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A Reader Differs with AWCI's President on the Immigration Issue

April 2016

Dear Sir:

I am in receipt of the AWCI’s Construction Dimensions magazine March 2016 edition. In that edition is the President’s Message written by a Mr. John Hinson. The article was titled, “Forced to Cheat.”

The fact that Mr. Hinson decided to voice his opinion on a variety of issues under that heading is as interesting as it is intriguing. It is in my opinion that in these United States, no one is forced to cheat. An individual will weigh his/her options and then make the decision that they feel is appropriate. However, to say they were forced is misleading and irresponsible.

In this article Mr. Hinson relates a story about a friend of his on whom Homeland Security was conducting an audit on his concrete business. His friend openly admits that many of his loyal Red, White & Blue workers are in this country illegally. How is that for an oxymoron statement? His friend also admits it was common to hire illegal immigrants. Are you kidding me? Since when was it common to break the law, especially for a business owner? This man has retained these people for some 30 years all the while knowing they were illegal. If this same owner is such a humanitarian, why then didn’t he help these same workers to take the corrective measures to gain citizenship? Was 30 years not enough time to accomplish this?

No, my guess is that this same owner had no desire to seek out American workers. Did this owner ever contact a local labor union to find craftsmen that were highly trained in the craft? Did this owner ever contact one of the numerous Job Corps centers to find young individuals who were, at a minimum, educated in the craft? Now these are really good questions. In my opinion, this friend of Mr. Hinson is and has been part of the problem, not the solution, that affects the American worker today. A more appropriate title for this article should have been, “Shame on Me.”

Gregg D. Rhoades
2nd Generation Union Cement Mason & American Citizen & Current Business Manager for the OPCMIA Local #538, Omaha, Nebraska, USA