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Fencing with the pro-illegal-alien advocates

This morning, the Boston Globe has an editorial tackling the illegal alien problem. More specifically, what they see as good solutions and bad solutions.

Leading the "bad solutions" is the idea of a fence along our southern border.

According to the Glob, the right solution is a combination of "tough enforcement and smart reform." But as always, you have to look beyond the pretty words and see what substance they are offering up. In this case, it's hovering right between "not much" and "none whatsoever."

Enforcement? Why, that's something to be praised in the abstract, but denounced whenever actually attempted. They want "an easy electronic verifcation system" that would let employers instantly verify applicants' immigration status, but what would it verify? Every single attempt to create a sort of national ID that the verification system could use gets staunch opposition from the Glob. (I'm not saying whether or not it would be a good idea, but it's a key element of "an easy electronic verifcation system" like the Glob calls for.)

The example they cite of enforcement is the town of Stillmore, Georgia, which was hit hard economically when the federal government started cracking down on illegal aliens there. About a hundred illegals were arrested, and several hundred more fled town, leaving the local businesses in dire straits.

The account the Glob presents is rather telling in its details. As they say, 100 were arrested and "several hundred" fled. Let's say that was 275, just for the sake of argument. That means that in this town of 750, they had 375 illegal aliens being exploited and used by local businesses, who now find themselves high and dry without their cheap labor. The Glob calls it unfortunate. I call it "just desserts."

The Glob also uses lofty language in saying we should address the root causes of illegal immigration to stem the flood. I don't think they've fully thought it out.

Most of the illegal aliens are here for economic gain. By the Glob's logic, then, we should get rid of the economic incentives. We should bring our own economy down to the level of the hellholes they're fleeing, so there's no real benefit to coming here.

I think that the Stillmore story is a good example to follow. In Stillmore, the local businesses have seen that the cost of hiring illegals far exceeds the benefits. Perhaps now they'll work on rebuilding their work force, this time paying Americans and legal aliens a fair, legal, living wage.

But that is a long-term cure. We need a short-term solution to buy us the time to implement such policies. A fence would be, as the old joke goes, much like 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean:

A damned good start.


Comments (12)

Not to nitpick, but I have ... (Below threshold)
Jason L:

Not to nitpick, but I have always had an intense dislike of the term "living wage" accompanied by an intense mistrust of those who use it. It represents some of the worst ideas of the socialists who call themselves Democrats. We currently have minimum wage laws, but the idea that all jobs must pay a salary that you can "live" on at some arbitrarily defined standard of comfort, and that somehow it is the duty of the government to ensure this, is a massive expansion of government control. It is an endless source of class-warfare rhetoric for leftist politicians, who will always tell people they "deserve" to live better without any additional work or sacrifice.
As a regular reader, I'm surprised and disappointed that you would use it, Jay Tea.

Every single attem... (Below threshold)
Every single attempt to create a sort of national ID that the verification system could use gets staunch opposition from the Glob. (I'm not saying whether or not it would be a good idea, but it's a key element of "an easy electronic verifcation system" like the Glob calls for.)
Hmmm. Don't you need a SS# to work legally? Perhaps a system to check those, along with a reasonably non-forgeable state-level ID (driver's license or one of those ID cards you can get instead of one) is what's needed. An electronic on-line system, not just the silly INS form that you have to fill out when you're hired.
Jason L,A better w... (Below threshold)

Jason L,

A better way to say it would simply be that employers should follow the labor and wage laws, period. With illegals, they often end up working for less than minimum and breaking various safety regulations and even child-labor restrictions for the simple reason that the employer knows the workers can't complain to anyone.

Sorry folks the m... (Below threshold)
Black Elk:


Sorry folks the minimum wage is a starting
point and was never ment to be a life long
wage...Education,the want to advance should
be everyones goal,want a helping hand, try the
one at the end of your arm...

Fox is posting "confusion" ... (Below threshold)
Drew:

Fox is posting "confusion" over the funding of the fence..but after all, it's not like we're going to ever build it any more than we are going to hire 10,000 new border guards..how's that Reserve/National Guard rotating to support border security going?

That sucking sound we hear is Iraq, taking all the money we could use to truly fund border security.

That sucking sound we he... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

That sucking sound we hear is Iraq, taking all the money we could use to truly fund border security.

LOL Drew...you can't be that ignorant and still type, can you?

...Or you could say that sucking sound we hear is (insert government program), taking all the money we could use to truly fund border security.

