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A mother's story

   If current immigration laws had been enforced my son would be alive today!  The fact that a LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZEN can be killed on the job site by an illegal alien while the Washington State's Department of Labor and Industries looked the other way should outrage every mother in Washington State.  It should outrage every one of 2.5 million contractors and workers who pay $1.4 billion in disability insurance premiums annually!  In 2009 L&I lost $751 million and will raise premiums on business and workers by 7.6% in 2010 and 12% in 2011—during this Great Recession.  The Governor and her political appointees must stop this hemorrage today by ceasing and desisting from knowingly issuing Washington State drivers licenses to illegal aliens and by including Immigration Customs Enforcement in L&I's fraud prevention efforts. 
    —2010 Respect for Law Citizen Sponsor, K. Anderson 

Washington workers' stories

    I have been a full–time carpenter since 1979.  I started framing in metal stud and hanging sheet rock (drywall), and when things got slow, I would hang sheet rock in homes for a per–foot price of 12¢ (1981).  One day, our fantastic boss came up to the crew I was working on and informed us that he had a crew...that would hang for 7¢ per foot, and that we could either hang for that price or we could walk.  I chose to walk.  I was used to making about $200.00 per day and didn't want to live on less.  That was the first wave of illegals I had to endure, and it cost me any thought of a wage increase for nearly a decade.  If you factor in inflation, that would be more than a 30% cut in wages over a 10–year span.    
   I left the drywall industry and began to frame homes, all the while taking note of what was happening to the drywall and painting industries.  I knew guys in both who were being financially destroyed.  I knew that both political parties were vying for the hispanic vote, and I was extremely disappointed when Ronald Reagan gave the illegals amnesty (1986).  I have since moved up the ladder a bit because of my persistence (stubbornness), and feel that I am in a position (remodeling) that will not easily be usurped by the second invasion we are now enduring.  I have friends in the framing industry who haven't seen a raise in the last 5 years due to the rapid influx of illegals.  I am disgusted with both parties for their rhetoric regarding illegals and would love to ask them, if it was their job or their way of life they were giving away would they still do it?  They don't seem to have much problem giving away my job, and yet they still knock on my door to get my vote.  For the most part they all disgust me—most especially during the election cycle.  It's not that Americans won't do these jobs, it's that they won't do them for half price! 
   —E. in Snohomish County  
    I have been in drywall for over 30 years.  I have watched this invasion lower my wages and make it harder to get work for the last 15 years.  In the mid 1980s I was making $50,000–60,000 a year.  In the last 10 years, I have not been able to get over $45,000.  Don't tell me they are a benefit to society.  Only a fool would believe that—or an employer who made a fortune off cheap labor.  Great for them, bad for the rest of us.  
   —D. in Snohomish County  
   I am an Electrician by trade.  It is a safety hazard to have illegal aliens working on construction sites due to language barriers.  I have seen many unsafe practices performed by people who cannot speak English.  This not only can destroy my work, but can harm others. 
   —D. of IBEW, King County  
    I worked in child support enforcement for the State of Washington.  We had great trouble collecting child support from absent fathers who were illegal aliens.  They used false Social Security Numbers so employers did not have a record or could not withhold (garnish) wages for child support.  Also, many illegal aliens do not possess a Social Security Number, or at least that is what the mothers told us.  There is no way to find fathers.  Without that support, these mothers and children go on state welfare, which taxpayers foot the bill for.   
   —C. in Thurston County  
    My experience is very simple.  The juvenile detention school has grown from 25% hispanic to 40% hispanic over the last 4 years (2004–2008).  Illegals are coming in, and they are involved in the drug trade and crime.  One thing people don't understand is that a lot of illegals are gang members, and my students tell me that MS–13 has a goal of creating an army to take over California.  
   —T. in Thurston County  
   My father worked lath and plaster in the construction trade.  Lost his job to illegal aliens.  He wanted his job!  Don't tell me that they only take jobs we don't want! 
   —G. in Thurston County 
   In the 1970s, fruit packing houses mostly employed growers wives and families, who hand packed the fruit, paid by the box.  Gradually, the warehouses have been taken over by hispanics and work to keep anyone else out.  I went back to college to learn a different kind of work to take care of my family because of the way I was treated at the warehouse IN MY OWN HOME TOWN.  I was prevented from applying for alot of jobs because I am not bilingual.  When I was crew–boss for cherries, I truly suspected when I was filling out I–9s for my employees (who could not or would not speak English) that the documents were not legal, but knowing it and proving it is two different things, and when the boss has a crop to get out, they "look the other way" because if the documents look legal on their face, to NOT accept them is "discrimination." 
   My home was broken into numerous times by the gangs that took over my quiet neighborhood, my son was beaten up at school for no reason except he has blonde hair and blue eyes.  This is the school that was 55% white, 40% black and 5% hispanic when I graduated and we didn't fight.  Now it's 60% hispanic and my A & B son almost didn't graduate for lack of attendance.  When I was in school there, my friends had names like Armijo, Trujillo, Attincio, Pleasant.  Now my son is blocked from a lot of jobs because the jobs require an applicant to be bilingual.  This is discrimination.  Not reverse discrimination, just outright discrimination against my son and myself.  If someone knocks on the front door and asked to come in, that's one thing—guest worker, military, apply for citizenship—but to kick in the back door, just walk in and help themselves, thinking that's ok?  Illegal is illegal. 
   —L. Yakima    
    I live in Yakima and am so glad to have some place to say what I need to say.  I have been out of work for a year and a half.  I am a professional and cannot find a job that pays over $10.00/hr because I am not bilingual.  I have had hispanics say "shame on you" for not speaking Spanish.  I have been spoken to in Spanish at stores.  I have blond hair and green eyes.  Why would they assume that I speak Spanish?  
    I live on the west side of town.  Most of them cannot afford to live on this side, but it has gotten so bad they are moving in everywhere and they are not legal.  Our city is having to ask for federal and state help with our gang problems because it has gotten to big to handle alone.  When I was 6 years old I asked my Grandfather to teach me to speak French.  He told me that this was America and we all need to speak English.  That has stuck with me my whole life including the 4 years I spent living overseas.  No one spoke English to me [there].  I had to learn to speak their language.  It was good for me and I was respected for it.  When you have no choice, you learn.  They don't have to learn English they expect us to learn Spanish.  How crazy is that?  
   When I lived overseas I always had to carry papers to show that I was in the country legally.  I never had a problem with that.  Oh, by the way, I had no rights in those countries—I was not a citizen.  I could only work for the company that I was there with.  I couldn't even take a class at the local college.  So I guess I have seen this from both sides.  Legal means Legal.  Another thing, every time they protest they fly the Mexican flag.  If they want so bad to be Americans I would suggest they follow our laws and fly the flag of the country they want to belong to.  Or go back to their beloved Mexico.  
   —D. "Fed Up" in Yakima    

Tell us how illegal immigration has affected you and your family. 
We will post your experience here so that your fellow American citizens can understand the
very real negative impact of illegal immigration on so many of us!
Employers, please share your experience with illegal immigation.
Have you had trouble verifying the legal status of applicants and employees? 
How has illegal immigration affected your business?
Do your competitors hire illegals, pay below minimum wage, or evade employee taxes?
Send your story to info@RespectWashington.us

Always report suspicious employment activity to Immigration Customs Enforcement:
Call 1–866–347–2423

Or visit the ICE Worksite Enforcement web site