TCS Daily


The Border and the Boom

By Jerry Bowyer - June 16, 2006 12:00 AM

One argument for curbing immigration is that the economy can't absorb so many new entrants - there aren't enough jobs for them. Is it true? Data released just last week strongly suggests that labor markets are so strong that the United States is easily absorbing immigrant labor; what's more, the economy is producing so many jobs that we've entered a labor shortage.

Here's what the numbers say: since President Bush's tax cuts were fully implemented, almost exactly three years ago, the unemployment rate has dropped from 6.1% to 4.6%. What's more, Latino unemployment rates have similarly plunged. They stand, currently, at 5%, which is just a tad above the average for all Americans and almost half the rate for black Americans.

During this period of time, 5.2 million payroll jobs have been created and (counting self-employed people as well), 6.4 million overall jobs have been created. What we learned last week, is that the survey reports unfilled job openings stands at roughly 4 million, which is a post-recession high.

In other words, the US economy is currently so dynamic that it has absorbed 4.5 million new entrants to the labor market (immigrants, new adults, former discouraged workers, etc.), plus another two million unemployed. And after that, a record number of jobs remain unfilled.

There are, of course, other arguments against high rates of immigration, most of them cultural. Perhaps we can deal with those at some future date. However, the argument most made in polite society -- that jobs are just too scarce and we simply cannot integrate these new workers -- doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The pessimism - from both the hard left and the hard right -- ignores the dynamism of the US economy. Immigrants follow economic booms; and having followed them, they help strengthen them in turn.

Jerry Bowyer is Economic Advisor for Independence Portfolio Partners.

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63 Comments

Utilitarianism Won't Die
This "piece" is simply an attempt to justify lawbreaking because, according to the author, it is "good" economically. I'm sure that bankrobbers have the same opinion.

Huh?
Where did the piece suggest lawbreaking? Presumably, illegal workers would be off-books anyway, as the wage requirements of being on-books would tend to negate the advantage of hiring them, no? Call me cynical, but I think this piece was simply an attempt to bait the anti-Mexican crowd that pollutes Republican circles.

Immigration reform is dead and burried, which is just fine. Where we need to go next is to make a case that helping our neighbor Mexico further modernize and liberalize and become a great partner is our moral imperative and in our long term security interests. Start with a couple MLB teams and an NHL franchise and in a few years, Mexico will feel like Canada to us. I'd love to see the anti-illegals crowd whine about that.

Key number in article - Black American unemployment 10%
I'll (slightly) ignore the cultural side of the illegal immigrant debate, per the author's request.

The key number in this article is that the Black American unemployment rate is 10%. These are our citizens and my allegiance is with my fellow Americans first, not with ILLEGAL immigrants.

Data that I have seen (sorry going from memory so no links) show that illegals negatively impact Black American (un)employment the most.

A 10% unemployment rate among a segment of our population that is 12-15% of the total, makes it seem to me that there are quite a few people out there currently not employed to fill these 4 million unfilled jobs.

Am I wrong here?

Legal Immigration
Why does governement make it so difficult to legally increase the number of LEGAL immigrants?
There are methods currently used to hire guest workers. The process is very tedious due to government inefficiency.
Why are there so few legal immigrant visas for the rest of the world.
Why not allow into the country more people from India and the Philippines, who speak English?

Why can’t these authors get it?
The issue is NOT immigration, it is ILLEGAL immigration. That is the issue.

Illegal immigrants are criminals by the very nature of their existence. Now it may be true that being illegal is their only crime, but it may not be also. The purpose of having immigration laws is to filter out the terrorist/criminal element in the people that are trying to come into the US. I like most Americans, support legal immigration and love to see people come to this country. In fact, my wife is a immigrant and we had to go though a lot of time, paperwork and money to get her here. Immigrants that are not married to US citizens have to go though even more then I did. Illegal immigrants are a slap in the face of people like me and others that have followed the rules and gone though the legal route.

That being said; I also would support a worker card system for the people that want to come here just to work. Under this type of system I would even be willing to grant people already in this country the right to get one of these cards IF the only crime they had committed is being illegal. This card would in no way be linked to citizenship other then that the time they had been in the US would count towards “time served” in the US. By this I mean that they would have the right to apply for normal immigration just like anybody else and IF that was granted then the time they had been in the US would count to some extend to their require time for citizenship.

The finial say is that ILLEGAL immigration needs to be stop and the two must be separated in the minds of American.

