|The realpolitik of immigration
By Vincent Fiore
One has only to reference the showing by some 500,000-plus legal and illegal Mexican aliens in Los Angeles last weekend to realize that the discussion regarding Immigration and its legality and security concerns is now "The" topic of discussion across America.
But perhaps "showing" is too kind a word to describe what took place this past week, as hundreds of thousands protested--it seems to the casual observer even--the "right" to be in the United States illegally.
It was, instead, an onslaught of ungrateful, mostly Mexican nationals that held up banners that read slogans like "This is stolen land" and "Chicano Power." Of course, what protest is complete without the pre-requisite burning of the American flag, and the reference of President Bush as a "Nazi."
Even high school students across Texas and California, adorned in such rebel-conscious fashion as Che Guevara T-shirts, took to the streets, flashing gang signs, and protesting for an alien's right to be here illegally.
The sad part is, most of these young idiots (and if you're wearing a Che shirt, you are an idiot) will never take the time to find out just who and what Che Guevara was.
Does this mean that I want and believe in cheap, illegal labor? No. I want competitive prices, yes, but the price we pay as a country is way too high. Additionally, I have always believed that whatever savings were realized by paying Pedro five dollars an hour instead of paying Peter eight dollars was eaten up by the taxes one pays to subsidize Pedro's life here among his American "landlords."
The solution? Get our kids motivated again; and parents, stop spoiling them with everything from iPods to cars by their sixteenth birthday. Americans are the hardest working people in the world. This should include the future of the country that seems too busy with the instant gratification that life in the United States offers.
As a side note to this, a real discussion needs to be had regarding the minimum wage. It was never meant to support families on, but to ingratiate a youngster into the world of earned pay. Raising the minimum wage will lead to less jobs in the long run, and even less opportunities for Americans to find employment, gainful or otherwise. When one makes five dollars a day, as they do in Mexico, America's minimum wage looks like lotto to them.
Next, security is a major issue here. What good is anything Congress or the president does if ten years later, we find ourselves in the same boat? Remember, the Reagan administration and that Congress dealt with the same problem as we are today, only the numbers have changed significantly. The United States is a republic, which means it is a land governed according to law. We have the laws on the books already, so it hardly seems necessary to make more. Just enforce what's there, for
The idea of 700-mile fences, thousands of additional border agents, and robotic surveillance of the border is all well and good, but how does one legislate the will to actually want to stop illegals from entering the country?
Economics is probably the biggest single concern regarding illegal immigration, but it is a two-sided argument. If it's true--and it is in some respects--that hiring illegals makes it easier for business to lower its price to the public, does the public stand ready to sacrifice price over principle? Americans are clearly against illegal immigration, and are nearly of one voice when it comes to security of the border.
Great, you say. If things were to drastically change regarding illegal immigration, will paying $4.99 for a head of lettuce make Americans pine away for those good old days of cheap goods, brought to you courtesy of cheap and illegal labor? In my opinion, this is the question that drives Congress.
Vincent Fiore is a freelance political writer who lives in New York City. His work can be seen on a host of sites, including the American Conservative Union, GOPUSA, ChronWatch, and Opinioneditorials. Vincent is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance and a contributing writer for NewsBusters.org. He receives e-mail at email@example.com.
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