God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Monday, January 2, 2006

America's Porous Border Enables Mexico's Misrule

The days of ignoring illegal immigration are over. The wall is going up and it will get longer and stronger in the future.

Victor Davis Hanson correctly pins the blame for illegal immigration where it belongs - on the Mexican government and the short-sighted employers in the United States.
SELMA, Calif.--"Shameful," screams Mexico's President Vicente Fox, about the proposed extension of a security fence along the southern border of the U.S. "Stupid! Underhanded! Xenophobic!" bellowed his foreign secretary, Luis Ernesto Derbez, warning: "Mexico is not going to bear, it is not going to permit, and it will not allow a stupid thing like this wall."

The allusions to the Berlin Wall made by aggrieved Mexican politicians miss the irony: The communists tried to keep their own people in, not illegal aliens out. More embarrassing still, the comparison boomerangs on Mexico, since it, and not the U.S., more resembles East Germany in alienating its own citizens to the point that they flee at any cost. If anything might be termed stupid, underhanded or xenophobic in the illegal immigration debacle, it is the conduct of the Mexican government.

Americans liked their food cooked, yards kept and dishes washed cheaply--as long as the invisible workers with little education, less English and no legal status stayed invisible, and as long as illegal immigration could not directly be linked to plummeting public school test scores in the Southwest or 15,000 prison inmates in the California penal system. But somewhere around the year 2000 a tipping point was reached. The dialogue changed when the number of illegals outnumbered the population of entire states. There also began a moral transformation in the controversy, with the ethical tables turned on the proponents of de facto open borders.

Employers were no longer seen as helping either the U.S. economy or poor immigrants, but rather as being party to exploitation that made a mockery of the law, ossified the real minimum wage, undermined unions and hurt poorer American citizens. The American consumer discovered that illegal immigration was a fool's bargain--reaping the benefits of cheap labor upfront, but paying far more later on through increased subsidies for often ill-housed and poorly educated laborers who had no benefits.
Along with the wall and increased border security, we need sharp and punishing fines for employers who hire illegals; bankrupting fines for repeat offenders. The short term shock to our economy caused by losing a "cheap" source of labor - if there even is a shock - would be short lived and bearable. They may work for small paychecks, but they suck up services in the medical and education systems like insatiable sponges - driving those systems to brink of collapse. In the long run, the U.S. will be stronger and more prosperous. And best of all we get to keep living in America, not Aztlan.

U P D A T E :
Found an excellent (as always) column by Dr. Mike Adams on the subject of illegal immigration. It focuses on the supposed vigilantism of the Minutemen. The more light we can shed on this scourge, the sooner we can force our do-nothing politicians (on both sides of the aisle) to fix the problem.

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