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EBERHART: Contrary to popular belief, Americans will do the jobs

As an African-American, I would find it quite refreshing to hear "leaders" in the minority community and editorial writers acknowledge the damage done by illegal immigration. The Americans most and first affected by the crime of illegal immigration are native-born Hispanics and African-Americans.

"I don't believe there are any jobs that Americans won't take, and that includes agricultural jobs," says Carol Swain, professor of law at Vanderbilt University and author of "Debating Immigration." "Illegal immigration hurts low-skilled, low-wage workers of all races, but blacks are harmed the most because they're disproportionately low-skilled."

A new Zogby survey finds that minority voters' views are somewhat different than advertised by the "amnesty now" editorial writers. The poll of Hispanic, Asian-American, and African-American likely voters finds that overall, each of these groups prefers enforcement and for illegal immigrants to return home. Moreover, significant majorities of all three groups think that the current level of immigration is too high. As Dr. Steven Camarota of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies notes, "These views are in sharp contrast to the leaders of most ethnic advocacy organizations, who argue for increased immigration and legalization of illegal immigrants.

The Zogby poll also exploded many of the myths of monolithic Hispanic views on illegal immigration and enforcement.

Most members of minority groups do not feel that illegal immigration is caused by limits on legal immigration, as many ethnic advocacy groups argue; instead, members feel it's due to a lack of enforcement.

Just 20 percent of Hispanics said illegal immigration was caused by not letting in enough legal immigrants; 61 percent said inadequate enforcement.

When asked to choose between enforcement that would cause illegal immigrants in the country to go home or offering them a pathway to citizenship with conditions, most members of minority groups choose enforcement. Fifty-two percent of Hispanics support enforcement to encourage illegals to go home; 34 percent support conditional legalization. Fifty-seven percent of Asian-Americans support enforcement; 29 percent support conditional legalization. Fifty percent of African-Americans support enforcement; 30 percent support conditional legalization.

We are endlessly bombarded with the wornout and absurd concept that the majority of Americans who demand border security and equal protection under the law — even immigration law — are somehow "anti-immigration."

We admit more legal immigrants than any nation on the planet. Most can see that we don't need even more "guest workers." An unreported but true and amazing fact: The U.S. legally imports about 125,000 foreign workers every month.

No one can envy the job of the open borders groups who are charged with convincing us that we need amnesty for 12 million to 20 million more workers or welfare recipients while Americans and real immigrants struggle.

Officially, national unemployment sits at 10 percent as a whole and the numbers are even worse for black men. That group suffers an unemployment rate of more than 17 percent. Each time the federal government conducts raids on employers that employ illegals, formerly shutout poor Americans fill the job slots. Consequently, wages then increase.

It's just not true that undocumented workers are doing the jobs that we won't do.

Honesty on immigration is at a premium these days. Americans should make a decision on who to believe: The writers and ethnic-based groups with an agenda or the voice of the people who demand a fair chance at jobs and the promised nation of law.

Inger Eberhart is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Dustin Inman Society, which advocates for enforcement of American immigration laws. The organization's Web site is www.TheDustinInmanSociety.org.