Immigration Economics and S.1348

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It is undeniable that economics is the primary driving force in illegal immigration. The economic opportunities here and the lack of such opportunities in Latin America provide the incentive for people to brave the desert in the hope of a better life. Thus, it is necessary for us evaluate the proposed solution (S.1348) in light of the economics of immigration, both legal and illegal.

One of the oft-repeated problems with illegal immigration is that the illegal immigrants drive down wages. There are studies both supporting and countering this assertion, and we will not go into that here. However, Sen. Kennedy did use that assertion as a basis for both the legalization of the illegal immigrants currently in the country and for the Guest Worker program, so we will assume that the assertion is correct, and see whether the proposed solution will solve the problem.

Sen. Kennedy does make one good point. If the illegal immigrants are legalized, then they would have to be paid at least minimum wage, and their employers would be required to pay their payroll taxes and to pay them time-and-a-half over 40 hours. The immigrants would then be on a level playing field with citizens. As it is now, an employer can pay an illegal immigrant more than a citizen or legal immigrant, but, by avoiding payroll taxes and time-and-a-half rules, lowers his total cost of employment. S.1348 may correct this problem if the penalties for hiring illegal immigrants, and for being an illegal immigrant, are big enough. There must be a reason for the workers to "come out of the shadows." Lower take-home pay, the result of increased taxes and reduced overtime work, is not a good reason.

Furthermore, the legalization of the current crop of illegal immigrants will only encourage the influx of more illegal immigrants to undercut those who have become legal. Strict border enforcement is required, and this is why people want the borders closed first, and only when that is done do we move on the question of what to do with the illegal immigrants who are already here. Additionally, people want greater penalties on the employers who hire illegal immigrants, including substantial fines and the loss of one's business license. By shutting off the incentive to come here, jobs, fewer will come, and some may even leave voluntarily.

Even if these problems are overcome, another the problem still remains: that an increase in the numbers of unskilled laborers drives down the cost of unskilled labor. If we have, for instance, full employment of unskilled laborers at a rate of $10/hr., an influx of unemployed laborers will cause that rate to decline, as those unemployed workers offer their services at lower prices to get the jobs. This is good for the employers, because they can get more work for the same amount of money, but it is not good for the workers who used to earn $10/hr., but are now only making $9/hr. S.1348 does nothing to address this problem, but exacerbates it with the Guest Worker program.

This problem can be addressed by a program of deportation. Can we deport twelve to twenty million illegal immigrants? Probably not, but that does not mean we should not deport those we find. We cannot arrest all the pick-pockets, either; should we not arrest those we do catch? If an illegal immigrant is caught at a routine traffic stop, he should be deported. The INS should also go to his residence, check the status of those living with the illegal immigrant, and deport those who are here illegally.

Will such deportations have an economic impact? Certainly. The wages of our unskilled laborers will go up, but so will prices, as employers have to pay more for the same amount of work. If you want to argue that the workers will be no better off because the rising prices will offset their increased pay, then you must make the same argument against increasing the minimum wage.

Simply put, S.1348 does not address the economic realities of illegal immigration. Until the borders are more secure, and the penalties for hiring illegal immigrants, or for being an illegal immigrant, are sufficient deterrents, more illegal immigrants will come across the border to underbid the legal workers. Border control, deportation, and employment enforcement must come first.

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37 Comments

Good analysis. In addition, if there were truly any degree of enforcement (and by this I mean punishment) on employers who use illegal workers, the whole problem would evaporate overnight. One business exec being frog marched to jail would have a ripple effect that would result in millions of illegal aliens self-deporting.

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

"If we have, for instance, full employment of unskilled laborers at a rate of $10/hr., an influx of unemployed laborers will cause that rate to decline, as those unemployed workers offer their services at lower prices to get the jobs."

This is the crux of your entire analysis and it is flawed. The legislation does not increase the number of unskilled workers. They are already HERE and competing (and largely taking) the unskilled labor jobs. In fact, the argument is exactly the opposite - the legislation will lower the immigrant unskilled labor pool and will artifically (through regulation and border enforcement) increase the cost of this labor. A tightening in the unskilled labor market means higher salaries not lower.

