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The thoughts and theories of a guy who basically should have gone to bed hours ago.

I know, I know - what's the point? But look at it this way - I stayed up late writing it, but you're reading it...

Let's call ourselves even & move on, OK?

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Mysteries of Immigration

Via Instapundit, here's a map of the world that resizes the countries based on relative levels of net immigration.

On most political issues, I'm happy to offer my opinion regardless of how many facts I have (one of the many benefits of not actually being responsible for any of this...), but in this case, all I have are questions.

First, if we're so interested in protecting the illegal immigrants, why not simply make them legal? I mean, we control the immigration laws, right? If we're going to protect them when they're here, why not just hand them a photo ID card at the border? Then we could even get them to pay taxes and other fun stuff like that.

I'm being glib, but seriously: I can't think of anything else in this country that we call "illegal," and yet argue about whether or not their should be a punishment for it.

More questions: if there are jobs that people are willing to do for less than the minimum wage, and we're willing to let people pay less than the minimum wage to do these jobs, then why don't we establish legal exceptions to the minimum wage laws for certain jobs? If, as our leaders are currently telling us, immigrants do this work because Americans refuse to, then nothing changes. If, on the other hand, there are Americans who would work in the fields for $2/hr, would we rather they be unemployed, restricted by their unfortunate (!) status as citizens or legal immigrants?

Anyone have any answers here? Is it just about stirring the pot before the mid-term elections? Is this a problem no one wants to solve?

posted by Brian at 12:37 AM


  • I also have no answer, but I agree that the key is "and we're willing to let people pay less than the minimum wage to do these jobs". If they were paying $30 an hour to pick strawberries, they'd have no problem getting Americans to fill the jobs; however, would anyone buy strawberries at $20 a pint?

    Essentially, these employers have found a way to create a subsidy, and the removal of that subsidy will cause pain for somebody.

    By Anonymous Michael W., at 9:51 AM, March 29, 2006  

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