3 easy steps for a better immigration system

Alex Nowrasteh   wrote a piece for USnews.com outlining 3 easy steps for a better immigration system that the next president could do to help with our highly problematic  system. It is a wonderful article, but I wonder about the third suggestion of having states create their own visa programs. He makes several wonderful points about states having differing needs for guest workers, and therefore would be in position to create the most beneficial types of visas for the industries that need guest workers most and that are not currently offered by the federal immigration visa system, but you have to wonder about competing visa programs and how difficult it would make  it for guest workers to change jobs, move to another state, or transfer when a company moves and the new state does not offer the same kind of visa program. This could be fodder for new problems and a more difficult situation for companies and immigrant families.

Still, it is a wonderful article and well thought out, and at least somebody is looking at positive ways to mend our broken immigration system. Please take a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2016-11-01/three-steps-to-immigration-reform

Jon Stewart- Immigration Reform Hero: sums up our immigration problem

Jon Stewart sums up our immigration problem in seven minutes.

Perhaps this is what it takes to get people to see the truth about the Republican platform and how disingenuous it really is:

keep it short and to the point.

Obama: GOP scapegoat of the year

 Obama has just been voted “Scapegoat of the Year.”

Or at least he should be.

What would you do if you gave a speech at your company, and then people started calling for your termination?

  • Reverse your statements? Too late; that would make you look like a liar.
  • Blame someone else in the room? That would also remove possible supporters from your side as well, and if you’re about to lose your job, you need all the friends you can get.
  • Take the heat and defend your position, enlightening your detractors with all the reason and forethought you put into your speech? Pretty risky, what if it didn’t work?
  • Distract everyone by focusing on something bigger?
  1.      The war on Terror, that always worked for Bush(s). Nope, Obama has that one under control; it’s always best not give your adversary cudos.
  2.      Obamacare? Nope, the nation has had it with us complaining about that, not to mention it probably wouldn’t be prudent to bring up the reason we closed the government down and took a beating in our approval ratings.
  3.      Abortion? No, that will just further anger women.
  4.      Social Security? Ditto, for the elderly.
  5.      Foodstamps? Nope, we just took some money away from that for our budget deal. Best to keep a low profile on that one.
  6.      Taxes? Again, best not bring up the current resentment towards our wealthy constituents.
  7.      Blame the immigrants? That usually works. . .
  8.      Blame the competition? Even better! It insults no one in the room and reinforces allegiances against a common adversary.

Sound familiar?

That is the strategy Rep. Boehner used after he announced the GOP principles on immigration reform, and got a lot of flack. After their retreat in Maryland last week, many Republicans rejected the House leadership’s one-page “standards for immigration reform.” 

Others within the GOP said that, with trends going their way as midterm elections approach, it was a bad time to take on a number of contentious issues.

The conservative activist L. Brent Bozell called for the entire House Republican leadership to be replaced. His group, ForAmerica, blitzed the speaker’s office with thousands of phone calls to jam the lines and protest his stance on immigration this past wednesday.

Representative Raúl Labrador of Idaho, an early negotiator on the issue and now a fierce opponent, told the newspaper, The Hill, that an immigration push by Mr. Boehner this year “should cost him his speakership.”

So Boehner, thinking his goose is cooked, comes out a week after outlining the Republican principles for immigration reform and says:

“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,”

and he further stated,

“ it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

Good one!

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, commented further about the whole Republican organization:

“That caucus he has is really unusual,”

Mr. Reid said of House Republicans.

“They went down and did this salute to how good they were last week at their retreat. They outlined principles of immigration. I guess today they decided they have no principles as it relates to immigration.”

That’s what happens when the opposition doesn’t appreciate getting blamed for your B.S.

The United States Immigration Debacle, Part 5: The Conclusion

Part 5 of 5

 

There is plenty more to be said about the role that immigrants who entered our country without inspection have played in our society, but the main points I hope I established in this series are:

 

Immigrants have been here forever.

We asked the immigrants to come.

The immigration system does not meet our labor needs.

Waiting 25 years to come here is not realistic.

 

We never boycotted a company that gave us a good price and used immigrant labor.

Sending them all home now would make our broken visa system worse.

None of this is their fault.

They are not going to take over our country.

 

 

Once you stand back and take a look at the larger picture, it becomes clear that the immigration debacle is our own creation and the players in this game are only reacting in logical free market ways to work with the dysfunctional system that has not kept up with our growing labor needs.

