Guest (Worker) Who Wouldn't Leave
A lack of enforcement...
[by Mac Johnson] 2/7/06
the president of the United States to be talking about creating
a new “guest
worker” bureaucracy to import more foreign workers is a little like a
flood victim, still stranded atop his house, making plans to install a new
sprinkler system. I’m saying it doesn’t make sense.
there are at least 10 million illegal immigrants in the United
States. Every one of them is the equivalent of a guest worker
with an expired visa the day they set foot in America. If we
cannot locate, arrest, detain and deport these uninvited guests,
what makes anyone believe we will be able to do better with
our invited guests, who would be given a free pass across the
border and a three year head start?
Johnson is a freelance writer and biologist in Cambridge,
Mass. Mr. Johnson holds a Doctorate in Molecular and
Cellular Biology from Baylor College of Medicine. He
is a frequent opinion contributor to Human
Events Online. His website can be found at macjohnson.com [go
to Johnson index]
That is why
so many people oppose the president’s not-an-amnesty
amnesty, the so-called guest worker program that would pair
willing foreign workers with American employers unwilling to
pay market wages. Uh, I mean pair willing workers with willing
employers, who for some reason can’t get Americans to
work for Peruvian hacienda wages. No that’s not right
either. Well, the important thing is the Chamber of Commerce
is in favor of the plan.
Bush has more than once disingenuously implied that opponents
of his guest worker plans are somehow against immigrants or
fail to recognize the role that immigration plays in our economy.
In point of fact, what people are against is having no control
over immigration. That is what we have today. President Bush
could issue 3 million guest worker visas or he could issue
three, and it would make no difference. Until we have the means
to enforce whatever limits we set, they will just be meaningless
numbers in a press release. People will come, go and stay as
they please. Visas be damned.
administration would have us believe that the proposed guest
worker program would be instituted simultaneously with increased
immigration enforcement. Indeed it is sold as part of the solution
to illegal immigration, being one half of a carrot-and-stick
approach to push the underground economy into the light of
day. The only problem is that we’ve fallen for that one
amnesty was supposed to be paired with employer penalties and
other enforcement measures that were to take away the motivation
for hiring illegal labor. The government issued the amnesty
carrots just fine (in fact, millions more carrots than people
expected), but then it somehow forgot to use the stick. Today,
the underground economy is larger, our borders are more chaotic,
and our immigration enforcement system is more impotent than
before we bought this plan to “end” illegal immigration
by making many of the illicit immigrants legal.
we have been promised many times that enforcement was just
around the corner. But the situation has grown steadily worse,
as more and more would-be illegal entrants have come to understand
that our government is not serious about stopping, catching,
deporting or punishing them.
most people no longer trust our government to do what it says
on immigration matters. And they are sick of being in the absurd
position of having to negotiate this matter with their own
elected government, which refuses to enforce the laws we have
until it gets the laws it wants.
to reform our immigration system is pointless until we reform
our immigration enforcement system. So please, Mr. President,
give us our stick up front this time, and then we can talk
about carrots. Let’s get control of the situation and
show that we can enforce the laws we have before we begin fantasizing
about new laws.
It is not
a lack of visas or permissiveness that has caused us to lose
control of borders. It is a lack of enforcement. The president
is ultimately the chief law enforcement official in the United
States. He should not be using continued neglect of his duties
as a bargaining tactic while he holds up tougher enforcement
measures in Congress.
In the unlikely
event that the new enforcement measures work so well that they
begin to decrease the supply of truly necessary unskilled labor,
that can be dealt with quickly and easily when it occurs. There
is always a consensus in Congress to increase immigration.
And besides, the carrot works best if you use the stick to
get people’s attention first. -one-
First appeared at Human Events Online
2006 Mac Johnson