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The silver lining in the illegal alien problem

I've always said that illegal aliens end up causing more problems and costing us more than any benefit we might gain. But then I read this story over at CNN's page, and it's got me reconsidering the matter.

Apparently, around southern Georgia, a couple of serial killers are at work. So far five deaths have been linked to them, but police have few leads.

It seems that they are targeting illegal aliens. They know that the aliens are on the fringes of society, not likely to go to police or cooperate with them. Further, they tend to not have bank accounts, meaning that any money they possess will likely be on or near them, making the murders more profitable.

So here we see the illegal alien population is actually providing a valuable service -- they are keeping the serial killers from preying on Americans and legal visitors to our shores.

Just in case anyone missed the category tag, the above is satire. But I wrote it to make a point -- with the system as broken as it currently is, we have created a whole group of people who are, as the article describes, "ready-made victims." This is most often brought up in an economic context, where they are exploited by unscrupulous employers. But now we see that taken to the next step, where criminals are realizing just how easy it is to prey on these people.

The only sane response is to get rid of the millions of illegal aliens currently in the United States. And the only way I can see to do that is a multi-step solution:

1) Rigorous -- perhaps even draconian -- enforcement of current laws. ANY illegal alien caught in the United States should be departed as fast as humanly possible. No releasing on bail/bond/whatever, and a hugely streamlined process.

2) Open assault on the economic motives for illegal aliens. Brutal, punitive fines for those who hire illegal aliens. Severe penalties for those caught smuggling people across the border.

3) Mandatory reporting of illegal aliens for nearly every government official, at all levels, and those licensed by the government in other areas. No sanctuaries within our borders.

Doing anything else is grotesquely, criminally negligent. The current system is so horribly broken that it has become a de facto form of slavery. We need to destroy the enticements and punish those currently gaming the system for their own obscene ends.

I put forth my own plans for immigration reform here, and no one has seriously challenged it. But as long as the current situation continues, we might as well call our current immigration policy "The Modern-Day Slavery And Serial Killer Full Employment Policy."

Comments (26)

How's the ride on that bus?... (Below threshold)

How's the ride on that bus? You know, the one taking you straight to hell! I'll be sitting next to you, though, I grinned even as I winced.

At the end of July I posted... (Below threshold)

At the end of July I posted a story about a charming El Salvadorian couple. I'm sure you would love it Jay Tea.

Brass, mind if I drive?... (Below threshold)

Brass, mind if I drive?

We already have laws agains... (Below threshold)

We already have laws against hiring illegals. The problem is that they aren't enforced. That's mainly an issue with Bush/Rove.

As for Georgia, if other states are a guide, here's what will happen. And, here's some of the names you'll hear do it: Sam Zamarippa, Pedro Marin, GALEO, MALDEF, and the Mexican government.

So here we see the illeg... (Below threshold)

So here we see the illegal alien population is actually providing a valuable service -- they are keeping the serial killers from preying on Americans and legal visitors to our shores.

That sounds downright Freakonomical!

I usually agree with a grea... (Below threshold)

I usually agree with a great deal of what I read at Wizbang, but not this one. I know it's tongue in cheek, but one of the differences between conservative and liberal blogs is a reasonable (although not humorless) tone. This kind of story is daily fare for Koz and the Democratic Underthings.

We're talking about a serial killer. Nothin' funny about that, JT. Remember how the DU folks had a field day with Cheney's operation? ("Good. I hope he fu**ing dies!") Man, I hate that kind of stuff.

I guess everybody misses one once in a while. Go ye forth and screw up no more.

Apparently this was suppose... (Below threshold)

Apparently this was supposed to be funny. Not the case. Pretty damn disgusting if you ask me.

