Take two numbers--easy to remember, if not exactly accurate--$10 and $20. Assume that some farmers and factories hire illegal aliens (undocumented workers) at $10/hour. We're told that Americans won't take these jobs, but surely, they would at some price. If you don't like $20, use your number.
We can all agree that using $10/hour workers makes our food etc. cheaper. Or does it?
What is the cost of maintaining an unemployed worker? Remember it's not just the cost of payments and benefits to the worker but also the cost of administration--the bureaucracy involved. Consider as well, the extra taxes paid by American workers and that all the money stays here in the USA. With twelve million unemployed, a low rate of participation in our work force, and millions of employed workers in part-time jobs, can we afford to leave Americans on the shelf while employing illegals?
I know that most, if not all, illegals are hard-working, deserving people who seek a better life. My personal interactions with Latinos from Central America has been uniformly positive. And I know that deporting these people en masse would create enormous hardship. I also know that we are enabling a political economy in Mexico that borders on insanity.
A program that allows all, or almost all, illegals to stay is unfair to Americans (particularly the unemployed) and to all those others yearning to be free in Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East where women are kept in the Dark Ages. It is also an economic distortion allowing some employers an unfair advantage in costs and working conditions.
We need a program that is balanced in ethnicities and nationalities with perhaps some preferences for our neighbors, north and south. It should work to our economic and social advantage (no back-door additions to our welfare expenses), and no person allowed to stay illegally. Some percentage of entry slots (10-20%) should be allocated on humanitarian grounds in cooperation with the UN to keep our politicians out of it. All immigrants should have a path to citizenship (it might be required after ten years residence) including requirements for basic English.
In sum: the program should serve the best interests of America, not those of our politicians and their moneyed backers. Fat chance.
STRIKE, is now available in paperback. You can obtain it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble (use title and my full name). Or, from me $12.00 post paid.