 

Undocumented Immigrants are here, they have always been here, and they are very much a part of the intricate fabric that is the United States of America. Immigrants are not going to take over America and make it some other country as the most paranoid of us would like you to believe. Right wing extremists have been saying this since the 1700’s. and it still hasn’t happened. We are what we are because of who we are, and it is for this very reason that we have been so successful.

 

Immigrants have been coming here from every country on the planet in search of their American Dream. Whenever we have fallen and gone back on our promise of a better life to any particular immigrant population, we seem to eventually get over it and accept them into our society, but invariably at the cost of a new group of immigrant, who then become the new focus of our phobias and problems.

 

We are a nation of people who are always looking for a better price for a product or service. Brand loyalty comes in a distant second to our loyalty of the dollar, and whenever times get tough and the dollars get thin, our aggression to any perceived threat to our economic sustenance gets bolder. Immigrants, have always shouldered the brunt of our misguided anger through our well meaning, but highly ineffective immigration policies. What we tend to forget is that immigration is a function of our economy, not the cause of it.

 

We need to focus our energies on with the process of rebuilding our economy and stop vilifying on the people who came here to help. To send them all home now would add to inflation, shrink our economy and hamstring the very engines we need running smoothly to get us out of this recession.

So what do you think America?

 

 

The United States Immigration Debacle, Part 4: The Immigrants

 

In keeping with the idea of looking frankly at the United States Immigration debacle we would be remiss if we were to leave out the immigrant’s role in this whole immigration problem.

 

The United States receives a majority of it’s immigrants from south of our border with Mexico. Most of us tend to lump all latinos within the same “Mexican” label because it’s less work. We don’t have to ask where they came from, we just assume it’s Mexico. Most of the news, statistics, hate and overall attention is focused on the immigrants from Mexico, but just to set the record straight I found some information on the DHS website.

 

Estimated Illegal Immigrant Population for Top Twenty Countries of Origin

and Top Twenty States of Residence in 2009:

 

2009 %

All countries …….. 10,750,000    100

Mexico …………….   6,650,000      62

El Salvador ……….     530,000       5

Guatemala ……….     480,000        4

Honduras. . . . . . .     320,000        3

Philippines ………..    270,000        2

India ………….. ..        200,000        2

Korea ………….  ..      200,000        2

Ecuador ……………    170,000        2

Brazil …………..  …    150,000         1

China …………………..120,000         1

Other ………. …..     1,650,000       15

 

 

 

Irregardless  which country they come from, they all of them come here to make a better life for themselves and their families, in much the same way we in the United States go to college to do the same.

 

Many would-be immigrants have been told by relatives and friends that there are jobs waiting for them in the United States. Our businesses are hungry for affordable labor to produce an affordable product for the cost-conscious American consumer. Business owners and managers ask the people who work for them if they know of anyone else who wants a job. It’s always nice when someone comes with a referral, otherwise there are plenty of applications that come through the back door every week.

 

Just like all the other segments of our society, if an illegal immigrant has a job now they are fortunate. If they don’t, the chances are slim they will get one any time soon. After a month or two of looking for work and not finding it, they usually go home. Immigration is a function of supply and demand. The economy is at work at all times– good and bad.

 

Many of the immigrants from Mexico used to come and go back and forth with the crop seasons, or if they worked in industries other than agricultural, they would go back to be with family for the holidays. Because going back and forth between our two countries not as easy as just hopping on a plane, they usually stay for a few weeks or months and return to the U.S. when they need the money.

 

Our enhanced border enforcement since 9/11 with our added fences, ground sensors, drones and more, has been more problematic for this type of job migration and we are now seeing a community of undocumented immigrants that are trapped here, separated from their families and fearful that if they go home, they will not be able to return. If they also know that if they are fortunate enough to come back, the job they had will not be waiting for them and finding a new one will take a long time, maybe longer than they can wait.  Fences and security enhancements work both ways; they keep things out, and they keep things in.

 

So why do immigrants come here illegally if it is so difficult and dangerous? Lets look at what is involved in coming here, both legally and illegally.

 

There are two ways you can enter this country:

legally with a visa and passing through any U.S. inspection point.

 

Illegally, without a visa by circumnavigating official entry points.

 

Since there are a myriad of visa types & recipient classifications,

as well as different applicant ceilings for different countries, etc. I will compare the most basic and popular application: a work visa for permanent legal status. (green card)

All information provided here will be as of 2/9/12, and is for information purposes only. If you are looking for information regarding yourself or someone you know I recommend you speak to an attorney who specializes in immigration law.