Jay Tea, here's my response... (Below threshold)
Ryan A:

Jay Tea, here's my response to your solutions:

1. Deporting people who are apprehended, as soon as humanly possible, is a reasonable measure. The main issue though might be the overall drive to actually FIND the people. It's pretty low. I wonder why? Maybe some people realize that the migrants are here working, and are being hired, so they arent worried about deporting a desired workforce. You think that police in California are primarily concerned with some guy who works his ass off in a field all day, and doesnt bother anyone? Why dont you try telling some officer in San Diego that he should be spending his whole day rounding up migrant workers.

Second, the way things are now, people will just come right back. Third, you realize that deporting ALL illegal immigrants means ALL of them, not just those who come from south of the border.

2. Those brutal fines are going to be directed at some pretty big businesses. They tend to like that labor source quite a lot. Growers in Florida are an example of a pretty big interest group that depends on that labor source. They might have a little influence, and might have a problem with paying heavy fines.

Fines and punishments could be deterents, but they would have to be enforced, obviously. And while they might have some impact, they dont really address the primary problem.

3. Good luck with that one. Sounds a little like some of the Prop 187 kind of thinking. So, what would the penalty be for people who didnt turn in everyone they suspect as being here illegally? And what are the guidelines for making such determinations? Where do you draw the line? Without checking for ID, how do government officials know when someone is illegal? Do they just turn in all suspected illegals? Do they go ID every person they "think" might be a suspect? Sounds like a lot of court cases to me.

Here's the problem: people come here illegally because there is a demand for them. It's not THAT complicated. The demand may ebb and flow over time, and they will generally come here and fill the needs. The answer lies not in further criminalization, but in regulation of the flow of workers. Big business interest groups like growers depend on immigrants, as do restaurants and many other mid level businesses. Even private citizens hire the people to do day work. Maybe it's time to stop lying to ourselves, and realize that those people are a part of our economies. Or we could just keep letting this work force come in here illegally, while businesses pay low wages and provide substandard working conditions...which also hurts American laborers who are basically undercut. Illegal workers can't challenge the system, because they risk deportation. And it goes on and on.

When the Bracero program stopped in 1964, the demand for the labor didnt. The people kept coming, because there were still jobs, supplied by very willing American employers. The only difference was that all of a sudden they were "illegal aliens". That program attempted to legalize and regulate the process, but it was full of corruption and abuse. Maybe, however, we can put our heads together and figure out a way to streamline the whole thing so that we dont have thousands of people sneaking in here, so that we dont have this underground smuggling occuring, and so that the working conditions and wages are regulated and fair.

I think that ignoring the basic problem that is occuring and focusing on back end punitive measures will only increase the corruption, exploitation, and abuse that is going on right now. Maybe we should address the real issue, which is the fact that Americans want to partake of this labor pool, but do not want to allow those people to come here legally. Quite a quandary there.

I'm with Josh. Taking innoc... (Below threshold)

I'm with Josh. Taking innocent life(regardless of age) is never a source of humor in a world of manners and morals!

The problem is that they... (Below threshold)

The problem is that they aren't enforced. That's mainly an issue with Bush/Rove.

Odd, there were eight years of Clinton/Gore that didn't see much action on illegal immigration.

Ya Robert you're right. Th... (Below threshold)
Ryan A:

Ya Robert you're right. This isnt some new issue that can be blamed on Bush et al. This has been ongoing for a few decades now.

IMO Ryan A hit it on the he... (Below threshold)

IMO Ryan A hit it on the head:

The answer lies not in further criminalization, but in regulation of the flow of workers.

But its gotta be sane regulation, unlike the current immigration morass, which is insane. Why the hell should coming to America and working be illegal?

Done right, letting productive workers freely enter our country seems like it could provide a few benefits:

1. Reducing the massive flow of humans sneaking across our borders to find work should make the A$$holes sneaking accross our borders to kill us easier to spot.

2. Strengthen our nation with productive people who stay while the slackers/criminals get sent back and have a harder time getting back here. (See point 1)

The US is the best Country in the world because we give the best people in the world a place to be the best they can be.

I hear the mantra of the il... (Below threshold)

I hear the mantra of the illegals do all the work that American's won't do all the time. What about the lazy idiots on welfare? How about them doing that work for a change and earning the cash their getting.

Odd, there were eight ye... (Below threshold)

Odd, there were eight years of Clinton/Gore that didn't see much action on illegal immigration.

So, you're saying that Bush/Rove is as bad as Clinton/Gore? Actually, B/R is worse: last year, only three companies got letters warning them about employing illegals. THREE companies in the whole U.S. in the whole year. But, if you want to just say that Bush is as bad as Clinton that's OK with me.

As for "Ryan A", I'm giving him today's Tamar Jacoby Award for Proper Recital of Open Borders Talking Points. I'm not going to bother fisking his comment, but feel free to look up my previous fisks of Jacoby and all the rest on the other side.

Wacko:As for "R... (Below threshold)
Ryan A:


As for "Ryan A", I'm giving him today's Tamar Jacoby Award for Proper Recital of Open Borders Talking Points. I'm not going to bother fisking his comment, but feel free to look up my previous fisks of Jacoby and all the rest on the other side.

Come on, why not at least make the effort? I'd like to see your rational and well thought out ideas regarding this issue. Got any?

Thank G-d you don't make po... (Below threshold)
Mark Wilson:

Thank G-d you don't make policy. This issue is my biggest (perhaps only) problem with this blog. What you propose would impose almost unbelievable suffering on millions of people; the economic toll on the U.S. would be huge, and those impacted would demand that politicians put a stop to it. Who do you think cleans hotels, washes dishes, does contracting work, construction work, yard work, remodelling houses, roof work, and on and on? You are talking about millions of people, many of whom have been here for years, work here, pay taxes (yes, pay taxes, including Social Security taxes they may never collect on), have children born here, are Americans in all but name. And they are like all Americans (except the Indians) in that they came here from somewhere else. That people come here reflects a basic fact of human nature -- people want to build a better life for themselves and their families. They come here and find work and succeed. Yes, the status quo is terrible; yes, we should have control of our borders; yes, criminals should be excluded from coming to the U.S. But a policy that ignores human nature (on both sides of the border) will only result in needless suffering and, hopefully, will fail. And this violation of law argument is bogus. Sometimes the law is an ass. Any violation can be addressed with a fine.


Mark Wilson

Then let them come legally ... (Below threshold)

Then let them come legally like a majority of the people over the last century Mark.

"We should allow everyone into this country without knowing who they are" is an asinine argument. With that argument you're allowing criminals, gangs, drug runners and every other lowlife into the country because they "might be a good worker".

Unless our border is closed and there are only "valves" of legal entry then your Utopian viewpoint will never be possible.

Sure there's some good workers coming in, but you fail to mention that those who have come here illegally are already criminals by breaking our laws as their first deed in this country.

Pack 'em up and ship 'em out, we'll figure out a way to fill all those jobs with legal workers who have actually taken the time to come to our country and obey our laws from day 1.

I don't think every violati... (Below threshold)
Mark Wilson:

I don't think every violation of law constitutes criminality (speeding, illegal parking, securities law record keeping requirements, overly aggressive tax positions, and on and on). Many violations of law (particularly federal law) that do consitute crimes should not be crimes, in my view. However, neither illegal entry nor illegally overstaying a visa constitute a crime in the U.S. -- they are violations, the remedies for which include deporatation and exclusion, at the will of the U.S. In the past (during the Reagan administration), the U.S. granted amnesty (note that this was not a pardon). Current proposals include the payment of a substantial fine as a condition to continued presence in the U.S.

Ryan A:As I stated... (Below threshold)

Ryan A:

As I stated, I've already discussed Tamar Jacoby's various columns - and similar columns from others - many times. Since your comment could almost have been written by one of those same people, I'd only be repeating myself.

However, here are four points that the Open Borders Lobby just can't answer:

1. Those "guests" will have U.S. citizen children, meaning "liberals" won't deport them when their time is up. The "guests" will stay, as with other countries' "guest" worker programs. Aren't those who call these "guest" worker programs just lying?

