“There already is a legal path to citizenship,” said David S. McQueen, summing up the near-majority stance among Overdrive readers on the U.S. government’s feints toward immigration reform. A near-majority favored the current law status coupled with tougher enforcement, whether along the border or among immigrants here illegally already. Add in the more than a third of poll respondents who believe the United States needs more restrictive immigration laws, and the focus is clear. At least some of the opposition to a more permissive policy stems from concern that encouraging more immigration would put downward pressure on trucker compensation.
“We as drivers have one of the last bastions of employment that pays a living wage” in the United States, noted Herb Williams, commenting at OverdriveOnline.com. “Flooding the labor market with low-paid CDL drivers is a dream of the rich. It’s all part of the race to the bottom for the working class.”
The Obama administration at press time had unveiled its own immigration plan and was awaiting a bipartisan effort for a draft bill to make its way potentially through Congress. The administration’s plan would open a path to legal status for those working here illegally today while requiring business owners to check and report employees’ immigration status.
Given the dynamics in last year’s presidential elections, with minority subgroups tilting the outcome decisively to President Obama, more Republicans are lining up to express support for the path-to-citizenship route, bolstering the view among many national commentators that an immigration legislative package is likely in the near term. Some readers were hopeful for such. “I hope it does” pass, wrote Roby Dubric on Overdrive’s Facebook page.
Added Isabel Maria Solorzano: “It is going to pass this year.”
But more were cynical on the prospects. “Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats have been awful on this issue for years, with no end in sight,” wrote Sheldon Schipper. “Most people I know are completely for legal immigration, but that’s not what’s going on now.”
David S. McQueen: The issue is enforcement of current laws, not immigration. Illegals are here for jobs that pay more than those in their home country. They really don’t want to be Americans – they just want American high-paying jobs.
Chris Edwards: Enforce the laws we already have. But big business doesn’t want anything to change – cheap labor!
Jeff Hailstone: Immigration should be a process, just like a credit card application.
Chauncy London: I had two illegal aliens on my truck yesterday. Called the cops, and they took them in. I’m for equality and for everyone to have the right to a better life, but do it the right way. Don’t cut corners – just as with driving a truck. You cut corners, and you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Daniel McCreary: We don’t enforce the laws we have. New unenforced laws are sort of pointless.