 

Legally would require:

filling out the paperwork for an immigrant visa and submitting it to a U.S. Consulate in Mexico and pay your $400 fee.  Then you wait for an appointment for an interview in Cuidad Juarez where the data is checked and your status determined. As of this writing the applications submitted through July 15 1987 are being processed for interviews. (1987. That’s not a typo.)  Click Here to see the wait list today. When you receive your interview date you need to have a biomedical scan to check for communicable diseases and assist in identification $226 Dollars covering the medical examination ($178 for minors under age 15) Then you go to your appointment in Cuidad Juarez on your appointed interview date. If your application is approved you can pick up your immigrant visa at a DHL office, and you may enter the U.S. Your non-resident immigration visa will be mailed to your U.S. address usually within 3 months and you will have six months after entering to apply for your status to be changed to permanent legal resident. (green card) There is a lottery where 50,000 people are drawn at random and given the opportunity to apply for a green card. It is random. It may take several years.

 

Illegally would require you to: try to evade border security, which since September 11, has been beefed up quite a bit. There are fences, ground sensors, mobile immigration officers, drones, and more. Often you will pay a Coyote @$3000 or more to help you get across the border, and your success is by no means guaranteed. You may have to jump fences, swim rivers, use a tunnel, travel some pretty deadly country.

 

You may even have to brave the elements as this trip could take you many days and people have been known to die of exposure from extreme heat or cold.

 

You would have to bring enough supplies with you to survive the ordeal, but not so much that it would hamper your progress or make the journey impossible.

 

After you get here you must purchase counterfeit documents to get employment. Most business owners/managers ask for this and many of them check to see if they are valid. Expect to pay $150 – $300 or more depending on who is making them, if they know you or a relative, if they are busy, and who knows what else.

 

Then you have to find a place to live until you can save up enough money until you are able to share the rent.

 

Don’t forget about clothes, deodorant, etc. You wouldn’t have brought very much with you.

 

Finding a job for anyone is not easy right now, and this goes for immigrants as well. Many employers have had to cut back their employees as the demand for their products or services has shrunk. Add that to many employers who have always feared the repercussions of not following Federal hiring guidelines only hired people who are legally authorized to work here. Your fake documents may work for a few weeks, but when your employer receives a letter from the government stating that your documentation doesn’t match what they have on record, you are on the road again and looking for work. You will do this until you find an employer who doesn’t check or who doesn’t even ask, and that is if they are hiring at all. It used to be that agricultural industries would hire anyone willing to work, but with the added efforts by several anti-immigrant states, you won’t dare show up for work their because it could mean a quick trip home.

 

We should not have had to compare the two different methods in the first place, but as you see when you do look closely at the realities of life for an undocumented immigrant, with a twenty-five year waiting period just for an interview to get into the country, and who knows how many years longer to be a green card application lottery winner, it is understandable many people choose the illegal way. With our immigration system set up the way it is, we are actually making the the choice to enter the United States legally an impossible luxury they can not afford.  A sensible, intelligent person can be expected to stand in line and wait your turn for a few weeks, or months, and perhaps even a few years, but at some point the wait gets a past little inconvenient, then past really inconvenient, and for the past twenty years it has been beyond laughable.  From their perspective, this is what they are up against.

 

So now the legal way is not a real way, and the illegal way becomes the necessary way.

And if you would add into all this the eleven million people who are here illegally already, if they were to go home today and apply for a visa and get in line, like the other poor souls, taking our quota system in place right now the wait gets 18 years longer. 43 years is a long time to ask someone to wait to come here to earn a better life for yourself and your family. A 15 year old waiting 43 years will be 58 years old by the time he gets here legally. Five more years and he may have become a Green Card lottery winner, just in time for retirement. Do we really want that?

 

To wrap up the experience for an undocumented immigrant it would be safe to say it’s not something you would take lightly, or want to bring your family along either. This explains why the vast majority of undocumented immigrants are single males between the ages of 15 – 34. It is best to start your family when you are already in the U.S.

Once here you can start your new life. but the risk is still not over; it never will be. You will be looking over your shoulder for flashing red lights and have nightmares of being separated from your family, which is a distinct possibility at any time, every day.