Just for curiosity we need ... (Below threshold)
Drew:

Just for curiosity we need to see what the ratio of welfare/unemployment is in these towns that have such high illegal employment. How many legal citizens are on welfare or some other public assistance where these Illegals are working? Why should I look for honest work if I can live off public assistance. I used to work for Job Services in Florida while going to school and looking for a full time Job. It never ceased to amaze me at the gall some people had to refuse a decent paying job so they could continue to get public assistance. We were able to stop a few from sucking more money from the government, but not nearly enough. And unfortuantly i realized that many low or no income families would rather be poor and complain than actually do something to solve the problem such as actually WORK.

We already have a system fo... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

We already have a system for employers to check SS numbers. A small number of employers already use it and it will eventually be made mandatory for all of them.

Homeland Security is also sending out "no match" letters to employers when one of their employees uses a SS number that doesn't match the name in the Homeland Security database.

There was an article on Sunday in the Contra Costa Times, my local paper, about the problems that arise when an employer receives a "no match" letter from Homeland Security. The employer must give the employee a period of time to produce valid documents, and if he does not, he must be terminated or the employer can be charged with knowlingly hiring someone with fraudulent docs.

HOWEVER, the SS Administration is whining and warning employers that firing someone because of this could lead to "discrimination" lawsuits.

This has got to be fixed. It's never going to happen until we have a national ID card with photo and biometrics.

Also, the NYT "reported" this weekend on the sad, sad tale of California fruit growers who are having to let fruit rot because they can't get enough illegal aliens to pick it. It's that nasty, horrible old Bush "regime" that is keeping these hard working people out of the country. The growers helpfully told the Times that they were offering "up to $150 a DAY to pick fruit".

Sure. Sure they were.

By the way, these farmers were about 50 miles from the Bay Area. Unemployment among young black men in Oakland is over 60%. Why are these farmers not recruiting all these idle men?

Cut off cash welfare, cut off the freeloaders' ability to be "homeless" and you will have all the labor you need.

Jay Tea, While I n... (Below threshold)
Avner:

Jay Tea,

While I normally like your logic, here there is too much that isn't answered. For one thing, which businesses are suffering and to whom do they provide a service.

I forgot the details, but there was a story of a factory in the south where one particular local complained that he was making something like $15.81/hr as a machinery maintenance worker, that it would have been more if there weren't so many illegals working at the plant (admittedly, they were unskilled workers making $8-10). The factory was a very large one and produced some sort of consumer product (cleaning supplies?).

What is lost in stories like this, and maybe in the stories in the GA town, is that that whole factory might not exist in this country, and hence his job as well, if the lower wage unskilled labor wasn't there.

Often, illegals earn much more than minimum wage, and in businesses that might not even exist in this country was the labor not available. Those cleaning supplies would be made in China, and the maintenance jobs in the plant, and the clerical, and the taxes and profits (yes, in cases such as these, the illegals certainly are paying taxes) will all be exported.

I don't have an answer, but the complexity of the issue should not be understated.

ah don't confuse me with th... (Below threshold)
Drew:

ah don't confuse me with the Drew post about Florida...that is not me..in order to avoid confusion
I will post under another name and let Florida Drew be "The Drew" However..to Florida Drew...who has sucked more money for nothing in the past 3 years...those folks in Florida..or Halliberton?
by the way a few things about Bush Florida
Ranking by State 2005
Violent Crime #2
Education #36
Healthiest #43
Yep you folks have your shit together down there

oh one more thing "Drew" fo... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

oh one more thing "Drew" for you to believe that people perfer to be poor so they can can complain explains all those whiners in Asia, Africa, Mexico, South America..
You put your finger on it it...poor people would just rather be poor...after all it is a choice..right?
Oh wait...except for those US Ford Factory workers whose plant will close...but watch they will complain about that..just watch...
(I am assuming that although there are lot's of "Drew's" there should not be too many nogo postal's)

There are illegal immigrant... (Below threshold)
dianne:

There are illegal immigrants all over the place. Many are working in the construction field and I know several people who are citizens who can't find work in the construction field anymore because illegals are taking the jobs at below scale wages. I also know an illegal alien, a nice woman by the way, from Lithuania. She is a care giver for an old woman in a suburb of Illinois. She is paid $45,000/yr, tax free of course since she doesn't "exist". This particular woman overstayed her green card. She has all kinds of fake bank accounts, fake ID's, fake everything which she says she can get without any problem. She told me that there are thousands of Lituanian care givers in the Chicago area that are illegal. Chicago is known to be a sanctuary city.

What a mess.





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