TCS clearly has an agenda here
With this article, as well as their insistence on continuing to publish articles by that idiot Nathan Smith, it is becoming clear that TCS has adopted a particular viewpoint here, and is not being shy about pushing this agenda.

Clearly, some of the financial support for this entity is deeply vested in the goal of having a continuous flow of cheap, illegal (read 'even cheaper') labor from south of the border. And this goal precludes acknowledgement of the 'bad' which necessarily comes along with the supposed 'good'.

First, the authors continue to appear to be unable to perceive the distinction between the word 'immigrant' and the words 'illegal immigrant'. They paint the picture in such a way as to imply that people who are against illegal immigration as being 'against immigration'. Nothinig could be further from the truth. Not only is every person of a conservative mindset to whom I have spoken to about this (and believe me, working in school district in texas, this topic is on everyone's lips every day) completely in favor of LEGAL immigration, they also have no problem drawing the distinction between legal and illegal.

Clearly, to acknowledge the illegality of the cheap and easily-exploited labor would slowly erode the profit base of certain industries. I view this as akin to government subsidies, such as farm subsidies. Why should certain enterprises be 'entitled' to below-market labor costs? These companies reap all the benefits of illegal labor, but pay none of the costs.

It has been explained before, but bears repeating: illegal aliens cause tremendous, back-breaking costs to the communities in which they settle - health-care costs, public education costs, public safety costs, crime-fighting costs, insurance costs, lawsuit abuse, unfair burdens on school districts (and by extension on every legitimate taxpayer who pays property taxes), and not to mention, politically-incorrect though it may be, it still remains a fact, plummeting property values in the areas in which they concentrate.

So, in effect, these businesses actually ARE receiving government subsidies, and it needs to be stopped.

Yes, in times of econimic boom, it should be easier for employers to fill job openings with needed labor. And of course, no one would object to workers coming here legally, to fill such jobs, until such time as their worker permit expires, or the economy slows down and the growth slows, relieving the necessity of importing labor.

However, only the naive would assume that these same companies which benefit from illegal (translation: untaxed, below-market rate) labor would be in favor of legally importing this labor, as this legality also implies the requirement that these workers be paid legal minimum wages, as well as all required employer tax liabilities. Also, it would be naive to assume that the workers themselves would prefer to be 'legal, and suddenly be caught in the taxpayer 'net', always having amounts deducted, having to file income tax forms, having to buy insurance, having to pay for their own health care, having to acquire legal driver's licenses, having to pay property taxes. Very clearly it is more profitable for the illegal workers to earn all-cash and tax-free, all while still receiving free health care and free educations for their voluminous amounts of children.

The question which has always surrounded immigration reform is: why would current illegals, who clearly profit from their status, want to voluntarily give up their un-pursued and un-punished protected status? And why would employers who profit from below-market price and untaxed labor be willing to voluntarily give up what amounts to free, government-subsidized profits?

Answer: They don't. Just read TCS's authors on the subject. To hear them tell it, illegal labor is the best thing that has happened to this country since the invention of penicillin.

The only real saving grace in this whole mess is the fact, which still remains, despite so many agenda-driven entities to obscure it, that our elected representatives are elected to do our bidding, to represent the desires and wishes of their constituents. The one benefit that the illegals typically do not have is the ballot box. The taxpaying citizens of this country are irrevocably fed up with illegal immigration. We bear all of the costs, and see very little of the benefits. And we are in the process of making it clear to our elected officials that we are not going to tolerate it much longer.

Either our representatives do what we have elected them to do, or else their REPLACEMENTS will. Either way, this rising flood of illegals is going to be stopped.

No Subject
"Where did the piece suggest lawbreaking?"

By confalting "immigrants" with "illegal immigrants". The author's whole point is a lie, since he conflates, deliberately, these two seperate issues.

When advocates of a certain position resort to lying, continually, to makes their points, you know which side God and Truth are on. At least some of us do. Since my post concerns issues of honesty and truth, I don't expect you to understand.

Money Making and the Law
If, as it has been written on this site ad nauseam, illegal immigrants and the employers who hire them are exempt from obeying the law on economic grounds, then I submit that the American citizens who bear the costs of these various illegal enterprises are equally exempt from obeying the law so long as their activities are somehow "good for the economy".

Let Freedom Ring!

Immigration Lottery
“Why does governement make it so difficult to legally increase the number of LEGAL immigrants?”

