Monday, April 03, 2006

Immigration In The U.S.A.

Molly Ivins had an insightful tongue-in-cheek commentary regarding the immigration issue currently on the political talk show circuit. Titled "Immigration 101 for Beginners and Non-Texans", Ms. Ivins takes a stab at reducing illegal immigrants.

"Numero Two-o, should you actually want to stop Mexicans and OTMs (other than Mexicans) from coming to the United States, here is how to do it: Find an illegal worker at a large corporation. This is not difficult—brooms and mops are big tipoffs. Then put the CEO of that corporation in prison for two or more years for violating the law against hiring illegal workers.

Got it? You can also imprison the corporate official who actually hired the illegal and, just to make sure, put some Betty Sue Billups—housewife, preferably one with blond hair in a flip—in the joint for a two-year stretch for hiring a Mexican gardener. Thus Americans are reminded that the law says it is illegal to hire illegal workers and that anyone who hires one is responsible for verifying whether or not his or her papers are in order. If you get fooled and one slips by you, too bad, you go to jail anyway."

The point being that people from many places come here for work - to make money to send back home - because they know they can find that job. Employers are eager to save money in a capitalist-style economy, so they continue to hire cheap labor.

Hence, if one is serious about slowing down the rate of illegal immigration, one might wish to curtail the sugary nectar that is bringing the worker bees over to the field.

Groups and individuals that hire workers with little background check or desire to know the legality of their workers would not be friendly to this type of enforecement that Ivins suggests. The House Republicans likely will not be able to produce a piece of legislation that will satisfy their nativists base along with their corporate benefactors.

For the most part, the Democrats appear to be working on the margins while the Republicans try and figure out which policy will come closer to a political victory. The prediction: Immigration will be a third-rate issue come November 2006. Coming in first will be Iraq and the Administration's grand policy on nation-building as well as general security. Second on the scale may be institutional corruption of Republican making.

Democrats may well find an opportunity to claim some form of solidarity this year.

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