Immigration Issues in New Orleans

As many New Orleans residents push their ways steadily back to the “chocolate city”, a new flavor has made its way to the big easy as the granting of legal status to illegal aliens is underway.  An estimated 12 million illegal immigrants have forced their way into the United States demanding the right to become allowable by law. 


Numerous aliens have come from the outskirts of the U.S. in search of low income jobs in order to make a living.  Taking in countless jobs to rebuild the devastated city of New Orleans, immigrants have added a different atmosphere around the french rooted community.  About 40 to 50 percent of workers in the gulf coast regions are immigrants, legal and illegal, according the U.S. Census.  “Before these immigrants, there were white immigrants and before them there were slaves.  Citizenship should be given to the immigrants because America needs them as much as they need America,” said Rashad Simms, a freshman mass communications major from Washington, D.C.            Many businesses needing help in service jobs such as cooks, laborers and housekeepers are finding a number of workers from other parts of countries.  At the Blue Devil Cafe, Dillard University’s cafeteria at the Hilton Hotel, about 40 percent of workers are non-American.


Jesse Hathorne, the manager of banquets at Dillard’s Blue Devil Cafe, accepts the hardworking skills of the minority workers.  “I think these excellent workers should be given a chance to become citizens.  They deserve it.”


Like the those who are able to work around Dillard University, most of the employees are offered jobs through International Hospitality Service, a service organization that supplies immigrants’ employment opportunities.  Now, through protests and rallies, outside cultures are fighting for their right to legal citizenship and equal employment rights.


Bruce Rhone, a senior psychology major from New Orleans said that he believes everyone should be given equal rights and he supports the law and the efforts of illegal immigrants.


One employee at the Blue Devil Cafe, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that a lot of Hispanics in the city got together for a protest to make temporary green cards available for them to stay at least five years.


The employee also said that Congress should give them a chance one step at a time because many illegal aliens are paying as much as $2,000 to cross the border and sneak in.  Taking time to make a decision on the immigration laws may create more problems for the nation.


Some students agree that democracy should be given to immigrants but believe that other political issues should be dealt with before the government jumps into another one.  Farah Akbar, an freshman English major from Atlanta, Ga. said, “Our efforts in Iraq should be diverted to Mexico and South America to create less immigration, less war, and less gas leverage for America.”            Immigrants of unknown status increasingly fill New Orleans as jobs are offered frequently.  Deciding whether or not to make life easier or harder for illegal workers, the US Senate continues to debate over several bills to legalize immigration.  Continuously, parades of protest are being organized in many states including Texas, California and Florida.  The decision to allow undocumented workers to become legal in the US is a decision yet to be settled.