Good question. Maybe we could try an Immigration Lottery:
1) Congress decides how many immigrants will be allowed in a given year.
2) Homeland Security recruits (worldwide), qualifies and documents applicants.
3) Draws are made periodically and the winners are processed.

Cost of Illegal Immigration: Anarchy
"Yet once we as a nation choose to ignore our keystone laws of sovereignty and citizenship, the entire edifice of a once unimpeachable legal system will collapse. Ironically, we would then become no different from those nations whose citizens are now fleeing to our own shores to escape the wages of lawlessness."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/06/socrates_on_illegal_immigratio.html

This applies to ALL the laws that are ignored as well, and even worse, those that are prosecuted for breaking NO laws.

Truth, justice, and the American way
"When advocates of a certain position resort to lying, continually, to makes their points, you know which side God and Truth are on. At least some of us do. Since my post concerns issues of honesty and truth, I don't expect you to understand."

I'm having trouble seeing the lie. (a) The author talks about immigration in general, not legal or illegal. Doesn't even use the word. (b) The author talks about the ability of the economy to absorb immigrants into the workforce. He sites facts. He attributes job growth to immigrants AND previously unemployed. (c) His point is that stats show that immigrants are not, as a whole, taking jobs from citizens. (d) He recognizes that the social argument is a different argument. He's just calling bullshitake on the scarcity of jobs argument.

Since God tells you the Truth, maybe you can ask Him for an Energy shake recipe that will help you squat 1000 pounds. It would strengthen your Argument considerably.

So --- give the jobs to immigrants?
Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6am.

While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG).

He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA).

After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA)he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today.

After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA)he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS from Saudi Arabia and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking hisComputer (Made In Malaysia), Joe decided to relax for a while.

He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE...France !!!) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in ...

A M E R I C A ---

because we're giving the ones we have left to the immigrants.

Already exisits
An immigration lottery exists already.

Truly those are blind who will not see
If you do not understand what others here have all ready explained its hopless for anyone to try and explain it further to you.

Yeah and its a joke
It is not reviewed nor are the winners suitable in most cases. It should be eliminated so that we bring in qualified people. How many sheep herders and subsistance farmers does this country need?

Picture is worth ...
take a look at the picture.

No Path
Absolutely correct. Good post. You hit the nail on the head. I agree - have a guess worker program, if you can handle the beauracracy of administering it, but this program should NOT, repeat NOT, a path to citizenship.

Are you saying that the only reason that many are against illegals is that they broke the law?
Are you saying that the only reason that many are against illegals is that they broke the law? From which one could conclude that they would be fine with mass immigration by new people as long as the law is first changed to allow mass immigration (like it was in the 1920s).

'Illegal immigrants are criminals' in the USA today aren't we all criminals?
If you define criminal as someone who has broken the law, I am a criminal, I have broken the law a few times already today. If you have not my hat is off to you.

We usually do not call people who smoked pot (for example) criminals else GWB, Al Gore etc. etc. ad infinitum.

We usually reserve the word criminal for those who engage in activities that are commonly agreed upon as immoral: extortionist, murderers, rapist. Most of us do not for example consider people who cheat on their taxes as criminals.

Some people have said that less than 90% of people would not turn there neighbor in for doing should not be criminal/illegal.



and yet you are ok with them if they come in legally
'It has been explained before, but bears repeating: illegal aliens cause tremendous, back-breaking costs to the communities in which they settle - health-care costs, public education costs, public safety costs, crime-fighting costs, insurance costs, lawsuit abuse, unfair burdens on school districts (and by extension on every legitimate taxpayer who pays property taxes), and not to mention, politically-incorrect though it may be, it still remains a fact, plummeting property values in the areas in which they concentrate.'

They cause all these problems and yet you are ok with them if they come in legally. That seems odd.

What does it say on that statue in New York harbor?

speak for yourself Floccina
Not sure how you were brought up, or where. I know lots of people, and NONE are criminals. If you confess to being a crimianal, then do us a favor & turn yourself in. Who would the "we" be in your world that reserve the word criminal for your "pick & choose" crimes? If one commits a crime, which is the breaking of a law, then one IS a criminal. Going into any country without the proper papers and proceedures is breaking the law. Therefore, they are "illegal aliens", and criminals. Understand?

Imagine if forced police to cite every individual they see breaking the law.
What would happen. I think that the laws would be quickly changed. Ever see one of those demonstration where middle class young people smoke pot in front of cops.

