teenagers, who, given their conviction, attacked him due to the fact that he was an “illegal Mexican.”  Then, you have three police officers (one of them being the police chief), who do anything and everything to prevent justice from being served because the killers were star football players in the small Pennsylvania town.

Every day, I deal with good people who entered the country without inspection.  Note that I try to avoid using the phrase “illegal aliens.”  So many of them have come to the United States in search of a better life and work so hard to reach that life.  Most pay taxes and pay into the Social Security system.  They do not claim refunds, though.  And they certainly will not be eligible to receive Social Security benefits.  But, there seems to be this bit of ignorance around–I’ll call it the “Lou Dobbs’ ignorance.” 

What is Lou Dobbs’ Ignorance?  It is this ignorance that so many people have about what undocumented immigrants provide to the United States.  The officers on trial, the two men that beat Luis and others forget that undocumented individuals account for one of the largest tax paying groups in the United States.  They forget that, absent these taxes, our economy would be in even more economic distress.  They forget that the taxes being paid will not be returned during “tax time,” because so many do not even file income taxes to claim their refunds.  They forget that, or better put, they assume that the jobs in which undocumented workers the jobs performed by these men and women are jobs that American citizens or green card holders would take.  I ask–why do they not take them?  There is this belief that just because undocumentedimmigrants are working, a job is lost for an American.  The question is, however, would that American have taken that job?  Most of the time, the answer is no.  Many of those individuals who claim that a job is lost for an American when the undocumented immigrant takes it are the very same people that hire the undocumented: Lou Dobbs, for example.

And, even if an American would have taken that job, there is something about economics here.  Every undocumented immigrant I deal with spends money.  It is a false assumption that these men and women “hoard” the money or send it to Mexico–nope.  They spend it right here, in the United States.  Remember, they came to the United States for a better life, so they can only build that better life if they spend money in building it.  Each dollar spent by an undocumented immigrant only adds to an economic upturn and, quite possibly, better paying jobs for Americans and permanent residents.

For example, if an undocumented immigrant earns $500.00 per week at the job that the American just does not want to do, that man or woman is spending that money for something better: whether it be for dinner at a good restaurant or clothing at Abercrombie–two places where these undocumented men and women cannot work, but so many Americans would work when they have a choice between the undocumented immigrant’s job and the job at the place where the undocumented immigrant is spending his or her money.  It seems like things work out better when we think them out.  But, we live in a world overtaken by Lou Dobbs’ ignorance.  It’s unfortunate.

When those two young men beat Luis Ramirez, they were probably thinking the Lou Dobbs’ way.  When those cops allegedly obstructed justice, they were probably thinking the Lou Dobbs’ way.  Maybe they should have thought a bit deeper . . .