 

That really is the whole agreement in a nutshell. They have to get here any way they can, be fortunate to land a low paying entry level job, then If they got caught, they will get sent back to their home country. If they are lucky, they could get back quickly enough to keep their job, which would allow them to keep their apartment, and if they had a family, to keep their family from being homeless, hungry and unsure of their future. If they can’t get back across, they would either be separated from their family indefinitely, or be forced to move the whole family back home where the kids might not even know the language, or anyone there. That’s a pretty high price to pay for trying to make a better life, but this was implied before they ever reach our border. This is the compact we made, each of us understanding the role we play.

 

This agreement has worked in lieu of a legal fix to the situation, which year after year after year, has become more difficult to repair. They were happy they had a better life. We were happy we had a better life. Everyone was happy, until they get caught, and then they were very unhappy. We are completely oblivious to their problems because there was always someone waiting in the wings for their job and we were never really inconvenienced all that much. That part of the agreement never affected us consumers. We just complain about how lazy they are, or how much free medical and free social services and free education they are taking advantage of while they are here illegally. I can’t really blame them myself. If I were to have the short end of the stick on this arrangement, I’d be trying to make it a little more even myself. While I’m not condoning fraud, I’m just saying you work with the hand you’re dealt in the best way you can. We all do.

 

Next week we’ll wrap this whole mess up into a nice and tidy little package so we will have a fair and balanced look at our situation, and hopefully we’ll be able to come up with some solutions that will give us the security we need, the lifestyle we desire, and an economy that will grow stronger, supply more jobs, and maybe even give the poor people from south of the border a little more to look forward to, and less to be afraid of, like not having to live under the radar and outside the law.

The United States Immigration Debacle, Part 3: The Politicians

Now there has been a rumbling of discontent around the issue of our United States immigration debacle. Some talk has been made by a few vocal minorities about sending all the undocumented immigrants home so they can stand in line like the rest and do things right. I don’t know who or when or how some of us Americans decided that the arrangement we had going all these years wasn’t quite working out for them any more, but this is where we are today.

 

New State laws and political stumping are ample evidence that the government is pretending to get involved again. This kind of elevated rhetoric usually only happens at election time. What is painfully obvious is the amount of effort that government has put into avoiding this issue. Why? Don’t the politicians want to be hero’s and have the respect and admiration (and votes) of a grateful nation?

 

Of course they do. And I think they are getting it. Here’s what I mean:

 

If the politicians really wanted to fix this situation, they could have done so at any time along the last fifty years or more years. They are the ones that have been chosen to make the laws after all are they not?

 

And what motivates politicians to take action? Money and public opinion. Let’s take a look at each of these and explore what would happen, beginning with public opinion.

 

There are three possible scenarios that public opinion can be categorized in our situation: A majority anti-immigrant sentiment; a majority pro-immigrant sentiment; or an equally distributed public sentiment.

 

Scenario #1 If the majority of the people are anti-immigrant:

All the politicians would have to do is write up a bill condemning undocumented workers, punish the employers, expel the immigrants and let them know if they are caught in our borders again, they will go to prison for a long time. The specifics can vary, but anything along these lines would satisfy the majority of the public, and their approval rating and chances for re-election are greatly improved.

 

Scenario #2  The majority of the people are pro-immigrant:

All they would have to do is pass a bill and give them amnesty, open up the borders and the majority will have been satisfied. Again, the specifics can vary, but the outcome will be the same. Improved public opinion and an increased chance for re-election.

 

Scenario #3  The nation is equally split among the two different opinions:

No problem here either once you stand back and look at this objectively and keep your eyes on a positive outcome. Propose a bill giving those that can prove employment and residency for the past five years can stay, keeping the productive people here, and everyone else, must leave or face deportation and banishment for ten years. You can argue other possibilities as well, but no matter the specifics, if you give both sides something, then everyone is equally pacified and perturbed, but having half of something is better than nothing.

 

Any of these scenarios could have taken place and the outcomes would have been appreciated by the country. Scenario 3 granted is the most difficult, but give them both something to be happy about, and get on with it. If our country is heavily in one camp or the other, (just look at the data from one of the thousands of opinion polls they take each year) it is that much easier. Give the people what they want and be the hero. Done. Public opinion can be addressed, and should be, by the politicians wanting to keep their jobs another year. Do nothing and now you have a lot of work come election time trying to persuade the voters you did a great job last term and will continue to do a great job next term. So why have we just ignored this situation all these years?

 

If you believe government understands those two basic things, Money and opinion (They take more opinion polls than any company in the world.) then any time you want to understand the government, just follow public opinion or money. Since we just looked at the three possible public opinion scenarios and we can’t explain their inaction, we should therefore follow the money.

