Years ago when I began my banking career in New York, Merrill Lynch assigned me to the Midwest to cover corporate accounts.
As someone uncomfortable in the world of high-rise office buildings and crowded subways, I looked forward to my trips to the wide-open spaces of Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.
I called on, among others, the John Deere Company. Deere management met my plane, took me on a tour of its facilities and introduced me to farmers who owned their equipment.
I loved it. To me, I was seeing America at its best.
But during the last twenty years, the Midwest has become another, less attractive place.
Illegal immigration is one reason why life in the heartland is so radically changed.
"ID'S Sold to Illegal Immigrants," a 60 Minutes Wednesday segment that focused on the Cargill Company in Schuyler, Nebraska, made my point perfectly.
As CBS correspondent Bob Simon's blunt introduction put it:
For emphasis, he added:
"But increasingly, the faces of the people who live here are Hispanic. Eighty percent of the first graders at Schuyler Grade School are Hispanic. But that wasn't always the case. Back in 1985, there wasn't a single Hispanic student at this school." Trend In Meatpacking Towns Raises Question Of 'White Flight'
CBS, supported by an insightful interview with Terry Anderson, did an excellent job—perhaps the best ever to appear in the mainstream media— of showing how corporate greed exploits illegal aliens.
(Contact Cargill public relations officer Mark Klein at 952-742-6211)
One illegal alien, "Ivan Hernandez," claimed that 40% of the Cargill plant workers are in America illegally.
"I'm telling you it's a game. They want us to work because they know that we have no rights here, so they know we're only going to work and work. They produce a lot while we get miserable wages. And since we have the need, we have no choice."
But what CBS did not do is explain how it first came to pass that the meatpacking industry was able to strip American workers of their jobs and replace them, with assistance from the U.S. government, with immigrants.
During the mid-1960s, American meatpackers who had once received solid middle class wages and union benefits found themselves abruptly unemployed. They were done in by a combination of union busting and unchecked immigration.
First, plants were moved to remote rural areas where unemployed residents would work for non-union wages.
But there were not enough local workers. And when skilled workers were unwilling to travel great distances to work for lower pay, the meatpackers tapped into the enormous immigrant labor pool created by Congress with the Immigration Act of 1965.
Now the floodgates are open. Small Midwestern towns, where Americans once made good livings before being forced out of work, are evolving into Mexican villages.
Take, as another example, Ottumwa, Iowa, which lies approximately 250 miles east of Schuyler.
During the last six years, Ottumwa's Spanish-speaking population increased from 100 to 3,500 as illegal aliens have moved in to work at Cargill.
Needelss to say, the official city government stance is that the new residents are productive and that Ottumwa would be a ghost town without them because they "do jobs Americans don't want to do." But there is an untold story.
The Ottumwa illegal alien community is productive in more ways than one. The Mexican connection has introduced the town to methamphetamine. And while the meth problem is acute throughout the Midwest, no place has been harder hit than Ottumwa.
According to Ottumwa's police Sgt. Tom Mc Andrew Iowa's meth habit started in Ottumwa "and worked its way out." Continued McAndrew, "Approximately 50 percent to 75 percent of the violence we have is attributed to meth. It's everywhere." Meth scourge keeps tight hold on Ottumwa, By Bill Reiter , Des Moines Register, November 23, 2003
Local budgets cannot keep up with the court and hospital costs of treating meth addicted adult and children.
So while big businesses profit from illegal alien employment, small communities like Ottumwa are devastated by meth labs and sophisticated drug distribution rings.
The late Sam Francis summarized it in his 2002 column, What We Really Get From Mexico.
To find out what Ottumwa was like before jobs were taken from Americans and given to illegal aliens, I spoke with Dave Lynch, an Ottumwa native and retired school administrator.
"My entire family worked for the John Morrell Company. My father started at fifteen and worked at Morrell for 47 years. My mother worked there too. So did my grandfather, two uncles and an aunt. And I spent two summers at Morrell myself."
"If you went up and down the streets in my neighborhood, pretty much everyone worked for Morrell. And there was a real sense of family among all of us."
When I asked Lynch about the often-repeated statement that Americans won't work in meatpacking or that Iowa needs illegal immigrants to replace the population that leaves every year, he responded:
"There is no reason to believe that Americans won't do those jobs. They are better jobs now than when my family held them. And as for people moving out of the state, relocating is the logical outcome when people have their livelihoods given away to others."
The CBS report was a victory for our side. "ID's Sold to Illegal Immigrants" documents what immigration reform activists have been saying for years about jobs, fraud, corporate malfeasance and the nation's demographic shift.
And the report is not only a breakthrough with the MSM - but an indication of how the multiple consequences of immigration are insupportable and irrepressible. Sooner or later, they will break out in an enormous political eruption.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.