Editor’s note: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently fired Steve Krieser, deputy assistant secretary at the state Department of Transportation (DOT) after Krieser posted the following about undocumented people in the United States on Facebook: “You may see Jesus when you look at them, I see Satan.” Today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog was written by Maria Monreal-Cameron, president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (HCCW) commends Governor Scott Walker for his swift and dramatic action in firing Steven Krieser, DOT Assistant Deputy Secretary. This so-called professional who spewed his own Satanic venom with despicable, repugnant words and actions has no place in the Walker administration The Governor’s leadership spoke volumes for those of us engaged in comprehensive immigration reform!
Along with Kreiser, the disparaging bumper stickers being sold in Germantown only serve to exacerbate hatred and prejudice. We must stand united and denounce these actions. Those who spearhead these actions and who harbor such deeply rooted loathing to the plight of the undocumented are the aberration, the anomaly, and the ones who don’t fit.
The current immigration debate centers mainly on the negative- illegality, crime, racism, scarcity of jobs and resources. Let’s focus on the positives- immigrants provide skills, start businesses, consume goods, pay taxes and create valuable cultural and economic links between countries. The traditional view is that immigrants have a negative impact on the economy, taking jobs from native citizens, lowering wages and raising unemployment rates. The fact is immigration has always been a powerful force for economic growth; keeping the U.S. workforce competitive and young. Immigrants fill in gaps, share skills and make an economy more competitive. American employers, in a wide variety of industries clearly recognize the value of Mexican immigrant workers.
It is ludicrous to think that we Mexican-Americans don’t want our borders secured! The Southern border must be secured before there can be comprehensive immigration reform that resolves the status of 11 million undocumented immigrants. We understand the frustration stemming from our broken immigration system. We recognize the need to secure our borders, to ensure a stable labor supply and the urgent need to normalize the status of hard-working immigrants who play an increasingly vital role in the economy of our City, State and U.S. economy.
As President George W. Bush stated, “One thing we cannot lose sight of is that we are talking about human beings, decent human beings that need to be treated with respect”
Maria Monreal-Cameron is president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.