Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Immigrant Scapegoats" - Jason Riley

On the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal today is a piece by Jason L. Riley, a member of the editorial board.

His message is that during a recession we sometimes beat up on “immigrants” as the cause of the problem. He says that is wrong-headed thinking.

Well, first of all, he doesn’t ever call them “illegal aliens”, “illegals”, “undocumented”, or even “unauthorized.” He just uses “immigrants” and “foreign migrants.” He does say that some groups are “blaming Latinos” but fails to clarify who he is talking about.

Then he goes on to explain that these foreign workers are valuable to our economy because they allow the workforce to be flexible. People can change jobs and production can expand because we have this hidden workforce in our pocket when we borrow workers from other countries.

So, if that is his theory, why does he complain when people want to invoke that flexibility and withdraw job opportunities from foreign workers in times of economic downturn? That’s his whole point, isn’t it – flexibility? He criticizes California Congressman George Miller for saying, “The H-2B program needs to be reformed to protect the U. S. worker.”

Why isn’t that flexibility? Times are tough; we need to protect our own; we’re going to cut the quotas to help the American worker. Riley doesn’t explain; he just says that’s bad.

He then invokes France as a model of what we will become if we adopt protectionist policies. May I suggest that France’s problems have more to do with socialism than with their immigration policy? One need only look at our own nation from 1925-1965 to see what can happen when capitalism and a rational approach to immigration are combined.

But what do you expect from a guy who is putting out a book entitled, “Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders”?

Right below Jason’s Pablum is a piece by Governor Janet Napolitano (D-Arizona) who blasts Washington for promising to pay for illegal aliens in prison but pays only a small portion, leaving her state to pay the other $500 MILLION a year.

And she’s not too happy about the Real ID requirements imposed on the states without federal aid. This program is an $11 BILLION unfunded mandate.

And she’s on a roll when she explains that the feds cut crime-fighting grants by 67%.

I wonder if Mr. Riley considers the social impact (and costs to taxpayers) of his open borders philosophy? All he needs to do is read Napolitano’s piece to get a glimpse of the problem.

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