You are correct in your assertion that this means higher costs of goods and one must be consistent in one's argument for a higher minimum wage but the US economy can easily handle the bump as it will be a small % of the GDP - orders of magnitude lower than the deficit.

Jack said:

Eric:

I'm not sure I agree. S.1348 will legalize those already here, add more through the Guest Worker program, and still do nothing to discourage more illegal immigration. The regulation and border enforement is a joke, and everyone knows it. That's why we want the border control and employment enforcement first. When that is done, we can look at increasing the quotas and consider a Guest Worker program.

Even so, my point was only to support Sen. Kennedy's assertion that illegal immigrants had driven down the wages of our unskilled laborers. It probably would have been clearer had I used the past tense there.

As for the defecit, I am working on a post on that very topic. Wait a few hours, and it will be up.

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

As an after thought, I am increasingly disturbed by the characterizatio of illegal immigrants as "criminal". The crime they committed is a misdemeanor not a felony. If commmitting a misdemeanor offense makes one a criminal then we have a much bigger problem in this country with criminals than simply illegal immigration.

ALSO

"The regulation and border enforement is a joke, and everyone knows it."

Why so?

Jack said:

Eric:

I did not use the word "criminal."

Our regulation is obviously a joke, because rather than bringing in the INS to close down the 7-11 labor markets, we are building places for the illegals to go to be picked up as day-laborers.

Our border enforcement is a joke, as evidenced by the agents convicted for doing their jobs, and by the fact that a thousand or more come across the border every night.

Jack: Good job.

You must have enforcement first of the border and existing laws to deport all the illegal aliens caught.

Until you do that - and do the math to see how many millions more uncaught illegal aliens continue resign - there is no clue on how many people our Nation has the will to deport to maintain our National Soveriegnty and the Rule of Law.

There are 7 billion humans alive. How many want to live in the US?

The golden goose of world capitalism is the US economy - it must be preserved. If it is, we may have a Munificent Destiny to invest across the world where governments allow people the freedom and opportunity to let capitalism work.

Finally, the enforcement of our existing laws, if it decreases the low wage pool (supply) then wages will increase for our poorest Americans.

"The regulation and border enforement is a joke, and everyone knows it. That's why we want the border control and employment enforcement first."

Bingo. Until those things are taken care of, any relaxation of visa or citizenship requirements will result in more illegal aliens coming across.

zimzo said:

You, of course, have not accounted for the fact that unemployment is so low despite the high rate immigrants. Why? Because there is a shortage of labor, which illegal immigrants are filling.

Although you acknowledge that you can't deport all illegal immigrants, you ignore the social problems created by "deporting those we find." Both legal and illegal immigrants will stop cooperating with police in solving crimes. They will leave the scenes of accidents. They will stop going to hospitals. They will pull their kids out of schools.

This plan was already enacted before in our history in the 1950s. It was called Operation Wetback and it was a disaster. Police stopped anyone who "looked" Mexican, including many American citizens. People were deported without hearings. Regions along the border in Texas resembled a police state. I know that living in a police state does not bother many conservatives but I'm sure the majority of Americans would not be too happy with the results.

Joe's glee at the idea of businessmen being "frog-marched" is also extraordinary. Do you honsestly not know anyone who has hired illegal immigrants? The reality is that it is almost impossible to have certain kinds of businesses in this country and not hire illegal immigrants, from restaurants, to construction, to cleaning services, to landscapers to farms. Perhaps you delight in ruining the lives of small businessmen. The sight of ordinary citizens being turned into criminals by the government will only serve to show Americans how fanatical you are. And if you are correct about people "sel-deporting" why haven't any of the recent INS raids accomplished this goal?

