Tuesday, May 16, 2006

AN IMMODERATE SUGGESTION

Just about everybody today is discussing – or at least cussing – the President’s speech last night on the topic of immigration reform. VIA Breitbart, AP provides the text:

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/05/15/D8HKHJG80.html

A good effort, I think – a good effort at compromise. Very middle of the road. And to his credit our First Texan did not suggest branding illegal aliens on the ass, steer-style, before tossing them back over the Rio…

GWB covered all the bases, throwing a bone to all constituent groups. More border security, more workplace enforcement, including a so-called tamper proof guest worker ID to be used by the participants in a huge new guest worker program. And all wrapped up in a warm and fuzzy blanket of protection for those GWB refers to as “the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives. They are a part of American life but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law.”

Kumbaya… Kumbaya…

But it’s not amnesty… Not for the illegal immigrants, at least.

It’s amnesty for the illegal employers…

I was surprised this morning. Over at the popular anti-immigration blog Daniel’s Political Musings http://danielisright.blogspot.com/ I read thirty comments to “The president's sellout” and not one of them mentioned the problem of illegal employment… There was mention, as there was in GWB’s speech, of “jobs Americans won’t do.”

I’ve billed myself as a moderate. By “moderate” I mean I’m more interested in evidence than ideology, but “moderate” is a poor descriptor. It would be more accurate to say I am an unaligned skeptical pragmatist, willing to change my mind as the facts dictate.

And I have a few immoderate comments… Followed by an immoderate suggestion…

The evidence becomes increasingly clear: The root of the problem isn't security at the border. Its thousands of repeat felons among us. Not the illegal aliens in their millions, but the thousands of US employers who routinely, deliberately break the law or at least violate its spirit.

"Jobs Americans won't do." Bullshit!

Jobs Americans won't do for half a wage, perhaps. Jobs Americans won't do without being properly compensated for overtime. Jobs Americans won't do under substandard conditions or with substandard, unsafe equipment. Jobs Americans won't do because the foreman is the clone of an 1840 Alabama slavemaster.

Increasingly it becomes clear that whole industries have used immigrant labor, legal or otherwise, to gut the labor market, debase the wage and benefit expectations, and generally put unscrupulous entrepreneurs in the driver's seat - and they're driving the rest of us off a cliff.

The rest of the arguments are studies in the chimeric:

Border security is a pipe dream, as is forced deportation – neither are practically attainable, if only for reasons of expense. To his credit, the Compromiser-in-Chief recognizes the scaling issue and doesn’t advocate forced deportation. But he does mollify the “build a wall” crowd with a promise of 6,000 National Guard troops to aid the 12,000 immigration officers already present.

Still, a force of 18,000 on a 2,000 mile border between two nations that do 100 billion dollars worth of legal trade a year on top of all the illegal activity is a joke…

And the guest worker program is a sellout to the capitalist bastards who created the problem, one illegal hire at a time.

Let's get to the root of the issue. We need real enforcement of the hiring laws we have. And while a biometric ID sounds good in theory, it’s how many years away? And what good will it do in an atmosphere of wink & nod enforcement?

GWB proposes more agents on the border to follow the “temporary” guard deployment. Here’s a better suggestion: Let's put those agents - we can't use the troops - in the workplace. And throw the book at every employer, no excuses accepted, no slack cut. Bankrupt them. Shut them down. And no plausible deniability, either. We don't care if you didn't know; you're still done.

If you accept a counterfeit $100 bill, you lose the $100 dollars – and you might just get arrested for a crime you didn’t commit. Why should accepting counterfeit ID be an acceptable excuse for committing a felony?

Employers don’t know? My ass they don’t know. They don’t want to know. You see no evil with eyes wide shut.

There is no other way. Staying in the middle of the road will make us all roadkill. We either have to give up and move as fast as possible toward total integration of the two Nations – one unified economy with one set of labor, wage, and environmental standards – or we have to enforce our standards at home and leave them in the third world they choose to inhabit. In order to enforce our standards, we have to shut down the “Mexican” sub-economy operating here in the US. The way to do that is jail the bastards who profit from that economic activity. Jail them and confiscate all of their assets. When the opportunity dries up the illegal aliens will deport themselves.

Allowing two economies to operate side by side has vastly degraded the lot of the American blue-collar worker and the unskilled, entry-level worker, and it has helped to pull everyone else down as well. Wage-wise, we’re all treading water – while the collateral strains on infrastructure sap public treasuries.

One way or the other. Moderation got us into this fix in the first place.

Any takers? Not among GWB's business supporters, I'll wager...

Comments:
very little I disagree with here.

A guest worker program will work by the way- if and only if it is accompanied by the means to make people use it.

That leads us right to the employer crackdown. We have to shut down the market on illegals and make the only path to being here a legal one.

Thats why I suggested it should be the second priority behind border security. They are directly linked.

Stop the new people from coming in as best you can, take away the market for the ones that slip past, and at the same time force the ones here to either go home or register to work legally because no employer will are take a risk on hiring them.

And yes, i agree, some small businesses might suffer, but if they did other illegal acts, they would suffer likewise.

Consequences.
 
Count me as a taker. I have a hard time beleaving that when an employer does witholding the government doesnt notify him that someones ss number isnt lining up. At that point I feel the employer has been duely notified. Go and arrest them after that as far as I am concerned.
 
The President did not say "jobs Americans won't do."

He said "jobs Americans aren't doing."

This is a substantial shift in meaning and cannot reasonably be read to mean the same thing.
 
OK, let's get some facts here.

Two types of employers, honest and dishonest.

Dishonest: signs up a bunch of illegals, gets the fake ID, fakes the deductions for FICA etc. on the pay stubs and pockets the deductions.
Bust 'em if we can find 'em, but no paperwork is going to the Fed, so how to find 'em?

Honest: makes photocopies of [fake] SSA card and [fake] picture ID and files regular payroll paperwork and payments. Federal law prohibits any further employer investigation into immigration status. In 6 months to 2 years, a letter comes in that the SSN is a no-match. Said letter requests correction, but (at least for awhile during the Clinton Administration) expressly prohibits any action such as dismissal.
Employer is in the bullseye, and has no way to jump.

Last year (I disremember the source) IRS had 9 million uncorrectable no-match SSN's. So that's just from the honest employers. True, some of those are Anglo yahoos dodging child support or creditors or a stack of warrants. The rest are illegals with bogus SSN's. Or sleepers.

Same (disremembered) source stated that the most-used bogus SSN was used by over 4400 people.

We have to fix the border, that's a given. But right behind that, we have to fix the ID problem.

How to do that is a whole 'nother question. Maybe we can address that later.


- Niccolo
 
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