 

I think politicians know that businesses really don’t want to elevate the undocumented workers to a legal status because it would cost many businesses more. Lots more. If businesses can pay much less to undocumented workers and get away with it because they are undocumented and unlikely to stand up for their rights, they will. If immigrants become legal, they will get minimum wage, regular breaks and benefits like vacation days, personal time off and overtime, medical and dental insurance, and maybe even 401k retirement plans, as well as understand their rights as workers much more and are more liable to file employment grievances with the EEOC. Prices are going to go up to compensate for the rising costs and their ability to compete with companies from other countries will diminish considerably, threatening their very existence.

 

And us? Some of us think we pay way too much for social and health services for the undocumented now, but wait until they become legal and the products we buy steadily rise in price until acceptable profit margins are made to sustain the companies livelihood. This will put them at risk for being undersold by outside companies whose labor prices are much much cheaper, and I believe the demand for undocumented workers will be on the rise once again.

 

Politicians really are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. They may act like clowns during election years, and some of them have been known to be full-time comics the rest of the year too, but they all know that as much as we like to blow off steam and beat our chests about how much more moral we are than the criminal undocumented worker, we really don’t want anything to change. Neither does business.

 

But we still have one more group of people involved in this situation to be discussed: the immigrant. Having a national debate about what to do about undocumented immigrants without even bringing them into discussion would be quite impossible. Even today we discuss their needs, desires, customs and personal habits to a great extent. Next week we’ll take a look at the immigrant, and where they fit into all of this.

 

Do you have an opinion about this article? Your feedback is welcome, but please let’s be civil. When we lose our composure, we lose the ability to influence others as well.

 

The United States Immigration Debacle, Part 2: The Role of Businesses

 

There has been a large group of Americans who have encouraged immigrants to come into the United States a little sooner than our foreign visa and immigration system permits: Business owners and managers, but are they criminals or victims?

 

Many businesses around the country have employed undocumented workers and paid them less, denied them benefits, and made them pay taxes, and anything else they could get away with for decades. Being illegal, you can’t really complain much can you?

 

We all knew this was going on.  All those millions of undocumented immigrants had to work for somebody, and at most times of the day in just about every town in the U.S. you will have seen a great many of them. And of course they worked cheaper than an American would — and harder.

 

They do all the heavy lifting, bending and picking, sewing, cooking, gardening, car washing . . . All the stuff we are now privileged not to have to do any more because we have a sub-class of citizen that will do it for us.

 

As business owners and managers we encouraged every undocumented worker we employed to tell their friends, cousins, aunts and uncles to come here and work for us.  This promotion of illegal behavior for the benefit of business is the reason there are so many of them here.

 

The reason owners and managers do this is quite logical: If you run a business and pay your employees the same wages a competitor pays theirs, you can offer similar services at similar prices. If all of the sudden your competition pays their employees lower wages and less benefits, then they would be able to charge less for the same service and still make the same amount of money. Your company would be in trouble when your customers found out and started contracting with the other guy, because they charge less, and we are always looking to save a buck. You would have to charge the same as your competition or go out of business, and suggesting to drop an employees wages has never been a popular course for any business manager. You will often lose your best employees that way.  Of course you could keep your prices the same and advertise that you are the Apple Computer of service companies, but that business model works for a very limited number of businesses, and many highly successful American companies export most of their production to countries with cheaper labor than can be found in the U.S., legal or otherwise!

 

So it sounds like a no-brainer; hire undocumented laborers like everyone else and stay in business, but there is one drawback to hiring undocumented workers: it is illegal. There are penalties for knowingly hiring undocumented workers. You can get fined and possibly even closed down for a period of time. Also, if the employee got picked up by any agency that bothers to check their legal status,  you could be out an employee that day, and have to make emergency arrangements for a replacement. If they can’t come back quickly, you may even have to interview and hire a new employee, which costs time and money.

 

I actually experienced something like this when I was joining the workforce. I was demoted from busboy back to dishwasher when one of the other dishwashers suddenly quit. It took several weeks before we were able to find a replacement, and get him trained. Companies lose good employees this way. I was not going to stay a dishwasher forever, nor sacrifice the additional income I received from tips.

 

The whole reason we are at this particular juncture in our country’s history is because we could not get our politicians to stop arguing long enough to fix our immigration quota system. We noticed it was not keeping up with the demand for cheap labor many decades ago, but somehow we constantly manage to stumble over our own feet.

