[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]Illegal workers contributeOn February 22, the administration said that it would start arresting illegal workers who participated in unlawful rallies and refused to leave the country.
Though the government has given them a voluntary departure period, which ends this month, its measures have resulted in a decrease in the number of illegal workers going back to their homelands.
From my perspective, this issue can only be solved through mutual respect and cooperation.
The government cannot be viewed as malevolent, since it is taking appropriate measures to protect the nation's power and maintain economic stability.
On the other hand, illegal immigrants have risked their lives to come to a foreign land to save the lives of the ones they love in their homelands.
Most of the “illegal laborers” who are currently working in Korea are engaged in the most difficult, dirty, and dangerous jobs in our economy.
Ever since the late 1980s, Koreans have refused to take those jobs; that resulted in lower productivity and higher wages in Korea’s overall economy.
These days, illegal laborers are the ones who are working in those scorned jobs in an unfavorable environment, striving to earn as much as possible while they are in Korea.
The government should not just drive away the illegal workers who are contributing to Korea’s fundamental economic structure, but also compromise with them to somehow give some benefits to illegal workers as well as to Korea.
That would help this country make its dream come true ― becoming the “hub” of Northeast Asia ― by helping to revive the strength of the Korean economy.
by Kim Ji-young