What the anti-immigration zealots have failed to prove is why we need to go to such extraordinary lengths, to lurch that much closer to being a police state, to solve a "problem" that is not really that much of a problem for most people. And you also fail to show why the problems that do exist are not solved by legalization. And the idea that legalization will suddenly increase the number of illegal immigrants, as if they are all poised at the border, waiting, and will flood over once those who are here are legalized, saying to themselves, in another 20 years Congress will pass another law giving us amnesty, is just laughable.

Jack said:

"You, of course, have not accounted for the fact that unemployment is so low despite the high rate immigrants. Why? Because there is a shortage of labor, which illegal immigrants are filling."

Quite true, for the present. There is certainly an argument to be made that the lower wages paid to illegals has boosted the economy. (That is also the reason that some economists think raising the minimum wage would slow the economy.) If we were to have a severe multi-year recession, in which the illegals are employed below minimum wage, but the working-class citizens cannot get jobs, we will have severe problems. We have been fortunate so far.

The social problems you mention are real, but that is the case with all crimes. There is a price to be paid for breaking the law.

You are also correct that it is almost impossible to run certain business without hiring illegals. Why? Because the illegals work for less. You competitors hire illegals, and you have the unenviable choices of doing the same or going out of business. It's the same situation as athletes on steroids. Either take the drugs, or be put on the sidelines in favor of those who are unnaturally better. Start busting a few of the high-flyers, and the rest might just get scared straight. Similarly, if everyone in a pack is driving 25 mph over the speed limit, should the cop let them all go because he can stop only one? If two or three in the pack are caught, the rest will slow down.

Now, the reason it is a problem is, according to Sens. Kennedy and Boxer anyway, is that illegal immigrants depress the wages of legal immigrants and citizens. Furthermore, there are many people who have waited many years to immigrate legally. Allowing the illegals to stay and become legal is a slap in the face to those who have played by the rules. How does S.1348 solve that problem?

The reason I think that the legalization of the current crop of illegals would increase illegal immigration is that the wages of those legalized immigrants would have to go up, if only the taxation part of their pay. As such, there would be a vacuum that new illegals could fill. That vacuum, created by our minimum wage laws and payroll taxes, is the reason the illegal immigrants come here. S.1348 does nothing to eliminate that vacuum, and so will not eliminate illegal immigration.

That vacuum can be eliminated by strict enforcement of the border, and by strict enforcment of the employment laws we already have.

The unemployment rate is irrelevant to this issue because illegals are overwhelmingly employed in only a few job areas - in these areas the native-born unemployment rate exceeds 10%. Less educated and blue collar Americans have suffered the most from the influx of illegal workers.

Americans would do any of these jobs if the wages were not locked into where they were 15 years ago (not to mention benefits, not to mention the advantages to unscrupulous employers who can get away without paying payroll taxes.)

Throughout the country, wherever illegal communities have not taken hold, you will still find regular American citizens doing any type of job. You can go 100 miles south of here to the Northern Neck area, near Fort A.P. Hill, and it is like going back 20 years in time. Regular American citizens, speaking English, do every type of job.

Had Enough said:

The unemployment figures are what the government wants you to believe, they have nothing to do with reality.

I left a job a few years ago and I was never counted.

I know a couple that both are unemployed, they have never been counted. They sold their house and are living on the proceeds.

I hear stories everyday of unemployed Citizens that because they never filed for unemployment benefits they were never counted. Others are not counted now because their benefits ran out some time ago.

From articles:

"The employment outlook for teens is among the gloomiest in decades," warns Work and Family columnist Sue Shellenbarger with the Wall Street Journal. "This summer's teen employment rate will match a 57-year low set in 2004 and 2005, predicts Andrew Sum, director for the Center for Labor Market Studies and Northeastern University, based on an analysis of federal data released last week. Just 36.5% of 16- to 19-year-olds will be working."

"Statistics show that young African-Americans are having trouble in the job market. Unemployment among young blacks nationwide is 40 percent, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. "For blacks, the growing presence of immigrant workers adds to the formidable obstacles they face in finding a job," said a Pew Research Center study released in April (2006). Among blacks, 78 percent say jobs are difficult to find in their community."

