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« DaVinci's Code Cracks | Main | The Whole Package »

April 03, 2006


The issue isn't about allowing them to stay. Even if we could stop illegal immigration today, we have over 11,000,000 in the country already. There is no way we are going to round up and deport that many people. In a free country, people will flow to the jobs. Abscent unions and strong labor laws, there are no good solutions here.

I mostly agree, Alan, only to add that if we actually enforced the existing labor laws, and arrested employers who habitually employ illegals, things would change. Once we saw CEOs of big corps that employ illegals on TV in handcuffs, a lot of employment for these folks would dry up, and many would leave on their own, once they realized they wont be able to find a new job. And the correct figure is probably 20,000,000+ illegals in the country, from the figures I've seen.

This is a genuine concern that gets lost in the discussion and has bothered me for a while.

When people talk about letting illegal immigrants stay in the country in the current debate, they usually mean granting them a temporary legal status. Although their status would be temporary, at least they would be able to participate in society at the level that other immigrants with temporary status (H1s, education visas, etc.) do.

But the fact is, even in the current situation, nobody is forcing these people to come here. They are risking their lives to be "used" because even the wages they obtain as "illegals" are better than the opportunities in their home countries.

What about cheap labor in other countries where their governments don't mandate higher wages and certain working conditions, and don't allow political participation on the level our state does? It could be argued along the same lines that we are "using" these people when we buy imported goods.

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