Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Illegality is Crime. Duh.

Bush's immigration proposal is a non-starter. The guest worker idea is a sham. The "workers" will in no way be "guests". They will stay. Why would they want to go back to their homelands after 6 years working in the US? "Guest Worker" is just another term for immigrant. Name one nation with a guest worker program where the "guests" left on their own accord. Here's a hint - the answers aren't France, Holland, or Germany.

Don't get me wrong. My wife is an immigrant, a legal immigrant. (and she is more anti-illegal immigration than I am). Both of us have endured the lengthy, confusing and expensive legal immigration process. To grant amnestry by paying some nominal fine is an insult to all those who have gone through the legal channels. (To be even remotely fair the fine would have to exceed the sum of all the various application fees for travel premission, work permission, etc. This is unlikely as it would make the fine would quite steep.)

The entire immigration reform discussion rests on several false premises. "The border cannot be secured." Wrong. The federal government may lack the will to secure the border. It may be expensive and inconvenient. It may piss off a lot of people but it is possible. Borders are and have been secured all over the world and throughout history. For the government to admit that it cannot secure the nation's borders is tantamount to abdicating sovereignty since one of the primary goals of the nation-state is control over a defined physical space.

"Illegals are taking jobs that Americans don't want." Wrong. They are taking jobs that Americans don't want at the wages the employers are paying illegals. It's Economics 101. If there are no workers at a given wage then the employer must increase wages to attract workers. Americans would take all the jobs that illegals now have if the compensation were sufficient. I would make beds in a hotel or wash dishes or cook for your neighbors for a certain wage, but not for $4 an hour and no benefits.

Sure, raising wages enough to attract Americans to agriculture, construction, and to the manual labor and service sector jobs illegals take would increase prices for a wide variety of goods and services but that's how the economy works. Suck it up buttercup. Maybe paying the true cost of goods and services would make American consumers re-evaluate our purchasing habits and stop buying crap we don't need.

Like it or not illegal workers are competing with American workers and driving down wages and prices. How could they not be? Think of the jobs illegals take. Now ask yourself who performed those same jobs 40 years ago? 75 years ago? Who washed our dishes, built our homes, mowed our lawns, unloaded our trucks and worked in meat packing in 1950? Americans. Why? Because employers paid them enough to do so.

Employers of all types, from Wal-Mart to the local bar to the family next door, love illegals because they get labor at below market rates. Any rational immigration reform must include draconian punishments against hiring illegals. Not simply crushing fines and jail time but orchestrated public shaming of those convicted. Display their names and faces in newspapers and on tv. Provide a searchable index on the Web. Ostracize them as the criminals that they are.

If we want to increase legal immigration as part of the reforms, I am all for it. Clearly I support legal immigration. The point is not, as the noxious Oliver Willis believes, to keep out the "brown-skinned folks" but to control who comes into our country and why. The point is Law. Illegal immigration is crime. Those who promote it and enable it are criminals. By definition.

Lawlessness promotes lawlessness.

Update: More in the comments section here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Thomas the Wraith said...

The following is posted on behalf of Doug Herbert, who emailed me since he was having trouble with the comments.

Frankly, your anti-immigration sentiments are just more liberal big government claptrap. I am sick and tired of so-called "conservatives" arguing for the huge federal government to "protect" "us" against global free enterprise. After all, "we" can "afford" it if only we have the will to build a big fence around the country.

Conservatives should believe in freedom or just admit that they're big government liberals.

You say you are for "legal" immigration and would be willing to raise the immigration quotes, but (duh!) you're against the "illegals." It's not foreigners who bother you (and your wife), it's just lawbreakers.

Here's a simple solution -- raise the annual immigration quotas to 50 million people. Voila! The "illegal" problem is solved and we get all the free market benefits of immigration without any "lawbreakers."

Oh, you say, that's not realistic. Tell me why not. This is not a rhetorical question.

Let me warn you in advance that (a) it's hard for me not to view concerns about foreigners diluting "our" culture as creepily Aryan or, at the least, as parochial and short-sighted; (b) "national security" concerns need to address the fact that none of the 9/11 murderers were here on permanent resident visas; and (c) I really don't think it's any more right for the government to tell me who I can hire for a job than I think it's right for the government to tell me whether I can own a gun or pray when I want.

Tom Tancredo keeps saying "what part of 'illegal' don't you understand?" as though the fact that the government has passed a law is the end of the moral argument. Let me ask you this -- if the government passed a law saying you could no longer go to church (or have sex with your wife or own a gun or have more than one child or have a blog), do you think that the argument is over when the government says "What part of illegal don't you understand?"

To quote your post I don't think it's your right or the government's right to tell me to "stop buying crap we don't need." I know Al Gore and John Kerry and Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrats disagree with me on this, but don't tell me any respectable conservative can claim that he can tell me what I need or want is "crap." It's my right to decide that, not yours or the government's.

This country was built on a belief in human freedom. It seems to me that the current rage against "illegal" immigrants is contrary to the basic principles of this country, since immigrants just want to be free to come here and work for people who want to hire them. This seems like a classic "victimless crime" to me, when two willing people freely choose to do business with each other.

Maybe I'm missing something. Enlighten me.

Mississippi Snopes

9:18 AM  
Blogger JoRiz said...

This was a brainless comment:

>>Here's a simple solution -- raise the annual immigration quotas to 50 million people. Voila! The "illegal" problem is solved and we get all the free market benefits of immigration without any "lawbreakers."<<

Gee have you read Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin? Maybe you should educate yourself and realize that the carrying capacity of our USA isn't what you think it is that's why Hardins book is called Trajedy of the Commons. Read it and tell me if we can bring in 50,000,000 more people who will bring in another 50 mil.
It won't end.....

One more thing...These people you want to bring in, most of them are involved in document fraud....Nice people to make USA Citizens wouldn't you say....NOT....

In my town the Illegal Brazilians are laughing all the way to the bank at us stupid Americans.

Frederic Bastiat said it best in 1850:

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in a society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”


Joe
CCFIILE.org

7:31 PM  

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