We all know someone who is anti- illegal immigration. Their attitudes range from those who want illegal immigrants out because they’re stealing American jobs, to those who want illegal immigrants out simply because they’re illegal. On their face, these arguments seem reasonable. In practice, these arguments are not at all reasonable.
Take, for instance, Georgia’s new immigration law that goes into effect on July 1st. This law will require that all employers verify that their employees have legal statuses in order to continue to employ them. If an illegal is discovered, the law gives police the authority to turn illegals over to federal authorities, who will undoubtedly deport them. Problem solved, right?
Wrong. Illegal immigrants, upon learning of the new legislation, have begun to flee Georgia in the thousands. Farmers in Georgia, who have come to rely on illegals as the bulk of their workforce, have been left holding the shit end of the stick. They are left with hardly anyone willing to take the place of the fleeing workers, and even those who are willing to perform the menial, backbreaking labor that illegals were responsible for are unwilling to do so at the pitiful wages that the farmers are offering. That’s not to mention that if you employ American citizens, they’re subject to American employment law, like minimum wage. Farmers have gotten used to avoiding these laws by hiring illegals (that includes food giants like Monsanto).
Now we have already pushed a huge percentage of our food production off of American soil and South of the border. It turns out people in South America will work for a lot less, and private corporations (who, believe me, have much more interest in making money than they do in the good of the American people) have already started taking advantage of that. This means that even if we assume that every state in the U.S. were to some how miraculously follow suit and pass anti-immigration laws like Georgia’s, we would only be pushing the work further away from home, and putting even more money into corporate coffers instead of America’s stifled economy.
Maybe instead of treating the symptom we should treat the cause. If the American legislature were to make a law that required that all persons, regardless of proof of citizen ship, be subject to American wage and working condition regulations, and have access to legal recourse in the even that those rights are violated, then we could see some change. If farmers had to pay these workers a fair wage, and basically treat them like they would treat an American worker or even a legal immigrant, farmers would have no incentive to continue to hire illegals. Their incentive would be to hire the best workers, and if the American workforce is so capable and motivated that it wants those jobs, they can go and get them.
Now some of you may be thinking that by guaranteeing a better wage to illegals, we would be encouraging more and more illegals to come across the border from Mexico. That is in fact incorrect. The reason that illegals are currently flooding across the border is that we have an abundance of low-level jobs available, and although the pay is a pittance it is a fortune compared to what they could earn at home. They come knowing that these jobs are going to be available, because Americans are unwilling to work for such low wages. If the wages are made equal, like I suggest they should be, then that labor vacuum will be sealed and the practically guaranteed availability of work for illegals will disappear. Immigration problem solved.
It is these kind of well-thought out strategies that treat the real cause of our problems. Those Americans who think that we can solve the problem by treating the symptom are just wrong. It seems counter-intuitive, but it is in fact logically sound. This is why our forefathers put so much value on equality and the maintenance of a free market. Right now, well, the free market is a FARCE, and I think deep down we all know it.
Painfully. Slow. Progress.