Monday, March 24, 2008

Who Dat Say "Who Dat?" When I Say Who Dat?

On 3/18/08 8:17, "Thomas Bell" wrote:

John's thoughts echo several positions that good people have taken. I agree with much that he says, with a couple of add-ins.

A key to the problem we have now is the willingness of people to employ illegal immigrants in the face of current laws. We here in the southwest deal with illegal immigration in multiple ways daily. The Governor of Arizona signed into effect a law that prohibits employers from employing illegal immigrants and its effect has been interesting. There's an exodus of illegals in advance of the imposition of penalties, and we've heard some kickback from officials in Mexico about being unprepared to deal with the influx of these people, and how shameful our actions were that we'd send all these people south - where they came from in most cases. Unintended consequences? Not from our point of view. Has the local economy collapsed because of the dearth of cheap labor? No.

A 'guest worker' program would work well assuming John's points about control. Part of our problem now is the extension of US citizen benefits to non-citizens, and another categorization of those non-citizens would assist us in our efforts to manage the benefits problem.

Immigration reform is often overlooked in the debate, and can be considered a separate topic. We place limits on granting green cards and citizenship based on country of origin. The hispanic segment doesn't recognize this as an obstacle or even a requirement. They don't want to get in line. The guest worker program could assist in managing this problem by letting those willing to work here - AND PAY TAXES HERE (especially Social Security taxes) - but not desiring citizenship to have a 'legitimate' way to do that without overtaxing the quota system for immigration. However, we do need to reform the quota system to assure that those who can contribute and want to do so on the path to becoming citizens have that opportunity. A personal note: one of the people on the team that cloned a sheep in England applied to emigrate here from his native South Africa. He's on a sixteen year waiting list - even though he has a sponsor and a job waiting here. He's married to one of my wife's sisters who is a US citizen.

I think we could come up with a good plan that's not cluttered with political points of reference. The problem is that we're up against some pretty powerful politicians who would and have twisted the solutions to fit their perspectives instead of addressing the needs and the solutions.

To which I responded -

" Good points – nothing that I find at terrible or irreconcilable difference with what I said :-)

1. I agree with the point about hiring illegal aliens – from anywhere.
It’s just like the drug problem – if you dry up the market then the problem goes away.

2. I don’t really see the two as different issues – if we had a legal and functional immigration process we would have the guest worker program and we wouldn’t have the “necessity” of going underground.

3. I’m not willing to accept the notion that all is fine with those employers who DID hire illegals. Has the local economy collapsed – no – but I guarantee you there are parts of it that are in dire straights. (See the next Post for an example!)

4. Ever try getting a job with the government? Their sense of urgency is, to put it kindly, deeply mentally impaired. In business, people don’t lack that sense of urgency. Their crops are going to rot or their trucks are going to break down, or whatever – but in any profit generating environment there is no lack of the sense of urgency. Businesses don’t need a guest worker program two years from now. They needed one 12 years ago! When there’s no work and you’re desperate there’s even more sense of urgency. This isn’t subject to debate – I’ve been there and I know.

5. I disagree with the notion that “the hispanic segment doesn’t... want to get in line” I think if there were a rational guest worker program they’d be happy to get in line – because the line wouldn’t be 5 or 8 or 16 years long!! Hell, if you had to wait a month to check out of a Wal-mart store you’d pitch a serious bitch ... Or you’d find an alternative way to accomplish what you wanted... Like maybe Joe in the stockroom would let you out the backdoor with your stuff for $100. Now let’s say that what you wanted to buy was critical to the survival of your wife and kids.

In short, I think the most dumb-ass thing we can do is make everybody involved a criminal and start throwing them in jail, fining them out of business, or throwing them back over the border as the nature of the situation calls for. What kind of stupid nonsense is that when we could be creating a win-win that drains far fewer of our resources and contributes much more to our entire hemisphere? Let’s see should we do the smart thing or should we be profoundly stupid? I know!!! We’ll be stupid!!!

Your right – if we could get the politicians out of the middle of this we could sort it out and implement solutions in less time than it takes to argue about it... But they won’t ... So how are we going to fix this?


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