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Viewpoint: Rebuttals to two readers' responses

This is to provide a response to those who criticized my statements concerning the problem of illegal immigration, and the millions of jobs illegal immigrants have taken from American citizens ("One-armed economic advice to fix the economic downturn: A viewpoint," Bulletin, Jan. 28.)

Carol Turnbull suggests my allegation has been proven to be untrue. Mrs. Turnbull can join the proverbial ostrich with her head in the sand, because she is simply deluded if she thinks there aren't millions of illegal immigrants working in America (despite the recent exodus coinciding with the current state of the economy).

Just about every estimate out there suggests that there are between 8 to 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States.

Does Mrs. Turnbull think that none of them have jobs? Isn't that the main reason they come here?

Another critic, John W. Shirts, at least doesn't deny the obvious existence of these illegal workers.

In fact he names various industries they are employed in such as nurseries, construction jobs like siding and roofing, housekeeping jobs at hotels and motels, food service workers, and jobs in assisted living and nursing home settings.

Shirts is absolutely right about these and many more job fields held by illegals which add up to millions of jobs across the United States.

In my own field of housing construction, I have witnessed firsthand all the Spanish-speaking crews that are working across the Twin Cities.

Companies hire the illlegals for a fraction of the prevailing wages in the industry, then underbid companies who try to play by the rules.

The result is honest Americans lose their jobs while unscrupulous and unpatriotic companies exploit vulnerable illegals and make big money.

Mr. Shirts claims that the illegals are not taking American jobs, because Americans don't want and won't do the work the illegals are doing. Well Mr. Shirts, may I ask who did these jobs before all these millions of illegals flooded into our nation?

Another question. For the sake of argument, if all the illegals had never been allowed to come to America, would all these millions of jobs have just gone undone? Of course not.

The employers would simply have had to pay a more attractive wage to draw workers (rather than exploiting the illegals).

I don't know how Mrs. Turnbull or Mr. Shirts can justify the current situation in which these millions of illegal workers are exploited to provide cheap labor for business.

What rights and benefits do these illegals have? Will they have social security or any other retirement benefits? Do they get paid extra for overtime? Are they guaranteed the minimum wage? How many women suffer from sexual exploitation and harassment in the workplace, but are terrified to report it?

Put me in the camp that is in favor of law and order, and in favor of jobs for American citizens, and for all the rights and privileges of citizenship for legal immigrants.

Lagoon is a resident of Woodbury.