Monday, February 21, 2005

Immigracion? No! Cheap Labor? Si!

Ever since Fixer's post on immigration, I've been thinking about the subject with an eye towards doing my own. The more I think about the subject, the more complex it becomes and I'm trying to distill my thoughts down to a semblance of coherence. It'll happen forthwith, after this pesky three-day weekend is over. All our readers' comments are very helpful, I would like to add.

In the meantime, read Cynthia Tucker's piece on immigration policy and the lack thereof. This gal has somehow got into my head and used some (but not all) of my best stuff. Via Working For Change.
They're not intended to deal with illegal immigration, either. Not really. To deal effectively with illegal immigration, the GOP would have to crack down on its major patron: business. If a few business executives went to prison for violating federal law, fewer would risk hiring illegal workers. And if Latino workers knew they'd be unlikely to find jobs here, fewer would endanger life and limb trying to get in.

But the fact is that the United States has never had a consistent policy of punishing employers. Indeed, for the past 20 years, the unofficial policy of the federal government has been to accept illegal workers with a wink and a nod.

That's too bad. In addition to national security, there are several good reasons to try to get a handle on illegal immigration. For one thing, illegal immigrants tend to drive down wages for legal laborers. For another, it's exploitative to use undocumented workers for their cheap labor while refusing to give them benefits. It violates America's sense of itself as a land of fair play.

Go read this one.

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