Wednesday, March 29, 2006
It's Time for Plain Talk about Illegal Immigration
Steve Antler (EconoPundit) has a neat graphic in this post, which illustrates a key point. The point? The minimum wage -- to the extent that it is actually paid by employers of illegal immigrants -- raises the unemployment rate. That, in turn, gives pandering politicians yet another opportunity to buy votes by expanding welfare benefits for illegal immigrants (and other low-income groups).
Minimum wage laws and welfare programs are especially favored on the Left (though large corporations have no objection to taxpayer-funded welfare programs that subsidize labor). An article by Ben Johnson at FrontPageMag.com details the Leftist connections to the massive protests of proposals to curb illegal immigration; for example:
As events spanned from California to Detroit, Phoenix to Washington, D.C., the media kept up its anti-enforcement drumbeat. Although some have credited Latino DJs for the 500,000-strong illegal immigrant turnout in Los Angeles alone – and some credit is deserved – the real legwork was done by a more eclectic group of organizations: leftist labor unions, George Soros-funded agitators, Open Borders lobbyists, Roman Catholic clergy, and teachers unions. . . .Pandering to illegals is, of course, an exercise in building political power. The pandering curries favor with those legals who want the company of their "brothers and sisters" from south of the border. And many of the illegals will become voters themselves -- sooner rather than later if the Left has its way. (U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) analyzes the Left's strategy in an article at Human Events Online: "Democrats Will Use Immigration to Divide and Conquer.") President Bush seems to believe that he can corral some of those voters into the GOP, but I have no doubt that the GOP will come up with the short end of the stick.
Andres Jiminez, director of the University of California's California Policy Research Center, told the media, “It's not only Latinos who are marching in the streets, its unions too: firefighters, farm workers and Hispanic students who had thought of U.S. law as protecting them and are now starting to see it as a threat to their future.”
He was right about this much: Latino organizations did not act alone. The media has failed to report that organized labor directed the illegals and minors. The L.A. Times revealed the rally’s “security” was handled by a union identified only as “Local 1877.” That would be local 1877 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the far-Left union founded by New Left radical Andrew Stern, which called for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq in June 2004 and worked in concert with Ted Kennedy to roll back anti-terrorist Homeland Security measures. According to the L.A. Times, the SEIU’s goons kindly helped “herd marchers along the route.” That was not the extent of SEIU’s help, though. The union also “coordinated the more than 100 buses that dropped off marchers from throughout California, Las Vegas and a few Southwestern cities.”
In other words, the massive rally against Homeland Security – since that is what gaining control of America’s borders would promote – was staged by a leftist labor union and staffed primarily with illegal immigrants.
SEIU did not work alone in this. It was aided by other radical or left-wing political pressure groups [which Johnson details].
Which leads me to Thomas Sowell, who makes sense, as usual, in "Guests or gate crashers" at townhall.com:
The Bush administration is pushing a program to legalize "guest workers." But what is a guest? Someone you have invited. People who force their way into your home without your permission are called gate crashers.I fully understand and agree with the economic arguments for "open borders" -- and I do favor free trade and outsourcing (e.g., read this post and follow the links at the bottom). But the immigration issue is really about political power. The cause of illegal immigration is mainly (though not entirely) a Leftist play for power and the expansion of the welfare state.
If truth-in-packaging laws applied to politics, the Bush guest worker program would have to be called a "gate-crasher worker" program. The President's proposal would solve the problem of illegal immigration by legalizing it after the fact. . . .
None of the rhetoric and sophistry that we hear about immigration deals with the plain and ugly reality: Politicians are afraid of losing the Hispanic vote and businesses want cheap labor.
What millions of other Americans want has been brushed aside, as if they don't count, and they have been soothed with pious words. But now the voters are getting fed up, which is why there are immigration bills in Congress.
The old inevitability ploy is often trotted out in immigration debates: It is not possible to either keep out illegal immigrants or to expel the ones already here.
If you mean stopping every single illegal immigrant from getting in or expelling every single illegal immigrant who is already here, that may well be true. But does the fact that we cannot prevent every single murder cause us to stop enforcing the laws against murder? . . .
Let's hope the immigration bills before Congress can at least get an honest debate, instead of the word games we have been hearing for too long.
UPDATE: For many of the "legals" and "illegals" the real name of the game is "stick it to the man" or "stick it to whitey" -- and white-dominated Leftists play along, in the naive belief that they are immune from being "stuck." Relevant images and text, from Michelle Malkin:
03/28 : Student protest
Whittier area students from Pioneer, California and Whittier high schools walked out of classes to protest the proposed federal immigration bill March 27, 2006. The protestors put up the Mexican flag over the American flag flying upside down at Montebello High. (Leo Jarzomb/Staff photo)
Meanwhile: Mexico Cheers Passage of Immigration Bill
Like I said: Welcome to reconquista.
I predict this stunt will be the nail in the coffin of any guest-worker/amnesty plan on the table in Washington. The image of the American flag subsumed by another and turned upside down on American soil is already spreading on Internet forums and via e-mail.
The battle for borders and immigration laws that actually mean something, however, hasn't even begun.
Update 3/29 1030am EST. New photo from the Dallas pro-illegal immigration student rally via the Dallas Morning News:
Click here for full-size.