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The illegal aliens dilemma

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We all like a bargain, right? It’s not saying too much that most people prefer if possible to pay the lowest price they can find for any particular item. And that’s a reasonable attitude.

But the fact is we can’t have it both ways. In Herndon, an area around Washington, D.C., they apparently have a problem with great crowds of immigrants just hanging around, standing on residents’ property, while they’re waiting to be chosen for day work. Everybody’s complaining. But a DC radio show host (reported in Potomac Confidential) calls the proposed solution–building a special place for immigrant worker-wannabes to stand around–what it really is: “but it’s really only a band-aid on a festering wound, and the underlying fact is that even those who complain about illegal immigration act in ways that encourage it–in our decisions about where we shop and how we hire.”

We’ve written in previous posts of about Walmart’s less-than-sterling tactics (here and here) to take over business wherever they settle in. But the fact is, they can only do what we support them in doing. As long as we in America put our mouth in one place–no illegal immigrants, no exporting work overseas–but continue to put our money elsewhere–to shop in places that pay pathetic wages and sell products made in China and Thailand and so on because they’re cheaper–we really don’t have a leg to stand on.

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  • KYS

    I agree that successful people would not migrate, but is it an absolute that illegals are the dregs of their society?
    I worked on a farm once where they hired the same (illegal) workers year after year, to work the crops in the summer. They were flown in, got room and board, and a good paycheck at the end of the summer. They were actually really nice guys. I got to know some of them who told me that they made more in one summer with the farm than they could in several years at home. So as far as motive, I think there are many illegals who just want to provide for their families.
    The moral/legal issue of employing these people is a another story…

  • Gonzo, “sealing the border” and taking toenail clippers away from grandmothers are both equally futile approaches to security. Both measures punish people who mean nobody any harm, and both utterly fail to make anyone safe.

  • Nancy

    Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the criminal element prey on fellow illegals + legals from their own countries…for the moment, anyway. Even the legal immigrants around here are against these illegal-job-centers, as well as illegals; they apparently take jobs away from struggling legal immigrants, as well as use up the limited resources available for immigrants besides giving all immigrants a very bad image. Legal immigrants are great people. Illegals are (or should be) subjects of target practice, regardless of where they stem from. If all most of them want is to work here a few years & send money home, then by all means set up a guestworker pass program – but then enforce it, dammit.

  • gonzo marx

    Victor..legal immigration i am all for, it’s how almost all of us got here..and it works for our Nation

    it’s illeagals and all the baggage that comes with it that i have a problem with, for reasons i have stated previously…

    the Border issue is all about Security as well

    you know..not having people that want to blow us up just wander into the country…

    futile, i know..but quite a bit more effective than taking toenail clippers away from grandma, don’t ya think?


  • Nancy

    Illegals are the dregs of their own countries. Successful people seldom migrate. Additionally, a substantial portion of them are violent & dangerous, as a raft of recent murders & machete assaults in the DC area have demonstrated – mostly carried out by scumbags that have already been deported at least once & come slithering back in again. In the case of repeat offenders w/criminal records, I think perhaps an ounce of lead is the best prevention & deterrance, as deportation seems to be only a fun visit home for most of them. In any event, just be being here, these scum are disrespecting the laws & citizens of the US, as well as those who take the time & trouble to apply for entry legally. We certainly should NOT be making things more welcoming or tolerable for illegals in any way.

  • Barbara

    I agree one hundred percent, Victor. It’s pretty much an impossibility anyway–the Wall of China and the Berlin Wall serve only to remind us of earlier attempts when people thought the world could be physically divided. A post I wrote today about substances like fire retardant found in the bellies of Canadian bears who eat salmon–and evidence of where the pollution came from–clearly demonstrate that the days of thinking we can escape from each other are over.

  • The slave wages, although morally indefensible (no matter how many high school economics teachers may blather about what the market will bear) are actually tangential to my point.

    My point is that no society has ever made itself stronger by attempting to seal itself off from the world in any way. Real strength always requires the free flow of ideas, resources, trade, and people.

    If we dislike the poverty in the rest of the world, we must eliminate poverty everywhere in the world. If we dislike the instability in the rest of the world, we must make all parts of the world secure and stable. Of course it will not be easy, but it is actually possible to succeed in these goals, unlike the impossible and destructive goal of sealing national borders.

  • Barbara Payne

    Sadly, though I agree totally that we shouldn’t be paying “slave” wages to anybody, I think if we instead go the way of, for example, the unions and attempt to keep everyone’s pay artificially elevated, we’ll run smack into the fact that other economies will begin to outperform ours–China, Japan and some others are already trying to head in that direction.

    I believe the problem goes much deeper than manipulating the numbers. Competition forces a lot of dysfunction in our societies. The very structure of our money systems dictates, according to one social-minded economist, that some huge proportion of the world will always be poor and that the rich will automatically get richer. Excellent article in the recent Ode Magazine.

  • gonzo marx

    Victor..i do understand the point you are raising…

    but i do think we need to wean ourselves, as a nation, from “slave labor”…it will be a bit harsh on the economy, but it will ultimately strengthen it in the long run…

    like lancing a boil, you need to get the infection cleaned out before you can heal


  • If we attempt to seal the borders, Gonzo, we will also suffer from the net loss to our economy’s productivity. In fact Americans would probably suffer even more than the immigrants would, since they are much better accustomed to hardship than most of us are.

    Oh, and RJ, let us know when you finish being a high school freshman.

  • gonzo marx

    and following the Laws of this country should be required for participation in our domestic economy..shouldn’t it?

    but that would fuck up the profit margin for those that knowingly violate the Law and hire illeagals, wouldn’t it

    got no sympathy there from me

    maybe removing the artificial downward pressure on wages could help some too…

    but i see how it is for some…the Law is fine, as long as it doesn’t mess with your wallet…



  • RJ

    “do honest back-breaking labor for too little pay”

    If the pay is “too little” then why do they come here?

    Oh, wait. It’s because TO THEM it is NOT “too little” right?

    Economics 101 should be mandatory for all high school freshmen…

  • It might be possible, although extremely expensive, to keep out all the people we don’t really need to keep out of this country. The people who pretty much keep out of trouble, do honest back-breaking labor for too little pay, and contribute a great deal to our economy and culture would be all too easy to keep out if we are willing to spend unlimited amounts of money to do it.

    Terrorists have the resources to circumvent all such measures. They can obtain or forge whatever documents we demand. They can recruit, or create with cosmetic treatments, whatever skin colors and hair textures we demand.

    Attempting to seal the borders of the United States would vastly impoverish our country and utterly fail to make us safe.

  • Barbara

    I doubt if the U.S. Government is willing to pour much money into stopping illegal immigrants who want day labor jobs. The real threats seem to come mainly from educated people who have philosophical issues with U.S. policies–not from people who are hungry and desperate for work and come here because they can expect to find some–at any wage.

  • gonzo marx

    sounds like a perfect place fo the INS to be checking documentation and deporting illeagals out fo the country

    hey, it could happen..

    but i doubt it

    i’ve stated time and again, as long as we allow businesses to get away with hiring illegals, we will have a problem with them streaming over the borders…

    add to that the inherent security problems of a pourus border in this age of a “war on terrorism” and i still can’t understand why this isn’t domestic priority number 1


    ..::insert sound of head exploding and splatting goo all over the Monitaur::..


  • They built a couple of places here in Austin to pick up day laborers, be they legal or illegal and it seems to work fine for getting them out of the neighborhoods. They also hang around at a downtown Home Depot and no one complains. Seems like a reasonable solution.