Government has laws and society has laws. You can sometimes ignore Government's laws but do not ignore society's laws.

Are you on the drugs young man??
I was going to ask if you were inebriated, or simply stupid, but I went back and read your other posts here, and yes, you are definitely suffering from a severe lack of cranial capacity.

Hey, I think there's an episode of "Jack@ss" on MTV right now, quick, go watch it, and stop pressing all those keys on your keyboard. You're liable to hurt yourself.


But to address your post, if I must. Immigrants who come here LEGALLY do not cause those problems. How is it that you are not capable of understanding that very simple concept?

By the way, the people who came here through Ellis came here LEGALLY. And, many were turned away as well, for numerous reasons.

Lay off the loco-weed.

You've nailed it.
Which of the following political statements sounds most reasonable?
(1) "We are against illegal immigration because they are ILLEGAL."
(2) "We are against Mexican immigration because they are MEXICANS."

Most who decry illegal immigration are really in the (2) camp. And if they just stuck there, at least they would be honest and consistent, as most who hold such a view are not MEXICAN.

The problem with using (1) as a politically correct cover for (2) is that nobody is a saint in the eyes of THE LAW. Nobody can be. If you live in SoCal and you drive the speed limit on the freeway when traffic would like to move at 10 mph over, you should be shot. Ever cross a street where there isn't a crosswalk? Fail to signal 100 feet before making a turn? Stop an inch after the limit line? Fail to turn on headlights while your wipers are going? Borrow a shopping cart? Drop your cigarette butt on the street? Drink before you were 21? Water your lawn during a drout? Drop a used oily rag in the garbage? Pad your expense report? Have an unregistered weapon? Forget to license your dog or cat? Pay your property taxes late?

Ignorance of the LAW is no excuse! Every time you make argument (1), you claim to be a saint. The rest of us know you're full of beans and really just don't like Mexicans. Too bad it's not ILLEGAL to be DISHONEST.

exceeding the speed limit is breaking the law.
Exceeding the speed limit is breaking the law.

Crossing those yellow lines on the roads is in some circumstances breaking the law. Some acts one might do with one’s spouse are against the law.




Yes they could be turned back for having TB.
'But to address your post, if I must. Immigrants who come here LEGALLY do not cause those problems. How is it that you are not capable of understanding that very simple concept?'

Yea right those who come into the country illeagly would not come if they where allowed to come under laws similar to those that existed in the 1920's. Would that be because the thrill would be gone?

'By the way, the people who came here through Ellis came here LEGALLY. And, many were turned away as well, for numerous reasons.'

Yes they could be turned back for having TB.

Fail to properly account for all you income.
Fail to properly account for all you income.

Too Simplistic
There is a reason for the law banning immigration through improper means. Legislatures, for the most part, don't consider and pass laws without some reason. Here the reason is assimilation. In the 1920s when the country asked for a large amount of immigration, assimilation was not the issue that it is today.

It is reasonable for a country to demand that immigrants assimilate. Towards this end, there needs to be control on immigration, control that governs the quantities and the source countries from which immigrants come. Illegal immigration circumvents these controls. That is why it is illegal and wrong.

ABD

Not Utilitarianism, Utiopianism
The argument that there should be unlimited and unrestricted immigration is to some extent an extension of the economics' tendency to view any impediment to "resource flows" as articial restrictions on the invisible hand working its magic. Therefore, some folks take the plunge off the cliff, blinded by mypoeia, to assume ever increasing returns to eliminating border crossing.

Of course reducing mass migration to its economic considerations works especially well for the moneyed class and their political whores that depend upon a steady supply of uneducated, nonEnglish speaking people whose limitations keep them turning bedsheets and cutting carrots in luxury hotels. Pursuing cheap, lowpaid labor is especially pernicious when one realizes that a great many businesses are building business models when compensation practices are predicated on off-loading healthcare on taxpayers. This is why we are chided by our Senate plutocrats that a deficiency of labor in low-paying, low status jobs is to be remedied by finding a ready pool of immigrants rather than a reorienting of business models to pay a competitive wage.

I wonder how many pro unlimited illegal immigration hacks driving on here at TCS are mercenary mouthpieces and how many are mypoic ideologues-the very sort of "useful idiot" that Communists used to find so useful.

Then again, people aren't mere "resources" and mass migration has cultural, health, political and other considerations, especially when the immigrants come with different languages, cultures, diseases and philosophies.