I know a number of NOVA construction workers who can not find a job. These guys have 15 to 25 years experience and no one ever calls them back. When they go back to job sites all they see are hispanics working.

People all over the country are complaining. Others are being outsourced.

Companies like circuit city that I refuse to ever buy anything from ever again laid off employees that had up to 20 years of loyal service to hire new employees at half the wages.

Verizon cut mamagement, forced some into early retirement.

No one is safe anymore, I don't care what your job is.

If people would stop hiring the companies that hire illegals it would help. Hire your American Citizen neighbors. Support your country. We must insist and demand that they are legal.


Had Enough said:

From Pew Hispanic Center:

"• Unemployment plays a minimal role in motivating workers from Mexico to migrate to the U.S. Only 5% of the survey respondents who have been in the U.S. for two years or less were unemployed while still in Mexico.
• Unemployment in the U.S. is above normal only for respondents who have been here for less than six months. Nearly 15% of the latest arrivals reported they were not currently working. But only about 5% of respondents who migrated more than six months ago reported they were unemployed in the U.S.
• Immigration status has little impact on the likelihood of unemployment in the U.S. Respondents who reported that they have a U.S. government-issued ID had the same employment experiences as those who do not have any documents making them eligible for legal employment.
• Family networks play a key role in locating jobs for migrants. More than 80% of respondents have a relative other than a spouse or child in the U.S., and talking with friends and relatives in the U.S. was the most commonly cited method--by 45% of respondents--for finding information about jobs in the U.S.
• Migrants from Mexico are responsive to regional variations in demand for their services. Construction is the dominant industry for employing migrants in Atlanta, Dallas and Raleigh; hospitality is the major employer in New York City; manufacturing in Chicago; and agriculture in Fresno.
• A very high percentage (38%) of migrants reported experiencing a spell of unemployment lasting more than a month in the past year. This unusually widespread--compared to other U.S. workers--experience of temporary unemployment is evident among Mexican migrants regardless of their year of arrival, legal status, education and survey city.
• The median weekly earnings of survey respondents are only $300. Earnings are especially low among women, those who speak no English and those who do not have a U.S. government-issued ID.
• Migrant workers in the survey have a background that resembles the core of Mexico's labor force. Two-thirds of respondents who entered the U.S. in the past two years worked in agriculture, construction, manufacturing or retail trade in Mexico. That is also true for 57% of the labor force in Mexico."

Where can the unemployed US Citizens go and earn 10 to 20 times what they made here, send money home and later come home and pay to have a home built with cash or start a business?

I am sick of hearing the sob stories. I am sick of hearing "they only made $3.00 a day in mexico! That is their economy. They are not paying $1,900. rent in mexico. The BS has gone on long enough.

They have been encouraged by their government to sneak over the borders. Each one that comes here is one less that mexico may have to take care of. They send them here so we are paying for their medical, education, incarceration, etc.

You don't see mexico encouraging their doctors to leave the country, NO, only their lower class. But here their lower calss makes more than their doctors.

They need to go home and demand their government to make changes. Don't march in the streets here and demand from us.

stay puft said:

Jack,

You talked about the vacuum created by min. wage. Would you like to see an end to minimum wage in order to right this market distortion?

(oh yes, it is a trap! can you avoid it?)

Had Enough said:

Swift Company in Colorado reported on May 11, 2007 that it has returned to standard staffing levels at all four domestic beef processing facilities after the detention and removal, on December 12, 2006, of approximately 950 Swift Beef employees by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") division.

The December 2006 ICE event also involved two Swift Pork processing facilities. As the Company announced on April 10, 2007, Swift's domestic pork operations returned to normal levels in March 2007. ICE detained and removed a total of nearly 1,300 Swift Beef and Swift Pork employees during the December 2006 event.

"I'm pleased to report that all four of Swift's domestic beef plants are now at or above standard staffing levels," said Sam Rovit, Swift & Company's president and chief executive officer. "We are now working diligently to train our new team members to accelerate the return of our beef facilities to full production capacity."