 

The world’s demand for cheaper products has pushed a lot of production overseas where their workers get paid even less than our undocumented friends get here. Much less. Competing with them is extremely difficult, if not impossible for many businesses. The companies that are able to compete in the world marketplace have probably been outsourcing their production and even some services overseas for years. Importing cheap labor, exporting labor to cheaper countries, it’s all an issue of commerce. There is no escaping it.

 

So why don’t we change our laws to reflect the current state of affairs here at home and abroad?  Who are the people that have the power to change the laws, but have consistently kicked that can down the road a ways so someone else will have to deal with it some other time? That’s what we’ll talk about next week.

The United States Immigration Debacle, Part 1: How did we get here and who is responsible.

The United States Immigration policies and our border with Mexico has garnered a lot of press recently, especially with the GOP primary coming up. Politicians are threatening to veto legislation aimed at helping undocumented students, the President is under attack for trying to allow United States Citizens to keep their families together while applying for legal status for their undocumented family members, and many people are expressing outrage that there are around  eleven million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States today. Nobody however, is really talking about how we got here in the first place, whose the major players are, and who should be responsible for correcting this situation and prevent it from happening again.

 

I will examine these topics in depth in a five part series called, “The United States Immigration Debacle.” Hopefully by the end, we will have a clearer understanding of how this situation came to be and move on from a paralyzing national outrage, to an intelligent , humane, and workable solution to this problem.

 

First off we need to recognize that there are millions of undocumented people here in the United States, and this is an intolerable situation. Unless you lived in cave five, on hill six, and under a rock, you would have been aware of  our illegal immigration problem for most, if not all of your life. Undocumented immigrants are here and we’ve known about it for many decades. Eleven million people did not just show up last year.

 

Secondly, we need to own up to the fact that while we knew they were, none of us went out of our way and avoided them like criminals or boycotted anyone who employed them so that we actually could stand on principle and demand their eviction without looking ridiculous.  I happen to know a few Americans, and I don’t know anyone who has even tried to boycott a company that uses undocumented labor — not one. And that’s not surprising since it has been virtually impossible for quite some time to live a day without using or consuming a product or service in this country that has not passed through the calloused hands of the undocumented worker.

 

I find it especially humorous when I hear Presidential candidates trying to appear like they employ only 100% U.S. Grade A  American Labor. I realize we hold them to a higher standard than we do ourselves, but to go around putting on airs of piety, and even attacking the ones who are found to have accidentally hired an undocumented person, when we all know politicians eat more than a few meals in restaurants, which are known to be a large employer of undocumented workers in this country.

 

When you stand back and look at the whole situation, it is quite ironic that any of us can claim to be living undocumented Laborer-free, while passing the salad around the dinner table.

 

We all have known undocumented laborers are here, and we all have benefited from their labor. We all live a far richer, easier life because they work so hard for so little.  We are able to eat cheaper, have cheaper clothes, cheaper appliances, cheaper home services, cheaper hotel rooms. . . And that really is the heart of the matter; our strong desire to have something for the lowest possible price.

 

Demand is what fuels the machine we call commerce, and we demand our products and services to be affordable.  There is nothing wrong with that, especially in today’s economy, but whether we like it or not, when we purchase goods and services from an illegal source, we are condoning that illegal activity as well.

 

Not only are we condoning illegal immigration, we are also responsible for creating it. Our demand for affordable goods outstripped the labor supply the businesses could legally employ in order to provide us those affordable goods. If they couldn’t obtain affordable labor legally, they would have to get it illegally, or risk being forced out of business.  We knew this was happening. We didn’t like it, but we didn’t stop wanting cheaper goods and services either. Where businesses got their labor was not our concern. Just get us the discount.

 

So here we are. We have known about the immigrant situation all along, and have participated in it, thereby giving it our tacit approval. To be angry about this now and to try to deport all the people we used to give us what we wanted, would be like reneging on a contract. It would dishonor us as much as it would punish them, and our demand for an affordable lifestyle would only force employers to seek an alternative supplier of cheap labor, setting the stage for this to happen all over again. Getting rid of undocumented immigrants will not change our demand for affordable goods. We need to either change our priorities as to what to expect things to cost, or we need to change the supply method that the employers of these workers use to get their labor, so it is legal, humane, accountable and enforceable.

 

Speaking of employers, next week I’ll discuss the creators of our unspoken agreement with our friends from south of the border. They have a big hand in this, and to leave them out of this discussion would be the same as trying to end the drug trade while completely ignoring the producers.

 

Have a different view? Let’s hear it.