If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Deja vu

I was skimming an article this morning about an Arizona law that will kick in Jan. 1 that will prevent companies from hiring undocumented workers. Even though it's not in effect yet, illegal immigrants are packing up and moving to greener pastures now, which is more or less the intended effect of the law.

There weren't any surprises in the story until I got to this:

"But others say the state's economy will pay a price for the sanctions.

"If these workers leave, it's going to hurt the economy and put the state at an economic disadvantage with other states," Judith Gans, program manager for immigration policy at the University of Arizona*, told the newspaper."

The first image that popped into my mind was of mid-19th Century plantation owners bemoaning the fact that they couldn't afford to pay people to do the work the slaves were doing. I know it's not the same thing. Undocumented workers are willing to work for less money than Americans are; it's a win/win for them and the employer. But let's think about it another way. What if employers were hiring escaped convicts instead of illegal immigrants? Would you want to go to a fast food joint if you knew a rapist or a murderer was on the staff? I'm not saying that all illegal immigrants are violent, but they're breaking the law just the same as if they were shoplifting or embezzling money. There has been selective enforcement of the law for too many years. Enough excuses.

Thank you to the legislatures of Arizona and Oklahoma for doing something about illegal immigration. I hope the rest of our leaders will follow your example.

*Oh, and by the way, why does the University of Arizona need a program manager for immigration policy? I would think her job would be to keep track of student visas, not opine about the effect of a new law. I wonder what her boss at the State University thinks about her implied support of illegal immigration?



Blogger Jean said...

How about embezzlers and con artists instead of rapists and murders? People in the country illegally aren't more harmful to us than either of those two criminal elements, but you would want them to be turned in to law enforcement instead of hired to serve you.

I work with inmates like the first two examples every day. Nice folks. Not likely to harm me physically in any way. Reasonably trustworthy, within tight limits (they mess up, they go straight to the Federal Pen in Atlanta -- that's a strong incentive to stay at our "country club" place). They're inmates. But once they've served their sentences and are released to rejoin society, I wish them the best -- they will be there legally. I feel the same about people who are in this country illegally. I want them to do what it takes to be here legally.

As for your analogy to slavery, it's valid. No, illegals aren't slaves in fact, but in many ways, they are ripe for exploitation because of their status. And people who hire them know this. Some use it to their advantage -- and not to the advantage of the person just looking for a better way of life.

7:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home