2. Won't all these "guests" give the Mexican government and racial demagogues even more power than they already have? (Those who aren't familiar with that issue really should read up on this.)

3. Isn't it better for the U.S. to invest in technology rather than throwing cheap labor at problems. (If you aren't familiar with mechanization being disfavored, do research).

4. If Bush won't enforce the immigration laws now, and if special interest groups basically set our immigration policies now, what makes anyone think that would change? Bush can't be trusted, and those groups will just keep pushing for more and more. What's to stop them?

Dear Wacko:First o... (Below threshold)
Ryan A:

Dear Wacko:

First of all, I've never heard of Tamar Jacoby. Should I have? I don't really care how many times you've discussed this issue on your blog or wherever. I've never heard of you, and never read anything you've written. If you respond to me HERE and have some argument, then make it. If it's such a massive effort for you, then don't bother.

Here are my replies to your points:

1. Well, there you have it, one of the biggest problems with the whole "guest" worker idea. Like people are going to come work here for 10 years, have kids here, and then go home. Right. If workers are brought here, then we have to realize that a certain percentage are going to stay here. You have brought up a major problem. My best answer is this: if Americans want them to work here, then it's time to accept them as a part of our society. But a lot of people arent OK with that idea.

2. Weird question. Can you define "racial demagogues" for me? What exactly do you mean by that term? Do you really view the government of Mexico as being powerful? I sure dont, especially not compared to the US, and the big business interests involved in this matter. The Mexican government is a little side player IMO.

3. I wouldnt say that I think mechanization is the answer to all of our problems. It's not that I'm against it necessarily. To me it seems that some jobs will always require human hands, but I could be wrong. Along with that, mechanization is very costly, and lots of businesses cant (or wont) do it. Pretty capital intensive, as opposed to hiring human workers. Going that way might break the backs of businesses. But then, the same argument could be said of paying fair wages.

4. The laws arent being enforced right now, because I think that many people realize that such enforcement would be a major problem at present, since so many businesses depend on that source of labor. It would be pretty costly and counterproductive to just deport that whole workforce.

You bring up a good point about interest groups pushing for more and more, which has happened in the past with the Bracero program. Employers would get more workers over here than were needed, and then the wages dropped as desperate people competed for jobs. The same thing happened here in California in the 30s, when people flocked here in droves to fill jobs that didnt exist. The bottom dropped out of the market and people worked for almost nothing trying to survive. Very bad situation.

You're talking about corruption, and it's already here. Do you think that the working conditions and wages meet our requirements? Of course they dont. And illegal workers have fewer rights to do anything about that or protect themselves. The answer is thorough and strict regulation in my opinion. Those interest groups need to be controlled and checked.

I'm not just saying that like it's some talking point that I picked up. I mean that we would have to assess the real number of workers that businesses hire and want, and then set that number and create some way to get those people here legally. But those people are going to want the chance at citizenship most likely, at least a percentage of them. So we have to think about that. But the ultimate goal would be a fully legal, regulated, and fair exchange that can actually be monitored. You dont want these people sneaking in, and you dont want them being smuggled in. They shouldnt be living in secret camps in the hills where they are outside of the radar and always hiding.

Ryan, that's all pie in the... (Below threshold)

Ryan, that's all pie in the sky unless we can keep illegals out. Just increasing the amount allowed in legally or granting amnesty to those already here illegally is not going to stop the problem. After the 1986 amnesty did that solve the problem? No. It encouraged a flood of more illegals into the country so that the next time an amnesty came around they'd be included.

Another amnesty won't solve the problem.

Unless we can reduce the amount of illegal immigration by more than 95% any program put in place is all lip service and worthless.

If we need workers, then by all means I have no problems with an orderly entry program of immigration, but the current system is worthless. It has devastated so many people who were here legally, both citizens and immigrants, with the lowering of wages, raising of taxes, hospital closures and destruction of the education system.

