The Criminalization of Visible Misfortune

April 11th, 2006

To the Editor

Your article on car dwellers did not mention that it is still illegal to live in one’s car, even on private property with the permission of the owners. Such persons have the use of restrooms and kitchens for cooking so neighbors cannot claim their streets are being turned into some version of ‘Tobacco Road’. NIMBY is the principle at work here.

The proposed penalties for aiding illegal aliens are a diversion to gain public sympathy for a permanent underclass of indentured servants. ‘Illegals’ cannot risk protesting their inability to live on their wages, thus avoiding the political embarrassment of having legal, minimum wage workers living in cars and dependent upon the government for medicaid and food stamps. Has anyone noticed that employers of illegals, freed from payroll taxes and benefits packages, won’t be held be responsible for paying proposed fines and back taxes when their workers become eligible to assume citizenship status?

Give everyone green cards and let all compete for jobs with living, instead of dying, wages.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: NY Times

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