(Please note that they raised wages and the US Citizens and legal workers came back!!!)

It took 5 months to replace the illegals and put more Citizens back to work.

I would not work in a place where I was the only Citizen or English speaker.

Jack said:

I have always opposed the minimum wage, puffalump.

Good work, HE. Thanks for gathering all this info.

stay puft said:

is that because American workers would be more competitive if they could worked for lower wages?

zimzo said:

It's amazing how you guys argue backwards. You start from the premise that illegal immigration has been bad for the country and then desperately search for evidence to prove it. Along the way you make a number of unsupported assumptions. There is no evidence that immigrants lower wages and even if they did, legalization would solve that problem. There is no evidence that Americans would fill the jobs immigrants do now. You claim that if wages were raised Americans would take any jobs but you have nothing to back that up. There is, of course, a limit on how high wages can be raised before it becomes economically unsupportable. A number of companies have responded to high wages by outsourcing.

HE claims the jobs at Swift have all been filled at higher wages, but that is one company. If this scenario is repeated at hundreds of companies will that be the case? Can Swift sustain these higher wages and remain profitable? Was it worth the five months the plant was not operating at full capacity? Was it worth the devastation done to the community, the families that were ripped apart, children that were left behind:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-02-11-marshalltown-raid_x.htm

I thought conservatives believed in family values. I guess you believe in them only for certain people.

You really don't have any answers to these questions. You're against illegal immigrants and you can't say why so you scramble to provide reasons for why it is bad and you propose draconian solutions that may actually be worse than the "problem."

You can't make a definitive case for the harm that illegal immigration has supposedly brought, you can't make a definitive case for why your "solution" would not make things worse, and you can't make a definitive case for why legalization would not solve what problems do exist.

Jack said:

Take up the assumption with your own democrat senators, and I have demonstrated why legalization will not solve the problem.

Don't give me this BS about "children left behind." People leave their children behind when they go to jail. That is part of the price for committing a crime. In the case of illegal immigrants, they can take their children back with them.

Conservative believe in the rule of law, and in not giving lawbreakers preference over those who play by the rules.

Illegal immigration is bad because they are coming ahead of those who try to get in legally. They are not screened for disease, for criminal records, or for terrorist connections.

I have made my case repeatedly. You simply ignore it because you have no good answer. Why don't you address the solutions I proposed, and tell us why they would not work, as I have done with S.1348?

stay puft said:

alright, I hate to launch into the "Who's being a hypocrite now" but what I'm getting at is that you claim to be concerned about immigration lowering the wages of unskilled workers, yet you believe that minimum wage is no good.

Regardless of the amount of border security we could have in place, a repeal of the minimum wage would result in lower wages to unskilled workers.

It's also strange because your typical response to someone raising concerns about the underprivileged is that they should take responsibility for their situation and sort of pull themselves up by their boot straps.

So it appears that you aren't really concerned with lower wages to unskilled labor.

Conservative believe in the rule of law, and in not giving lawbreakers preference over those who play by the rules.

your real concerns are that "Illegal immigration is bad because they are coming ahead of those who try to get in legally. They are not screened for disease, for criminal records, or for terrorist connections."

fair enough, but you started a discussion about the economics of immigration, yet these are not economic concerns.

That's not to say that your suggestions couldn't be effective. The question is are they appropriate, and what could the side effects be? As zimzo said, it's not that these ideas wouldn't work, it's that they could unforeseen consequences that could end up making things worse.
For instance, public executions might also be effective, but that would clearly have negative repercussions for our society.

We have millions and millions of people here, living in communities, creating social networks, all of that. Sure some would "self-deport," but it's easy to imagine that many would stay and become a sort of hunted population. Having millions of people who have no rights, who's very existence is "illegal" and who are tracked down by police, driven underground... kind of sounds like some sort of dystopian sci-fi novel, & just seems like an unhealthy direction for American society to go in.

stay puft said:

correction:

the out-of-place phrase above:

"Conservative believe in the rule of law, and in not giving lawbreakers preference over those who play by the rules."

was meant to be included with the other quoted part of Jack's post

Zimzo, heh, nice try. There is all the evidence in the world that illegal aliens lower wages, and you've seen it here. But of course you are not interested in facts.

zimzo said:

What evidence, Joe?

