This is a great piece by our friend JackelopeBreeder who lives on the border and lives the nightmare of the invasion every day.
_____________ Published: Oct 27, 2005
Post Date: 2005-10-27 23:41:06 by JackelopeBreeder
Ping List: *Immigration Issues Ping List*
The current usage of the phrase “immigation reform” easily qualifies as one of the most savagely twisted examples of semantics in current politics. Absolutely none of the proposals I have read to date has anything to do with immigration.
Nowhere in all the rhetoric and sophomoric sound bites is there a single reference to that forgotten group – legal immigrants. Remember them? They’re the honest people who are trying to reach this country using the legally prescribed channels. They spend thousands of dollars in fees, submit reams of paperwork, undergo thorough background and health checks – and wait for years while the bureaucracy shambles along and randomly loses key documents. It’s a miracle we have any legal immigration at all.
Has anyone reading this screed seen any proposals to fix legal immigration? If so, I really want to hear about it. Our government can’t even begin to handle the 500,000 still legally waiting offshore at any one moment in a timely fashion. Our politicians must be living in a drug-addled alternate reality if they think the government can even begin to handle the 10 to 12 million illegal aliens estimated to be working here. Toss in their families and we could easily be talking about 30 million “guests”.
First, stop and think of the sheer size of the bureaucracy needed to administer a guest worker program of that magnitude. You would needs tens of thousands of new government workers: clerks, investigators, adjudicators, etc. One of the first things to happen would be diversion of a very large chunk of the legal immigration workforce at Citizenship and Immigration Services to handle the illegal alien hordes. Legal immigration would slow to a virtual halt; is that fair to those who have been trying to get here legally? Does this constitute “immigration reform”?
It is about amnesty, even if few of our politicians have the spine to admit it. Most politicians would have to put on a double pair of Depends undergarments before uttering the word. Unfortunately, amnesty is a constant aspect of the game on our southern border.
When an illegal alien is caught crossing the first time, it’s a misdemeanor. If they’re Mexican, they are offered voluntary deportation in lieu of charges – a form of amnesty – and returned home. The Border Patrol sees a lot of repeat clientele; under Federal law, each repeat offense is a felony. Still, they are “amnestied” back across the border, sometimes dozens of times. Do we let all the felony counts slide?
Let’s look at the colorful life of an illegal alien and the list of legal issues that make their existence here possible: document fraud, forgery, identity fraud, identity theft, working illegally, tax evasion, tax fraud, fraudulent use of government benefits, etcetera ad nauseum and most are considered felonies. Do we amnesty all of these activities as well?
If an American citizen gets caught at any of these pursuits they end up as a Guest Worker – as a Guest of the State – and amnesties are few and far between for them.
The government owes the rest of us the assurance that any guest worker meets the same background checks as anyone trying to legally immigrate. They at least owe us something better than the existing system that renewed several 9/11 hijackers’ visas six months after they died whacking the World Trade Center and killing a few thousand people.
Most illegal aliens have totally inadequate personal documentation. Many have fraudulent documentation, often in a variety of names. We really don’t know who they are and have little chance of adequately checking their backgrounds in their home countries or here. And remember, their home country really doesn’t want them back, especially if they have a troublesome past.
From a taxpayer viewpoint, just looking at the size of the required bureaucracy for screening illegal aliens to become guest workers, all the cheapness in cheap labor went right out the window. Tax collections go up to pay for it, or tax revenues are diverted away from programs for American citizens.
Now let’s look at the side of “immigration reform” that our leaders constantly promise, but haven’t delivered since the days of Dwight Eisenhower: enforcement. Every “immigration reform” measure since that time consisted of an amnesty and a promise of future enforcement. We certainly got the amnesties, but apparently the future that contains the enforcement has not arrived yet.
So, if it ain’t “immigration reform”, just what is all this bizarre yammering from the District of Corruption?
Well, part of it is economic reform for Mexico. Until recently, their oil revenues were at Number One on the official revenue list. Mexico’s oil revenues for 2004 amounted to $24 billion; remittances from its erstwhile citizens here in El Norte almost matched that. Add in the $8 billion generated by trafficking in aliens and oil comes in second. (Those who dabble in diplomacy advise me not to mention this, but aliens and oil are at a very distant second and third place disadvantage when compared to Mexico’s illicit narcotics revenues. Mentioning this rude fact in polite company is the same level of social and diplomatic faux pas as openly remarking on the Queen of England’s buns.)
Another part is political reform, again for the advantage of Mexico. The best one can say for Mexico’s government is that it has been totally ineffectual since its independence from Spain. Then again, it was worse before that. Now, however, they have the advantage of being able to ship the discontented, the indigent and uneducated off to El Norte, thus delaying any serious reforms in that benighted country – and our government lets them.
The last part is labor reform pure and simple, but this time on behalf of certain industries in the United States that have become addicted to cheap labor. The more cunning amongst this crowd do not want to see any reforms whatsoever. Why?
Hector, the legal guest worker would have the same protections as an American employee: prevailing wages, Workers Compensation, Social Security, and all those other expenses the employer is trying to avoid. Remember, it’s all about privatizing profits and socializing costs. If Hector costs as much as a gringo, then he’s no longer cheap labor. But hey, there’s always Carlos, the next illegal alien over the fence, to replace him in the under-the-table wage group. Besides, if our previous history of non-enforcement is any indication, our unscrupulous employers can expect a visit from unicorns long before they see a visit from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
Do you want a peek at the real dirty little secret of “immigration reform”? Just look closely at the AgJobs bill championed by Congressman Chris Cannon of Utah. Hidden away in the details (and truly the Devil is in the details) is language giving amnesty and official forgiveness to any employer who ever transgressed against hiring illegal aliens. I’m willing to bet the entire bankroll that similar language gets weaseled into any new version of “immigration reform”.
So, if this really isn’t immigration reform, let’s not waste legislative time discussing it. Let’s talk about enforcement instead. Once the government proves the long term ability and will for real enforcement – from the border to the boardroom – maybe we can take another look at some sort of guest worker program in a few years. We’ve seen enough amnesties; now it’s enforcement’s turn. We don’t need new laws for enforcement; we have plenty that have just never been used. We just need the resources to make the system work – and an absence of political interference.
A parting shot at the Cheap Labor Lobby: It’s almost Halloween; a lot of us would like to see some of you wearing orange in honor of the occasion.