Monday, April 03, 2006

Did you hear the conference talk on illegal immigration?

As the debate over illegal immigration rages on, President Hinckley’s remarks on racism were very timely in my opinion. (Not that a prophet making timely commentary on the state of the world should be seen as a novel thing.) Try as I may to understand the justification for making illegal immigration a felony, I can’t. The majority of job positions currently being filled by illegal aliens are the ones no one else wants. Social security will remain solvent for longer because of the millions of dollars illegal immigrants pay into the system; money they can't pull out. Everything in my life from the things I buy to where I live to the roads I drive on are provided to me cheaper because of illegal immigration.

No one is considering building a wall along the border of Canada?


At 4/03/2006 02:52:00 PM,

"No one is considering building a wall along the border of Canada? "

No but Canadians aren't immigrating illegally either. If anyone was to build a wall between the U.S. and Canada it would be Canada because Canada is losing too many of its young professionals. 

Posted by Proud Daughter of Eve

At 4/03/2006 03:00:00 PM,

"No but Canadians aren't immigrating illegally either."

We also make it a lot easier for Canadians to come here legally.

Posted by Mike A.

At 4/03/2006 03:59:00 PM,

Citizen's of Western and Eastern European states use Canada as a way of entering the US illegally.

At 4/03/2006 04:01:00 PM,

US treatment of the Canadian border versus the Mexican border does, at least, exhibit some signs of racism; but racism is not the primary reason for the difference. It has more to do with the comparative economic situations, language, fluidity of Mexico's own borders with Central America (making Mexico more of a gateway country for immigrants than Canada, though Canada does serve that function for those wealthy enough to fly there).

At 4/03/2006 05:03:00 PM,

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/03/2006 05:41:00 PM,

Canada's young professionals who come to the states legally are also taking more of the kinds of jobs that Americans want. Many of the latinos who come through Mexico illegally and are happy just to make minimum wage. If losing American jobs really is the issue then maybe we should take a look at Canadian immigration.

At 4/03/2006 09:28:00 PM,

I think the difference is that in the US, the jobs being taken by illegal immigrants are low skilled labor. But there is a large segment of America who simply don't have a lot of skills. At one time they could get jobs to raise a family. Now, primarily because the wages have been driven down by illegal labor, they can't. Thus the rise of the working poor in America.

Of course in practice things are much more complex. You have globalism moving a lot of low skill jobs offshores. You have mechanization. You have competition. You have other tensions. 

Posted by Clark

At 4/03/2006 09:44:00 PM,

"Of course in practice things are much more complex."

One of my long-held beliefs is that the world is always more complex than it seems, and I'm sure that this issue is worth much more than the few sound bytes any of us can type out.

I'm sure there are numbers out there supporting all this, but you don't hear about them. I think that is telling. The complexity of the issue seems drowned out in the fairly obvious bigotry/hypocracy of the felony-totin' Tancredo posse.  

Posted by cwp

At 4/04/2006 12:01:00 AM,

During the Salt Lake City Olympics, the government had to issue special green cards to the entire baggage and cleaning crews. At first the government freaked out because it would be a security risk during the olympics to have illegal aliens working there. The airport, however, pleaded with the government, explaining that literally no one would take the jobs.

I don't think that it has to be the case that Americans are being forced out of jobs.

At 4/04/2006 12:41:00 AM,

I oppose turning illegal immgration into a felony a well. However, analytically it's not correct to say that illegal immigrants are taking jobs that no one else wants to do.

After all, there are thousands of American girls that shovel horse manor every morning in exchange for riding lesson. If the reward is commensurate with the effort then people will fill unpleasant jobs.

If illegal immigrants were not here then employers would have to pay higher wages to fill these jobs. The estimate is that low wages would rise about 8%.

Poor Americans or legal immigrants do suffer losses because of illegal immigration.

As for the Salt Lake airport, if they had paid a fair market wage they could have recruited baggage workers, no problem. If you are a stingy and nasty employer then you will have trouble with recruitment and retention. That's how markets work. 

Posted by Hellmut Lotz

At 4/04/2006 07:23:00 AM,

Here's a thought, if illegal workers are such a horrible thing and must be stopped (not that i agree with that, but for argument's sake) why not make the penalty for USING illegal labor harsher. all we seem to be hearing is about punishing the laborers, but wouldn't it be more effective and easy to control if the penalty for hiring illegal immigrants was so stiff that it wasn't worth it? The fact that no one seems to be mentioning this might be more evidence for the recism argument.

Or, what about the moral issue of paying illegal labor less for the same work that would make more for a US citizen. This seems to be one of the main arguments for letting illegal immigrants stay, cheap labor. If we set the minimum wage and work standards as what is safe and fair, why is it automatically okay to deprive some employees of that? If we enforced minimum wage and safety standards for all employees, then maybe Americans would want the jobs that are being given to illegal aliens. That obviously risks encouraging more illegal immigration, but then we go back to the first part of this comment and enforce penalties on employers for hiring illegal workers. the employers would no longer have an incentive to hire illegal workers, and if they couldn't get hired, then why come into the country illegally.

I don't necessarily think that this is the best solution, I just think that if it is such a bad thing then it is a two way street and the employers are equally to blame for hiring illegal labor.

At 4/04/2006 08:40:00 AM,

Chris M.G.-

Your proposal would target the DEMAND rather than the SUPPLY. Next thing you know, you'll be saying that our drug policy should try and curb the DEMAND of cocaine rather than the SUPPLY! That's just CRAZY TALK.

At 4/04/2006 11:40:00 AM,


Sorry. Not very tuned into sarcasm today. 

Posted by Janelle

At 4/04/2006 11:51:00 PM,

The problem is that while there are many jobs illegals will do that Americans won't for any reasonable salary, illegals don't only take those jobs. Yes there are the fruit pickers, the people cleaning fields of poison ivy and so forth. But there are also the construction workers, the mechanics and other jobs.

If we could limit what jobs were having their salaries depreciated then there would be far less consternation. However the labor force is fluid and they'll take any jobs with low skills and not just the low skilled jobs no one wants. Indeed I suspect they, being just as wise as the rest of us, would prefer the other sorts of jobs.

At 4/05/2006 12:04:00 AM,

I may be out of the loop on this one, but the last time I checked unemployment in the US isn't anywhere near rampant. Are there really that many people whose jobs are being "taken" by immigrants?

At 4/05/2006 12:45:00 PM,

Does it really matter WHICH jobs immigrants take? why should the fact that my parents procreated at a certain longitude and latitude make me any more deserving of a particular job?

i look forward to more than free trade: free borders. permeable, where citizens all over the globe fairly compete for positions.

At 4/13/2006 02:02:00 AM,

To the critic of Chris M.G.:

Are you equating American businesses - and society in general, for that matter - who profit from using cheap immigrant labor to coke-heads? Good analogy. I just don't see how you conclude that it's crazy talk to assume that American business could be responsible.

At 4/13/2006 08:59:00 AM,

My dearest anonymous,


At 4/20/2006 09:50:00 AM,

Why do I get the feeling that 'both' people using Anonymous is going to just end up being Sheldon arguing both sides with himself for fun? :)




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