Simply enacting a law, that on paper, reduces the numbers without actually solving the problem is ridiculous.

Digger:Unless w... (Below threshold)
Ryan A:


Unless we can reduce the amount of illegal immigration by more than 95% any program put in place is all lip service and worthless.

Thats what I'm talking about--the reduction or elimination of ILLEGAL immigration.

If we need workers, then by all means I have no problems with an orderly entry program of immigration, but the current system is worthless.

Agreed. There isnt much of a system in place IMO.

Simply enacting a law, that on paper, reduces the numbers without actually solving the problem is ridiculous.

Once again, I agree with you.

Another amnesty won't solve the problem.

This might be the only point that I dont agree with, only because I have no idea what else could be done for people who are here now, and who have been here for some time. Especially people who are a part of local cultures, and who have kids here. What do you do just kick them out? I dont think it would work, and I dont think such a simplistic answer is the way to go.

Not all illegal immigrants are hiding in the hills you know...many are pretty entrenched in society, so much that people might not even suspect they are not here legally. The point is that they are ALREADY a part of American communities. Some people are really unwilling to accept or even consider that notion.

The 1986 amnesty didnt stop the flow because, just like today, there wasnt an efficient system in place that could actually regulate this migration. If there is a quota that allows 100,000 people, and American employers demand 400,000, then about 300,000 are going to try getting here illegally. You cant just state that we dont want new people to come in. If businesses have a demand, then people will find ways to get here. It's not that simple, but you get the point. We need to know what the demands are, so that yearly rates can be adjusted to the market, and so that the incentive to come here by legal means is increased greatly. THATS WHAT WE WANT: TO ENCOURAGE LEGAL IMMIGRATION. If illegal immigration PAYS then people will do it. And thats the case today. It pays off to come here illegally, period. We can bitch and complain all we want, but that fact cant be ignored.

If there are jobs to fill, then we should get the people here efficiently and legally so that they dont come over by via smugglers and outside our immigration system.

Ryan A:I've been t... (Below threshold)

Ryan A:

I've been through this before. Someone who knows little about this subject - or who claims that they know little - asks me to define basic terms and basically re-write my own blog in a comments box. It's a waste of time for me, whether the intent is innocent or not.

I've got hundreds of posts about illegal immigration, and I know Digger has a large number as well. And, there are other sites if you'd like to do research.

And, yes, the Mexican government and those racial demagogues do have a great deal of power. You might not know it unless... you do some research. I'm not going to write a link-rich post when I've got all that available chez moi.

Wackjob:Weak. Whe... (Below threshold)
Ryan A:


Weak. When I ask you to define a subjective term like "racial demagogues" it's so that I know what YOU mean when you use it in your questions and arguments. Did you make up that term yourself? I never asked you to rewrite some massive tome. All I asked was what that term means to you. It was a pretty simple question. Nice dodge though.

Second, I like how you didnt address what I wrote, and once again took the "I've already written about this" way out. What's the point of making comments here, and then saying that you dont want to make any further comments since you've already written about that on your little blog? Trying to increase traffic or something?

Ok, so you say Mexico has "a great deal of power." Maybe you could be a little more general. Is that supposed to be scary or what? What problems does that create for you? What are the implications of Mexico having this power? Are you worried about Mexico taking over and forcing you to watch Univision all day? Whats your point? Are you trying to be vague and mysterious or something?

Dear everyone else:<p... (Below threshold)

Dear everyone else:

As you can tell, I tend to have some suspicions about Ryan A. He seems to be quite good at spouting administration talking points, but he has no clue about racial demagogues, Mexican consulates and what they do, etc. etc. Quite odd.

The reader is invited to come to my blog and use the search functions or the categories - 9 about imm. matters - to find out why this is an extremely vital issue.

Wacko:As you ca... (Below threshold)
Ryan A:


As you can tell, I tend to have some suspicions about Ryan A.







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