There's an old expression "good fences make good neighbors". Its as true for nations as it is for households.





Do you understand what a felony is?
Breaking the immigration laws is a felony. Do you realize what this is? Do you understand the difference between speeding and illegal immigration?

Its the difference between a mouse and a elephant.

What a wonderful argument for building a wall and deporting those illegals
You make an extremely strong case for building an extremely high wall and fortifying it.

What logic!
Americans really love illegal Bosnians, Vietnamese, Russians, Koreans, Chileans, we just hate illegal Mexicans.

Brillant!

Somking pot...
..Is a felony. So is tax evation and in some states sodomy.

Flawed Logic
Trying to excuse one wrong by using another wrong is baseless.

We do consider tax cheats as criminals, not sure in which circles you run.

If I enter your house illegally, you would likely consider that a crime.

Would Be Interesting
I'd like to see it, would be very entertaining. I have seen those demonstrations & would enjoy seeing them be cited, mainly because they're usually spoiled brats! ;)

To the Writer of this Article
Please try again, you did not get the idea of what this is all about. It is illegal entry - not immigration - that is the problem. Once illegal entry is stopped, we can look @ the immigration standards & see if they need to be changed.

Assimilation is a good thing, because the US is a good country & our ideals are worth adhering to & defending.

black unemployment
"The key number in this article is that the Black American unemployment rate is 10%"
The reason Mexicans can find jobs is because they don't get government handouts or unemployment benefits. Nobody wants to say that though because it sounds racist.

jobs aren't given
Look, jobs aren't given away. They're created. There is no such thing as a basket of jobs that has some fixed number of jobs that are handed out to people but will run out when its empty.

It's not that we love them
In the case of the Bosnians, it not that we love them, but that you can hardly find any Illegal Bosnians in the US. My wife is Bosnian and they have trouble getting out of their country never mind into the US. They have to have a visa to go to any where except for 5 countries.

Illegal is illegal, Mexican’s just get the brunt of the force because they out number all other illegal about 10 to 1. The others don’t have the advantage of being right next to the US and having a government that directly supports their efforts.

We usually do not call people who smoked pot criminal's
I do.

You are right everyone breaks laws. The issue is what laws they break. Speeding is a misdemeanor; smoking pot and illegal immigration are felonies.

If we can pick and choose which felony laws we can ignore the simplest one would be murder. Then we could just kill all the illegals and be done with it. The issue is that these laws are considered felonies for a reason. They could be morally wrong; they could be dangerous… etc. In the case of illegal immigration; the law has been put into place to protect the US and its citizens. This protection has many levels. Protection against terrorist, health risks (such as TB), criminal’s activity and yes population control.

Clarification
Americans oppose illegal immigration not any nationality. The charge on troll made that this is based on some anti-Mexican feeling is nonsense.

Your point being?
Most states have sodomy laws, are you trying to say illegal aliens are sodomites?

Ka-Booom
Oh, please, where is my violin, where is the milk and cookies. Check the prisons, see the boom, check out how many hospitals have been closed, see the boom, over crowding public schools, see the boom, more drugs, more sex crimes,more gangs, see the boom. More disease, violence, and private property invasion, see the the boom, secure the border, get some advice from the Israeli's, for border, Ka-Boom. It's hard to be nice, sugar coated article.

What the Mexican Constitution says:
Immigrants and foreign visitors are banned from public political discourse.
Immigrants and foreigners are denied certain basic property rights.
Immigrants are denied equal employment rights.
Immigrants and naturalized citizens will never be treated as real Mexican citizens.
Immigrants and naturalized citizens are not to be trusted in public service.
Immigrants and naturalized citizens may never become members of the clergy.
Private citizens may make citizens arrests of lawbreakers (i.e., illegal immigrants) and hand them to the authorities.
Immigrants may be expelled from Mexico for any reason and without due process.

Libertarian Wet Dream: more jobs for less money
Mr. Bowyer's figures are correct.
However, the drop in real earnings for the same time period he cites, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/realer.nr0.htm
would indicate an overabundance of labor.
Illegal alien labor.
Funny Mr. Bowyer doesn't feel that information is worth mentioning.

dt

Excess Mexican immigration makes it hard to get jobs...
I've seen both black & white Americans enduring unemployment because of way too many Mexican immigrants coming here & working for less than Americans can afford to live on. Used to be easy to get jobs in tobacco fields or cotton mills. If you wanted to work, you went in & said so. Usually came back out employed. Now they make you have to fill out applications, come in for numerous "interviews" & whatever else to make becoming employed difficult because millions of Mexicans coming here & getting all the easy to get type jobs. A few Mexicans would be a good thing but when way more Mexicans come here than there are jobs here, it makes things difficult for Americans who'd like to get a job. I'm now self employed so don't have to worry about it like when I was job hunting but it's a big issue for many others.

