Friday, January 09, 2004

The Wall Street Journal Supports the Immigration Plan
Their lead editorial is in favor of it.

Key quote
Like it or not, the U.S. is part of an integrating regional and world economy in which the movement of people across borders is inevitable. Despite nearly 20 years of efforts to "crack down on the borders," the immigrants keep coming--an estimated eight million without legal U.S. documents today. As long as the per capita income differential between the U.S. (nearly $32,000) and Mexico ($3,679) continues to be so wide, we can't stop immigrants short of means that will violate our traditions, our conscience, and our national interest.

Do we really want to deputize all of American business to report and arrest illegals? We tried a version of that in the 1986 reform that was promoted by restrictionists, and it proved both a nuisance and a failure. We later beefed up the border guard, but all that did was move illegal crossings deeper into the shadows of organized crime and cause more illegals to stay here for longer periods. We could always next build a Berlin Wall along the 2,000 miles of U.S.-Mexican border, or deploy the 101st Airborne, but we doubt Americans would be morally comfortable with either.

Another Key Quote

The proposal also has the advantage of making it easier to track foreigners who enter the country in our post-September 11 world. Valuable homeland security resources are now being squandered chasing down Honduran gardeners instead of more likely terrorist threats. Giving them legal status would let the law-abiding move out into the open and away from possible exploitation by cynical employers or landlords.

Couldn't agree with the Journal more. Let's face it, without the people working here wages at positions that illegals formerly worked at would be raised to attract only "True Americans." The costs would get passed on through the economy making the most product more expensive, slowing down our economic growth, and in the end costing a significant number of jobs (perhaps on par with the number opened for "True Americans," anybody know of a study attempting to quantify this?). Oh yeah, and the southwestern half of our country, plus Chicago would probably be shut down as well. So we have an interest to turn a blind eye to the problem, but that means that we aren't security checking this immigrants either. I like Bush's proposal because it deals with both of these issues.

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