Jack said, "One of the oft-repeated problems with illegal immigration is that the illegal immigrants drive down wages. There are studies both supporting and countering this assertion, and we will not go into that here."

He then made an assumption that legalization would increase illegal immigration, which he didn't prove. He then conluded from that "that an increase in the numbers of unskilled laborers drives down the cost of unskilled labor." Lots of leaps of logic there.

But as Puffy points out, you guys aren't really concerned about lowering the wages of American workers or you would support the minimum wage.

You guys make a lot of noise about gay marriage threatening families (again with little evidence) but you don't seem to care about how the families of illegal immigrants are threatened when you put them in detention centers as happened during the ICE raids at Swift. Jack didn't even bother to read the article about how children were left to fend for themselves when their parents were detained. After some raids children themselves were put in detention centers.

Jack's weak arguments about the economics of ilegal immigration are just the latest in a series of attempts to "prove" illegal immigration is bad. You have also tried to make the case that they have raised the crime rate and failed.

So it begs the question as to why you are so desperate to prove illegal immigration has caused harm to society and why legalization would not solve any problems that do exist. Like I said, it is as if you are making the argument backwards.
palatable ones. Usually, one defines a harm in society and then tries to figure out what is causing it. You have already decided on a cause and now you are trying to find a harm to go with it.

zimzo said:

Evidence of all your lame attempts to throw stuff at the wall and hope it sticks (which it never does) just proves my point. Jack's lame post is just the latest in a long line of attempts to find reasons for why illegal immigration is bad so that you don't have to admit the real one.

The Borjas-Katz study you linked to showed only that illegal immigrants have depressed the wages of high school dropouts by 8% over 20 years. That is pretty negligable. Borjas and Katz later reexamined their data and found that the actual drop was only 3.6%. For the entire population the impact was actually zero. Other economists believe that even these figures are overestimate the impact of illegal immigration.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=33516

Let's look again at the impact of the ICE raid on the Swift plant. After five months they were able to fill jobs in some plants not all. The company is $45 million to %50 million in the red. Most of the money lost was from recruiting and training costs. It may have to shut down altogether. It is the main employer in the area and if it shuts down it will devastate the local economy. In the 1980s it had to close for two years because of high labor costs. A Brazilian beef company is looking into buying the company. Imagine the economic devastation if this scenario was multiplied around the country.

So one has to ask: why do you think protecting the wages of high school dropouts (if indeed you are protecting them) is worth the potential economic problems your policies would unleash?

Yeah, you're right, Zimzo, Screw the high school dropouts, blue collar workers, subcontractors, and, while we are at it, all the unemployed. Less educated Americans, black and white, had their chance.

Jack said:

Yes, puffalump, my analysis is based on the premise, expounded by your own democrat senators, that illegal immigrants take jobs from, and reduce the wages of, unskilled citizens. I am not here to argue that premise, but to analyse S.1348 in light of that assumption.

Even eliminating the minimum wage would not solve the problem, because of payroll taxes, which employers generally do not pay on illegal day laborers. If we eliminate both payroll taxes and the minimum wage, then our workers could compete on a level playing field with the illegal immigrants.

"Regardless of the amount of border security we could have in place, a repeal of the minimum wage would result in lower wages to unskilled workers."

Why do you say that? Are you implying that the unskilled workers are not worth minimum wage? There's hope for you yet, puffalump.

As for unintended consequence, there are always unintended consequences. So how 'bout we enforce the law, and deal with the consequences as they arise, rather than just say, "We can't enforce the laws, there might be unintended consequences"?


