Have either of you guys spent ANY time in Mexico, and I don't mean Cabo or Cozumel, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta? I am talking about the south part of Juarez or in the barrios of Mexico City. The places that, even in 2009 still don't have sewers or drinking water or electricity. Many live in houses built so poorly, and so full of holes and squalor that most of us wouldn't keep our garden equipment in them.
The decisions a person makes to escape that level of abject poverty, to risk everything to come here and then be subject to sub-minimum wages, profiteering landlords, all the businesses that overcharge them to keep them "off the books" while they pay taxes and SS and Medicare with never a chance to claim any refunds for overpayment of taxes or SS Benefits. Most don't get workman's comp so if they are hurt on the job they are SOL.
Then of course they get to hear "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" but realize that for some reason that doesn't mean them. And they go watch a ballgame, on tv or at the park and hear "in the land of the free and the home of the brave" and realize again that they are not free and half of the country is not brave enough to accept that not everyone is white and 12 generations American.
Slavery is not a narrowly defined term.
1) The effort it takes to get here seems paltry compared to the effort it would take to FIX THINGS where THEY LIVE.
2) If they don't have sewage systems, I doubt very much they're hearing
"give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses".
3) If they ARE somehow hearing that chant, somehow they're not hearing "to get your very own American freedom, apply in person at the office nearest you". Doesn't mean it's okay to just show up here, live for 10 or more years, have offspring at an unsupportable rate - without healthcare, meaning we pay for it, subject school systems and already underpaid teachers to classrooms full of illiterate children who don't speak the language, etc. Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law. And I doubt many, if any, are ignorant of the law.
4) They haven't been sold to us by their government for the specific purpose of providing labor in exchange for sustenance. See my earlier post on the matter. We're not facing 19th-century challenges, and unskilled labor has next to no applicability to the challenges facing the country or our goals in the 21st century.