How?
Would this excite Libertarians?

The Libertarian platform opposes immigration rules because they feel governments shouldn't control an individual's sovereign behaviour.

If there are too many jobs and pay rates drop, open labor markets will quickly settle upon the fair wage.

Illegal Immigration is NOT currently a felony
It's a civil violation, not a criminal one. A majority in the House of Representatives apparently thinks that should be changed, but the Senate does not appear to agree so it's unlikely that the current situation will change.

See for example: http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/printer_121505A.shtml

I also suggest for your consideration that you look up the history of immigration laws in this country with particular emphasis on "Know-Nothings". You can start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know-Nothing_movement .

Then tell me again that most of you aren't, in fact, bigots.

You are absolutely correct.
Yes!, Yes! your right. Working in Mexico-20 years now, very little to add to your truth, witness to the accuracy, I get threatened by locals, weekly, in traffic mostly. Property ownership helps, but the rule is that 4 locals complain, immigration officer will be at your door, and insist on your presence at the official Immigration office. If you are physically attacked, you can defend yourself, however, if you over power them, you still can't hurt or damage them, no matter how hard they try. For locals no blood no foul, but not for Gringo's, this I know from personal experience. Thank God I'm a double X in shape, or my problems would have been much more, they pick on the weak, no respect for handi-caps, mental health problems, here might is right, only if your a born Mexican.

Ok, your drivel has been dutifully read...
Ok, read your links, and it was supposed to mean.. what, exactly?

Yes, in the past, there have been bigots; the very volatile conflict between Protestants and Catholics has been around for a long time, much moreso in Europe than here, but some of that spilled over, for, what, less than two years in the mid-1850's? And that is supposed to be relevant how?

And as far as that reprint from the LA Times, it doesn't say anything that hasn't been said countless times already - that it is going to be impractical, if not impossible, to effectively deal with 11-million-plus illegal aliens already in this country.

Again, so?

Because we want to work to find an actual solution, instead of simply surrendering, you equate that to being a bigot?

I will state this now, once again, for the record: I am 100% in favor of LEGAL immigration. Immigrants are not only a vital part of this nation's heritage, this nation is a nation of almost 100% immigrant origins, at some point. I have nothing but respect, admiration, and affection for those from other nations who have gone through the arduous but rewarding process of becoming an American Citizen. And, as far as I can tell, most of the other red-state types who post here at TCS feel pretty much the same.

The conflict occurs when people like you try to come along and try to draw some sort of equivalency between those honorable people and those who cross our borders illegally, knwoing full well they are breaking our laws by doing so. That they are able to do so with impunity, scoffing at our sovreignty, while at the same time coming from a nation whose citizenship laws are so abusive and draconian as to be almost beyond belief, simply makes it more galling.

Fact is, people like Bill Krystol, whatever his opinion may be, does not feel the bite of taxpayer pain as much as regular citizens do. Whatever the benefits of a large illegal alien workforce may be, they do not even come close to compensating for the enormous costs which come with them: decimated school districts, shuttered hospital emergency rooms, importation of diseases, insurance rate hikes, prison overpopulation, and not to mention the incredible costs of having to duplicate every single document, sign and piece of paper to cater to a group who cannot be bothered to learnt o read and write in English - and much much more.

We do not hear these pundits speak about these back-breaking costs because it's not 'politically correct', but the elephant is still in the room.

Changing this crime from civil to federal is only the first step in helping thee people understand the seriousness of their transgressions. It really won't take too many large-scale roundups and deportations, not too many high-profile punishments of the most egregious employers and exploiters of illegal aliens, before they get the hint and melt back home.

Hopefully, once they have had a taste of real liberty, real economic viability, they will manage to do something about the reason they had to come here in the first place: Mexico is one of the worst places on earth, where even corruption itself is given a bad name, and as long as their abused populace has the ready and easy solution of simply border-jumping to solve their woes, nothing will be fixed there.

But send 11 million people who have breathing free air here back home, I would not be surprised to see some real progress there.

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