PREVENTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Bloomberg – bloombergview.com, to be more exact – published an editorial two days ago that should be must-reading for anyone concerned about the tidal wave of illegal aliens who have come to the United States – the vast majority of them from Mexico. 

I don\’t agree with everything in this editorial.  But I agree with a lot of it.  The logic and common sense provided here being in dramatic contrast with the lies, distortions and deflections…not only of the Obama administration, but of people on the other side as well, who can\’t see past simply putting armed personnel at the borders.  It goes a lot deeper than that

Too bad, however, that Bloomberg did not address what may well be the single most important missing piece of the puzzle.

Here is a key part of the Bloomberg piece.  See what you think of it:

Although the Senate last year approved comprehensive immigration legislation by a margin of more than 2 to 1, Speaker John Boehner has been unable to convince House Republicans that a path to citizenship — or even legal status — for undocumented immigrants is essential to resolving the issue.

But there is something the House can do. It can begin to lay a basis for the kind of legislative deal that could pass in a year, maybe two, when Republicans face up to the fact that their future depends on it. Such a deal would achieve what many of the House\’s most vocal opponents of reform have long demanded: a crackdown on illegal immigration.

The catch is that this crackdown will have little to do with the U.S.-Mexico border. Politicians from varied and distant locales relish demanding militarization down yonder while continuing to ignore the reality of illegal immigration in their own backyards.

What reality? As many as 8 million undocumented immigrants hold jobs in the U.S. In fact, they account for more than 5 percent of the U.S. labor force. Their unemployment rate might even be lower than that of the nation\’s black citizens.*

And, stereotypes aside, the undocumented are hardly relegated to agriculture and domestic service. Construction, manufacturing and retail are among their biggest employers, according to the Migration Policy Institute. So, either quite a few of the nation\’s 6 million employers have welcomed undocumented workers into their factories and stores, or a smaller number of employers have hired an awful lot of them.

Either way, little is being done to stop the practice. Workplace enforcement is minimal. Fines are small. Amid all the political bellowing about the border, no one in Washington pays much attention to employers\’ practices.

Personally, I disagree with the editorial when it understates the importance of securing our border.  But, other than that, it certainly makes an important point:  people looking for work, will not migrate to a place which does not provide it.

With that in mind, I join Bloomberg in supporting serious, stringent, enforceable laws which make it worth employers\’ whiles to avoid hiring illegals, and acknowledge that such laws have the potential to be a huge factor in lessening illegal immigration. 

But there is a problem. 

As logical as this sounds, it will not work unless another issue is addressed – one which neither Bloomberg nor almost any other venue pays any attention to.

Before continuing, it is important to understand the dimension of this problem: roughly 10% of the entire Mexican population – men, women and childrenhave fled Mexico for the United States…and about half of them – 5% of the entire Mexican population – are illegal aliens.  That is not a typo and it is not an exaggeration.  Read the New York Times report and see for yourself.

Why have they done so?  Because it is better for them to live in the shadows, as illegals – with (supposedly) no rights, no safety net, at the mercy of employers who can underpay them, give them few or no benefits and make unfair demands of them without a care in the world that they will be held to account for it – than it is to live legally in their own country.

Now, I will ask what I think is a very important question – one which Bloomberg (and just about everyone else) keeps missing, but which goes to the heart of this issue:  With all the protests you have seen over the years demanding rights for Mexican illegal aliens…how many have you seen from the same groups demanding decent living conditions for these people in Mexico, where they are legal? 

Have you ever seen even one? 

But have you seen protests demanding that illegals get rights and privileges only legals should have, such as drivers licenses, in-state college tuition rates, etc. etc. etc.?  I bet you\’ve seen plenty of those.

Maybe it is time – long overdue, actually –  to ask why.

As I have pointed out many times in this blog, Mexico is no third-world, impoverished country.  It has gold.  Silver.  Oil.  A huge agricultural sector.  A huge – and growing – industrial sector.  A booming tourism industry.

The inescapable conclusion to be drawn is that Mexico\’s government (and not just the current one either) could not care less about these people. Otherwise the country would utilize its vast resources to insure that they could have a reasonable chance at a decent life in their own country.

What is missing from the Bloomberg editorial, therefore, is any mechanism for the USA putting pressure on Mexico to provide for its own people – which, in and of itself, would have a huge effect on lowering illegal immigration.  

It amazes me that Bloomberg\’s people did not think to address this issue.  Maybe they will in a subsequent editorial.

As long as Mexico is given a free pass on how it treats its own population, and uses that free pass to allow millions and millions of its citizens to live lives worse than what living as illegals in the USA will give them,  you can count on illegal immigration from Mexico to the USA to continue. 

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*This point is worth a separate blog…which I will write immediately after finishing this one.

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