Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Illegal Aliens

Here's what I believe:

  • If you are inside the borders of the United States of America, you had better be a citizen or a registered guest. You can't just sneak through the back door and think we don't care. The first time you get caught, we'll ship you home. The second time we'll throw you in jail for a while, then ship you home anyway. The third time, we'll throw you in jail for life.
  • We don't owe illegal aliens free healthcare, or free schooling, or free anything else. It shouldn't even be a question. See the first point.
  • I don't believe we need immigrant workers in the US because they will do jobs Americans refuse to do. We Americans do some pretty crappy jobs (just watch "Dirty Jobs" on TV). How about the guy who squishes cow manure in his bare hands to figure out if the feed mix needs to be adjusted? Or how about the guy who sucks the stuff out of the Port-A-Johns?The truth of the matter is that employers can hire illegal aliens to do these kinds of jobs for a fraction of the pay that most Americans would demand. If you offered me $200,000/yr to clean out Port-A-Johns with a toothbrush, I might consider it. The point is that if we cut off the supply of illegal aliens to employers, the employers would have to bid up the pay scale until workers accept the jobs.However, there are also many cases of jobs that had been filled by Americans who get replaced by illegal alients who will do the job for less. Around where I live, most every American framing carpenter and drywaller has been replaced by a Mexican crew. Those aren't crappy jobs that Americans won't do! Some will argue that if we have to pay more for labor, the prices of goods and services will go up. Yes, that's probably true. But we're paying for it anyway through our taxes, to pay for free healthcare, and free schools, and all that stuff. Reread the prior two points. I'd rather let the free market forces figure out what labor is worth, and what products and services are worth, than have a system based on government subsidy -- which is what we have now.
  • If you come in legally to work for a little while, then go back home, you are a welcome guest. It enrichens both of us to have that kind of cultural interaction. I hope I am as welcome to be a guest worker in your country as you are here.
  • If you are here as our guest, and don't intend to ever go home, then in some ways, you are insulting us. You want all the benefits of citizenship without the obligations. Maybe your spouse is American, and you both decided that you wanted to live here. I guess I understand loyalty to the home country. But it seems like you are saying "I want to live in America, I just don't want to be one." That's the insult.
  • If you have have come to America as a legal guest, with the dream of becoming an American citizen, then I look forward to the day you take the oath of citizenship. Welcome to your new country!

British Prime Minister Tony Blair said one of my favorite things recently when he was getting pummeled by his countrymen for his support of the US: He said it still seemed like more people were trying to get in than to get out...


No comments: