I’ve seen a few comments pop up. My hope is to educate, not pontificate. Even Newt Gingrich has (had?) a rather moderate view on immigration challenges in the U.S. Those who drive the anti-immigration agenda don’t have the Republican Party’s best interests in mind. Former U. S. Representative Lincoln Diaz-Ballart of Florida, and his brother Mario, also Republicans, tend to agree with the moderate position.
Who wants to oppose legal and legalizing immigration, when it is needed to achieve law enforcement goals? I think that most appreciate law and order, but ignore the cost in taxes. There are also a few who are jealous of those working harder, even without work authorization, but still make quicker money in our capitalist system. Finally, there are the stalwarts against immigration simply based upon desires of zero population growth. In the end, law enforcement demands a compromise. Otherwise, the ongoing hypocrisy will plague the U.S.
It seems like this Alabama, Arizona, and Georgia mandate makes local police responsible for chasing after foreigners, which is a job reserved and paid for by the Feds. The last politician who had the guts to do anything significant about it was President Reagan. And it was no amnesty, either! It was legalization needed to balance out the hypocrisy and injustices created by poor enforcement.
Legalization disqualified many applicants. Legacy I.N.S. just needed to better track fraud in the system with timely indictments against the non-attorney notaries, among others, who filed fraudulent and frivolous applications for unsuspecting foreigners.
In the current situation, with new anti-immigration laws of 1996 and deficit funding, more government jobs are created by anti-immigrant forces. It takes money and staff hours to train law enforcement on these laws, as well. Conservatives should realize that stricter laws create the need for more law enforcement or a legislative hypocrisy (laws that are poorly enforced as a matter of discretion; underfunded mandates).
Of course, more government employment drives up the budget and this encourages higher taxes. Budget shortfalls are an undebatable reality that anti-immigration forces ignore, when they push to enact laws.
The threat of arrest also chases away the unskilled, lawful or unlawful, who are willing to work for what the U.S. market will pay for some jobs. Georgia peaches will get rotten and peanuts will perish. People will buy their fruit from Argentina or Mexico, when labor prices make American fruit unaffordable; we do that now!
That’s why I cannot understand why conservatives who want to see the deficit drop and lower taxes embrace such unattainable goals. These goals without a viable unskilled work visa program simply chase agri-jobs abroad. These folks will move to Argentina, Central America, and Chile if there are no more agri-jobs in the U.S. available to them.
It will also result in the closure of more American Farms, since the non-immigrant visa process is already too complicated and restrictive for most farmers to afford. In fact many, find the laws to be so unrealistic that they won’t lie to the Government on paper, they just hire the folks off the payroll and hope for the best. In the end, we create more criminals and agricultural monopolies like Archer Daniels Midland. These jobs don’t easily return to rural America. If our environment changes too much, America creates other environmental complications.
Again, the challenge is that there is not enough taxes to pay for enforcement, which drives up the deficit. If we expect to have safe food, we must pay for enough inspectors. If we expect more immigration enforcement, then many more ICE Agents are needed. Perhaps, we need more than Congress is willing to afford and support.
In the end, the last President that actually understood the need to cut the red tape and legalize foreigners caught in the web of unscrupulous employers and lax immigration enforcement was President Reagan. He was the one who actually worked with Congress, Tip O’Neill, Dick Simpson and Mazzoli to create the I-9 audit, IRCA and Legalization programs.
To date, what we’ve learned is that our economy cannot run without people willing to move to big cities where the jobs are. The jobs are where the populations and wages are, not in rural Alabama and suburban Iowa. The rural areas are always afraid of foreign newcomers. These foreign newcomers too often speak another language and this creates a bit of unjustified paranoia.
The economy in Chicago seems to be doing well enough to fill the mall parking lots beyond capacity. Someone is making money otherwise the lines at the check would not be so outrageously long as they were this weekend in Westfield’s Old Orchard Mall, among other places. Even Whole Foods parking lot in Evanston was packed at 9 p.m.
If we chase jobs outside of the U.S., then products produced elsewhere can no longer be easily regulated. (e.g. natural and synthetic rubber, etc.) Our Government also uses are taxes or bonds to pay for our armed forces and veterans, as well. This contributes to the outrageous deficit. However, those are jobs that our Congress is willing to pay for without much fuss.
In the end, blaming the President, any President, for the action or inaction of Congress seems rather pointless and counterproductive. Obama is as ineffective as George W. on cutting the red tape that creates the hypocrisy of underfunded and unrealistic immigration mandates. Strangely, there have been more deportations under the Obama Administration than any in recent history including George W. Bush.
Yet, the major cities lack the will and funding to adequately enforce the anti-immigration laws, just like Prohibition. Perhaps, the benefits of immigration, lawful or unlawful, overcome the disadvantages in larger cities.
However, as attorneys, we believe that the current laws should be enforced or repealed. Americans cannot appreciate how oppressive the current laws are without the muscle that will eventually create arguable opposition.
If not reasonably enforced, then many of us think that unenforced laws serve no purpose other than to turn democracy into hypocrisy. Passing new laws have not helped; it has only created a class of residents who are unable to ever become lawful permanent residents. These folks are repeatedly victimized, but continue to work because they think that they live a better life in the U.S. spite of the situation. The ongoing helplessness of their plight brings down other Americans, who must complain to overwhelmed Federal Officials, who will continue to lack the staff to enforce the laws.
In a nutshell, the 1996 laws on unlawful presence create an, as yet, unenforced system of laws that perpetuates unlawful immigration. The additional funds spent on enforcement have done little to appease less populated areas of the U.S. who unreasonably fear being innundated with Spanish speaking residents eager to work in jobs that American Citizens avoid. Few will pay for a $300 New York Strip Steak served by a Citizen who expects to be paid overly inflated wages.
They will eventually vacation in Mexico, rather than New York, and buy better tasting grass fed steak in Guanajuato at more affordable prices.