Zimzo, you seem to have missed my point, probably intentionally. I have not tried to argued that illegal immigration is bad for our economy. In fact, if it keep the wages at a reasonable level, rather than the artificially inflated levels proposed by labor unions and minimum wage advocates, we are more competitive globally. As I just told puffalump, I am only trying to show that the proposed solution (legalization) will not solve the problem the that democrat senators intend it to solve (lowered wages and lost jobs for legal workers). The reason it will not solve the problem is that there are more illegals ready to come in to undercut those who become legal, and we're back where we started from.

The solution is to cut off the source of illegals (by sealing the borders), and to remove their incentive to come here (by deporting those we catch, and by punishing the employers who hire them).

stay puft said:

ok, so you aren't concerned with the price of unskilled labor. you're only saying that the bill isn't going to have a positive impact on that price. yes?

so this is really about the democrats inability to make a plan and not about immigration?

...I can't argue with you that a police state would make it easier to enforce the laws. just seems like an odd position for a conservative

Jack said:

"ok, so you aren't concerned with the price of unskilled labor. you're only saying that the bill isn't going to have a positive impact on that price. yes?"

Correct.

"so this is really about the democrats inability to make a plan and not about immigration?"

Not quite. The Bush Administration also has some responsibility for this debacle.

"...I can't argue with you that a police state would make it easier to enforce the laws. just seems like an odd position for a conservative"

I have never argued for a "police state." I have argued for enforcing our laws. If you consider a nation that enforces it's laws a "police state," then I cannot help you.

stay puft said:

Jack,

If you're talking about arresting people and deporting them and going to their homes and deporting their families, that kind of sounds like a police state. Maybe that's the only way to enforce the law, but it is what it is. That's essentially why I don't think the deportation rout would work so well.

Jack said:

No, a police state, as defined in your beloved Wikipedia, is "state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population, especially by means of a secret police force which operates above the normal constraints found in a liberal democracy."

I do not think simple enforcement of our immigration laws, including searching a residence with reasonable cause (an illegal immigrant is known to reside there), quite qualifies as a police state. A warrant would, of course, still be required for such a search.

stay puft said:

whatever, wikipedia belongs to all of us

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
The immigration debacle in this country has a dimension we are not discussing here. Last year it is estimated that over 100K non-latino illegal immigrants from came into this from Mexico.

In a post 9/11 world is this not asking for trouble?

stay puft said:

yes, that's why I'm saying enforce the borders as well as you can while allowing more people to enter legally.

you'd take pressure off the border guards if people who wanted to come in could do so legally, get screened, etc. and if the only people still sneaking in were the Real bad guys.

also, remember that the 9/11 guys came in legally.

Had Enough said:

I keep reading articles where illegals make statements at day labor centers that they do not want to be legal because there are too many laws, rules and regulations if you are legal, they desire not to follow laws, rules and regulations. One of them even said it would complicate his life to much.

jacob said:

Marshmallow,
I have no trouble with legal immigration. The 9/11 terrorists did come legally, but most overstayed their visa's. Some where here on student permits, but one would think that one needs to show proof that one is attending a school.

We will have a labor shortage once we close theborder, so increasing the number of visa's is necessary. we are in agreement there.

However, with the closing of the border we will then need to turn to the enforcement of the immigration laws for those within the country. It won't get fixed overnight, but we can and must get a handle on who is here.

eamon said:

perhaps we should keep in mind that "illegal alien" is the correct term for a reason. they entered illegally with considerable help from special interest groups all with the full knowledge of the congress. that they, our elected officials, say they're going to fix a crime that they aided and abetted is pissing down your leg and telling you it's raining. tens of billions of dollars over the years are exported out of the country with the complicity of the congress, robbing the treasury of said monies while illegals gobble up the free services provided by us, the taxpayer. then the congress decides on a plan that will only increase the financial and social woes of this country and calls us names because we dare to question them. bullshit, my friends. if you aren't emailing, writing or calling your representatives you deserve to lose your country. no amnesty, no green cards, no citizenship to illegals, period. now is the time, people. let your representative know you're wise to their plan. better yet, tell them to start doing their job and enforcing the laws already on the books. tell them no on s.1348. no plan is better than a bad one.

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