Friday, March 15, 2013

Don't Blame the Immigrants

Despite the media-driven mantra that our immigration system is broken, the previous post suggest that this is not so. Our immigration system is not broken; it is not designed to process and accommodate the several million people who want into our country.

Why do they want into our country? THEIR OWN COUNTRIES ARE BROKEN.

We do not have a massive influx of immigrants from civilized Western European nations attempting to come to America. Those countries provide the rule of law,  basic human rights (especially property rights), and education that enable their citizens to prosper. These people possess the cultural capital to sustain civilization. Those countries which are the source of most of our immigrants--Mexico, China, Viet Nam, the Dominican Republic among others--do not.

One can hardly blame the immigrants for their desire to come to America. For most immigrants it must be a difficult decision to make. Driven by desperation, they deliberate about leaving the land of their birth, including their friends, family, and familiar culture for a new country with plenty of opportunities but no guarantees.

For those who are angry about immigration--legal and illegal--they might direct their animosity to the farms and businesses who hire them. These businesses see the immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, as workers who will perform for much less money than the average American. Moreover, these farms and businesses will not have to contribute social security taxes for illegal workers.

Many government entities enable these farms and businesses to continue hiring illegal aliens. While most of the focus is on the lack of border control, many local associations of county commissioners and municipal associations subvert the law. They oppose the e-verify program because the businesses that contract for county and city projects hire illegal aliens. This helps reduce the cost of those projects for local governments.

Several decades ago, CBS New broadcast a documentary called "Harvest of Shame." It exposed the terrible working conditions of American migrant farm workers. These workers, of course, were uneducated and unskilled people who, without these jobs, produced nothing but more of themselves. 

For the most part, the conditions have changed. But so have the workers. They are now immigrants--many illegal-- who will work for even less.

When I watch this, I wonder where are the Americans that use to do this kind of work? Have they found other kinds of unskilled work? Are they now caught up in the cycle of urban poverty within the welfare state that Lyndon Johnson erected in the decade following this broadcast? And how does NAFTA affect the farms and the workers who must compete with produce picked by low wage agricultural workers in Central and South America and imported into the United States?


BrianR said...


And now we're positioned to repeat the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli debacle, right down to hearing the same vacant "promises" in exchange for amnesty that are sure to be ignored and broken once the amnesty is accomplished: secure borders, employment verification, blah blah blah...

Except this time we're amnestizing 5 times as many illegal aliens.

This is national idiocy on a majestic scale. Unbelievable.

RightDetour said...

Promises ignored and broken?

Brian . . . how jaded . . . how cynical.

CW said...

Hi V.L.

First, thank you for stopping by Nox & Friends! Your commentary is always appreciated.

You’ve hit on a crucial problem with the immigration debate which is the enticement the illegals continue to receive in the form of jobs. The problem with cheap, illegal labor is that if one company does it, they pretty much all have to if they want to compete and stay in business. There’s no way to stop it unless the gov’t is diligent about enforcing the law. It also doesn’t help that we entice illegals with free benefits. Drying that money up might discourage illegals as well. To me, those kind of things are what we should be talking about when we talk about “comprehensive immigration reform.”